First Violin


Nigel Armstrong


Sponsored by Myrna Britton & Roger Anderson and Richard Klevins & Gay Nichols

Nigel Armstrong is emerging as a dynamic and creative artist both within and beyond the realm of classical music. From his musical beginnings as a member of "The Little Fiddlers" in Sonoma, CA to collaborations with tango musicians in Argentina he's enjoyed using the violin in a versatile manner throughout his life.

As soloist Nigel has performed with orchestras such as the Dusseldorf Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, YOA Orchestra of the Americas, and the Boston Pops, and with conductors including Sir Neville Marriner and Carlos Miguel Prieto. He received the 2nd Prize, the Ole Bull Prize, and the Nordheim Award at the 2010 Menuhin Competition Senior Division in Oslo, Norway, and got the 4th Prize plus the Prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work (STOMP, by John Corigliano) at the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition. As a chamber musician his concerts have taken him across the US and abroad--highlights have included opportunities to share the stage with the Tokyo String Quartet and pianist Jonathan Biss.

Nigel feels fortunate to have had the chance to explore great orchestral literature throughout his career. Since 2009 he's appeared as concertmaster with the Colburn Orchestra, LA's American Youth Symphony, the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the YOA Orchestra of the Americas, and most recently the New York String Orchestra in their annual Carnegie hall performances.

A graduate of the Colburn School and the Curtis Institute of Music, Nigel's teachers have included Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Lipsett, Zaven Melikian, and Donald Weilerstein, among others. He also recently had the opportunity to live with and learn from the Plum Village community founded by Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, where he spent a year working on their organic farm and taking part in their daily life, an experience for which he continues to be grateful.


Chinh Le

Associate Concertmaster

Sponsored By Locatelli Moving & Storage

Chinh Le was born in Vietnam and came to the US in 1980. Mr. Le completed his Bachelor of Music from Indiana University. He has performed with the New World Symphony in various genres from solo to chamber music series. He was an active performer throughout Europe, South America and Asia before he joined the Symphony Silicon Valley in 1991. He was the music director and conductor of the Saigon Chamber Ensemble between 1998 to 2001. In 2003 he co-founded the Pacific Music Associations, based in Northern California, with purpose of preserving traditional Vietnamese music. Mr. Le is a member of Opera San Jose and San Jose Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, he is the Associate Concertmaster of Santa Cruz Symphony.



Sponsored by Joyce Osborn

Originally from McLean, Virginia, Xander Abbe has been a violinist since the age of five, and graduated with a B.A. in music from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.   His principal teachers included Sally Thomas, Jody Gatwood, and Gerald Fischbach.  He joined the Santa Cruz Symphony in 2016.  He is also a member of the first violin section in the Monterey Symphony, and the second violin section in the California Symphony.  Previously, he served as concertmaster of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, with which he performed the violin solo in Rimsky-Korsakov's "Scheherazade", and he toured nine cities in China with New York's Park Avenue Chamber Symphony.  He is an avid player of string quartets, having participated in chamber music workshops in Budapest, Salzburg, Paris, and Bennington, Vermont.  He lives in San Jose with his husband Murray and their four cats.

Astrid Huala.jpg


Sponsored by Mary & Harry Blanchard

Born in Salzburg, Austria, Astrid grew up in California. She studied violin and chamber music with Heichiiro Ohyama at UCSC, graduating with a BA in psychology. Later teachers included Roy Malan, Mariko Smiley, and Krysia Osostowicz at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Astrid has played with the Monterey Symphony, Hidden Valley Opera, Bayshore Lyric Opera, and is a longtime member of the Santa Cruz Symphony. Ms. Huala has taught violin at through the Hartnell and Cabrillo College youth strings programs and coaches youth chamber groups. She a founding member of the Rose Quartet, which has been performing for weddings throughout the SF Peninsula and the Monterey Bay Area for many years. Currently, she teaches violin to all ages at two studios in Santa Cruz and directs the string program at Pacific Elementary School. Other interests include hiking, gardening, travel, and ballroom dance.



Sponsored by Bob & Sharon Bailey

Lori Jensen began playing violin when she was five years old, first with Lesa Zuehlke, then with Zaven Melikian at the San Francisco Conservatory. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music, a major in Communications and a minor in Religious Studies. She has been a member of the Santa Cruz Symphony since 2003. Other groups she has played with include Symphony Silicon Valley, San Jose Chamber Orchestra, West Bay Opera and California Pops. In addition to teaching private violin, viola and piano students, Lori coaches local youth orchestras and performs at weddings. She is also a second degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Her other hobbies include volleyball, gardening, baking, volunteering and crafts.

Emily Lanzone.jpg


(Leave of Absence)

Sponsored by Marlene Henderson & Family

Emily Lanzone (Cox) earned her BM in violin performance from the University of Oregon, MM from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Professional Studies Diploma from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her principal teachers have included Kathryn Gray, Kathleen Winkler, Kathy Lucktenberg, Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio, and Axel Strauss. Since moving to California's Central Coast in 2011, Emily has been a member of the San Luis Obispo Symphony, along with other area ensembles such the Symphony of the Vines, OperaSLO, and Santa Maria Philharmonic. She also plays with the Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Oregon Coast Music Festival in Coos Bay, OR. Emily teaches at Cal Poly University and works with the SLO Youth Symphony, while maintaining a private studio of violin and viola students. Although she specializes in orchestral performance, Emily's first love is chamber music, a passion which took her abroad to northern Italy in the summer of 2011 for the Zephyr Chamber Music Festival. A native of Portland, OR, she currently lives in Morro Bay, CA with her husband Brian, and young son Kieran.


Junghee Lee

Sponsored by Ron & Cindy Sekkel

Junghee Lee received a Bachelor of Music degree at Yonsei University, a Master of Music at the Juilliard School, and is currently enrolled in the Doctoral program at Rutgers.

Ms. Lee has studied with Philippe Quint, Yoon Kwon, Cho-Liang Lin, Hyo Kang and Masao Kawasaki, and has participated in the Aspen, Lisbon, Salzburg and Busan Music Festivals. In 2013, she was the winner of the International Competition of Romantic Music in New York, and was a winner in the Rutgers Chamber Music Competition.



Elizabeth MacCorquodale is a young emerging artist who has graced stages all over the world and has received numerous awards and scholarships. She was the 2nd prize winner of the Frank Preuss International Violin Competition in Ibague, Colombia, “special prize” winner of the Diabelli International Chamber Competition in 2012, 1st prize winner of the Columbus State University Concerto Competition, 2008, 2nd prize winner of the LaGrange Young Artist’s Competition in 2008, top prize winner of the Canadian National Chamber Music Festival 2005, and 1st prize winner of the Atlanta Community Orchestra Competition.

Ms. MacCorquodale’s studies have taken her across the globe from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, to the University of Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest and most recently Stony Brook University in New York where she completed her doctoral studies. Her primary teachers include Hagai Shaham, Phil Setzer of the Emerson Quartet, Silvia Marcovici, Sergiu Schwartz, and Vilmos Szabadi.

As an active participant in summer festivals, she has performed in festivals across the United States and Europe including Pinchas Zukerman’s Young Artist Program, Morningside Music Bridge, the Heifetz Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Orchestral Academy, Cassalmaggiore International Music Festival and Orchestra of the Americas.

A dedicated teacher as well as performer, Ms. MacCorquodale has been actively involved in the training of young violinists in NY and abroad. She currently maintains a private violin studio in the South Bay Area of California and serves on the faculty of the New Mozart School of Music in Palo Alto. Her students have been featured in broadcasts for radio and TV stations including FOX News, the Don Francisco Show on NBC, the Harry Connick Jr. Show on Fox, and Good Morning America on ABC News.



Kiri Murakami-Loehmann

Kiri Murakami-Loehmann began playing the violin and piano at age three, attending Dr. Suzuki’s summer program for a few seasons. She has garnered many accolades, including first prize in The Juilliard School violin competition and recognition from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Kiri was concertmaster of the New York Youth Symphony for three years, performing at Carnegie Hall. At Aspen Music Festival, she was a soloist with the Young Artist Orchestra and worked with conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, and David Zinman. Her principal teachers include Toshiya Eto, Masao Kawaski, and Anna Lim. She has also participated in master classes given by the Nash Ensemble, the Brentano Quartet, and Emanuel Ax, among others.

She has performed with many ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and Opera New Jersey. In the Bay Area, in addition to being a member of Santa Cruz Symphony and Symphony Silicon Valley, she appears with groups such as Opera San Jose and Monterey Symphony. As a composer, she has had her orchestral pieces premiered by The Juilliard and Princeton University Orchestras, and works commissioned by the Gemini Youth Orchestra in New York and the Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey.

Kiri graduated with high honors from Princeton University in music theory/composition, Japanese, and environmental studies. As an educator and arts administrator, she has worked for Education Through Music in New York City, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra as its General Manager and Artistic Administrator, and Portland Youth Philharmonic where she was Executive Director. From 2009-2015, she served on the board of Music for Autism. In her spare time, she enjoys interviewing South Bay high school seniors as part of Princeton University’s Alumni Schools Committee.



Sponsored by Mary & Harry Blanchard

Emily Packard is a classical and new music violinist in the Bay Area, currently residing in Alameda, CA. She has an MM in violin performance from the San Francisco Conservatory where she studied with Bettina Mussumeli, and an MFA in improvisation from Mills College where she studied violin with David Abel and Daniel Kobialka and improvisation with Fred Frith.

Emily plays regularly with her band Jack O' The Clock ( as well as in the Santa Cruz and Monterey symphonies. She also loves to collaborate with artists from other mediums. Favorite performances have three productions playing with the Garrett Moulton modern dance company in San Francisco and touring the West Coast with singer/ songwriter Joanna Newsom. Emily teaches private violin lessons and has taught group string classes at Oakland School for The Arts, Crowden School of Music and the El Sistema program Sound Minds among many others.