Teaching Artists and guest speakers
Rebecca Harris, Teaching Artist
Rebecca began playing the violin at age eight in a free program at her elementary school. When she was sixteen, she made the decision to leave home and attend a specialist music school for her final years of high school. During those two years, Rebecca studied violin in a conservatory-like setting while continuing to study regular school subjects alongside. She was certain that she wanted to be a musician, an aspiration that served as a bridge between regular high school and conservatory. Rebecca made her choice about which college to attend by looking for somewhere with a competitive environment and the highest standards available. While in college, she realized that her main musical interests were contemporary and early music, and she decided to pursue a career path that allowed her to focus on these areas. Since graduating from college, Rebecca has built a “portfolio career” that combines solo and chamber music engagements, playing with early-music ensembles, freelance orchestral playing and recording, and working as an artist teacher.
Kei Fukuda, Teaching Artist
Kei is a violinist, music educator, and passionate advocate for classical music as a vehicle for social change. She began her musical studies at the age of five at a local Suzuki violin program in Connecticut, continuing her studies in New York and at the Hartt School of Music. After graduating from Swarthmore College with her Bachelor of Arts degrees in biology and music, Kei switched her focus back to studying the violin under the guidance of Choong-Jin (C.J.) Chang in Philadelphia and completed her Masters in Music in violin performance at Kent State University, studying with Miami String Quartet violinists Ivan Chan and Cathy Meng Robinson. She recently completed her Artist Certificate in violin performance at University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) as a student of Benny Kim and a member of the Graduate Fellowship String Quartet. Catherine has had the pleasure of collaborating with renowned musicians Benny Kim, Eric Kim, Scott Lee, and Keith Robinson. Equally passionate about orchestral playing, she has played in Orchestra 2001, Symphony in C, Mansfield Symphony, Akron Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Britt Music Festival, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and Philly Pops. Kei is excited about the opportunity to further explore how music education and performance can be used to empower youth and their communities.
Cigus Vanni, College Specialist
Cigus, AKA “Cigus the College Fairy”, knows stuff. Lots of stuff, particularly about the college application process. He has forty-two years of experience in college search and selection, and has worked as a college admissions counselor, and school counselor and a school psychologist, among other things. The first member of his family to attend college, he earned his BA from Swarthmore College and certification in school psychology with course work in Education and Child Development from Bryn Mawr College. Cigus “refuses to add to the stress of college search and selection” with the knowledge that there are nearly 2,250 four-year colleges and universities in the US alone from which to choose. He will NOT “get your kid into Harvard” – he will help your kid figure out what the right fit is for her. Cigus enjoys spending one-on-one counseling time with young people but he makes them pay (literally) for this. He does not want his fees paid by parents/guardians but rather by the students he serves. (You can find his unusual fee schedule at cigus.net.) Cigus is a member of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the New Jersey Association for College Admissions Counseling, and an associate member of the Pennsylvania Association for College Admissions Counseling. Most importantly, however, is the fact that Cigus was a five-time winner and undefeated champion on the quiz show Jeopardy! In 1988 and returned for the 1989 Tournament of Champions. That alone make him way cool.
Seth Hanes, Entrepreneurship Specialist
Marketing specialist Seth Hanes is a private consultant who works with businesses, non-profit organizations and individuals in digital marketing and website development, bringing public attention to where it is deserved. Seth understands clearly that each person in an organization offers individual talent to make that group perform at its best. With clear branding of clients and the use of campaigns and interactive programs, Seth works to build social media publicity and a following around his clients that creates a steady flow of public interaction and recognition. As a musician, Seth has an acute understanding of the mechanics of self-promotion. He willingly shares his expertise on his blog, The Musicians Guide to Hustling. He also speaks publicly on his techniques, having spoken most recently at Kutztown University and the Philadelphia International Music Festival in partnership with Project 440.