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Dr. Susan Baer is a freelance violinist and violin teacher. She currently divides her time between Lubbock, TX, and Whidbey Island, WA. In her four decades of experience with the Suzuki method, Susan has run a thriving private studio, co-founded a Suzuki school, organized workshops, taught in a long-term training program, and served on the board of directors of her local foundation. Susan is in high demand as a Suzuki clinician and registered SAA violin teacher trainer. She has served as area coordinator for six SAA conferences, has been published in the SAA journal, and is currently serving on the SAA board of directors. Dr. Baer holds a bachelor of music education degree, a master of music degree in violin performance, and a PhD in fine arts.
Donna Davis began her musical journey as a cellist at Carnegie-Mellon University and later received a degree in cello performance from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. She began conducting soon after, leading string ensembles for Young Artist’s Philharmonic in Connecticut, the Erie Youth Orchestra in Erie, PA. and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Currently, she is the co-director of the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute in Texas, teaches at the Suzuki Institute of Dallas and is a conductor for Cross Timbers Youth Orchestra. She has taught in Suzuki cello programs at the Bethwood Suzuki School and Mercyhurst College. She has developed Kodomo Music, a music program for children aged 18 months to 4 years. Donna has been teaching the Suzuki method for over 20 years. After taking her first Suzuki workshop while still an undergraduate, she began her teaching career in Connecticut working with Diana Tillson, one of the pioneers of the Suzuki method in America. Donna lives in Plano, Texas with her cello playing husband and son.
Dr. Julia Hardie is the founder and director of the Central Texas String Academy, a large Suzuki program in Waco, TX. Dr. Hardie is a Suzuki Association of the Americas viola teacher trainer. Her background includes a DMA in Viola Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa under William Preucil, Sr.. Dr. Hardie has studied with violists, Bruno Giuranna and Paul Doktor. Julia has served on the faculties of New Mexico State University and Baylor University, and as conductor of the Waco Youth Orchestra. Currently, in addition to her viola and violin teaching, she is assistant principal violist of the Waco Symphony.
Paul Landefeld holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Viola Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Music Education degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He has participated in Suzuki conferences, workshops, and institutes throughout the United States as well as Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines.
In 1981 he received a certificate of Observation and Study from the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan under the tutelage of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Mr. Landefeld performed with colleagues at the memorial service for Dr. Suzuki in March 1998 in Japan.
Mr. Landefeld taught in the Pittsburgh area for 20 years, both in public and private programs. He is the founder and former Executive Director of Talent Education of Greater Pittsburgh. Prior to moving to Dallas as the new Director of the Suzuki Institute of Dallas, he was Director of the American Suzuki Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also served as the Director of the Texas Christian University Suzuki Institute in Fort Worth.
He has held the position of CEO of the International Suzuki Association (ISA) from 2003 until July 1, 2011 and currently serves on the ISA Board of Directors representing the U.S. as Member-at-Large.
Patricia Purcell has been an active member of the SAA for more than 20 years. She teaches in a unique Suzuki in the Schools program in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford School District. She is currently president of the North Texas Suzuki Association and works with Fort Worth-area Suzuki teachers to provide students opportunities for education and performance, primarily through the Suzuki Program of Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth. She has organized teacher development workshops and assisted in establishing teacher training at the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute. While a member of the TCU School of Music faculty, she directed the TCU Suzuki Institute.
Ms. Purcell holds degrees from Texas Christian University and studied violin with Fredell Lack at the University of Houston. She taught in the Suzuki program while studying at The Hartt School of Music. She currently serves on the SAA Board of Directors and the SAA Conference Committee.
Danette Schuh is the Director of Dolce Music Studio, home of Dolce Strings and Dolce Babies, where she teaches violin, viola and Suzuki Baby classes. She has been teaching for over 25 years. Formerly the President of the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association, she has been instrumental in bringing Suzuki ECE to the Houston area. She was the recipient of the Houston Music Teachers Association President’s “Bravo” award and was named HMTA 2001 “Teacher of the Year”. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Indiana University. Mrs. Schuh also performs with the Möbius Chamber Ensemble and Houston’s First Baptist Church Orchestra. She and her husband, Todd, reside in Sugar Land, Texas.