Durango Chamber Music Academy :: June 5-9 & 12-16, 2017
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Lech Usinowicz, Academy Director/Lower Strings, is currently in his fourth year teaching general music at Bayfield Elementary School in Bayfield, Colorado. In 2008, Lech introduced the first-ever string program to the Bayfield School District. As he continues to develop the program, his goal is to start a youth symphony orchestra. In 2009 Lech and his combined 3rd, 4th and 5th grade choirs received a gold medal at the Elitch Gardens Music Festival in Denver. In 2010, he took the Bayfield Elementary String Ensemble and the Bayfield Elementary Choir to Denver to compete in the festival; both groups received gold medals for their performances.

Before he began his teaching career, Lech was the bass player and co-manager of the progressive, award-winning acoustic band "The Hot Strings." Through marketing, accounting, and personal-relations responsibilities, he helped the group get to Nashville to record the album Uncharted with bluegrass legend Pat Flynn (former member of New Grass Revival).

Lech graduated with honors in Music Education and Music Business from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He performs regularly with the San Juan Symphony, and has taught strings privately for more than eight years.

Lech received Orff Schulwerk certification at the University of Oregon. Inspired by the experience, Lech started a drum class for upper-elementary students, appropriately named Discipline, Respect, and Unity through Music (D.R.U.M.), originally founded by master Orff teacher Jim Solomon. Lech and professor Kenneth A. Hunt, PhD, published A Case History of Electrical and Musical Industries (EMI) in Journal of Business Case Studies (Volume 5, Number 1, January/February 2009).

Amy Barrett, Upper and Lower Strings, graduated in December 1997 from Fort Lewis College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education. She sang with the Fort Lewis Concert Choir for four years. During her senior year, she served as Choir President and Assistant Director. It was also during her senior year that she became Music Director of the Durango Barbershoppers. As such, she is one of a very few women directors in an all-male singing society. Amy taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade choir and orchestra at Heights Middle School in Farmington, New Mexico as well as teaching for a few years in Aztec, New Mexico. Her choirs and orchestras consistently received Superior ratings at music concerts. In addition, she was responsible for the 6th grade Music Experience classes. Ms. Barrett conducts the Durango Children's Chorale and the Durango Youth Chorus. She is a recipient of the Red Apple Teacher's Award, an honor given by the nomination of her students. In November of 2007, Amy purchased Unfinished Furniture for Your Home located a few doors north of Katzin Music. She continues to teach music for the Durango Montessori School, and teaches private piano lessons.

Molly Jensen's enthusiasm for chamber music began in elementary school when her mother, a musician and pedagogue, had Molly and her siblings practice together one tired Friday evening. Who knew that "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" could sound like a full and rich composition with musicians of only 9, 7, and 3 years of age?! A performance of a Bach Brandenburg Concerto in fifth grade, and the discovery of Mozart Divertimenti in ninth grade had her hooked on chamber music. As a professional musician and teacher, Molly strives to instill a love of chamber music in her students.

Molly is currently the Orchestra and Band director at Miller Middle School in Durango, CO. She also conducts the Youth Philharmonic, the middle orchestra of the San Juan Symphony Youth Orchestra Program. Ms. Jensen received a bachelor's degree in Violin Performance and Music Education from Temple University in Philadelphia where she studied with Helen Kwalwasser. She received a master's degree in Music Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder where she studied with Lina Bahn. Ms. Jensen is a Max Aronoff award winner for excellence in performing and teaching, and has performed extensively in the Philadelphia and New York area with the Apollon Chamber Group.

Sandy Kiefer, Upper and Lower Strings, received her Suzuki Cello certificates from the Chicago Institute, Hart College and Pittsburgh Institute. She completed her training through Book Ten. She holds a Masters of Music from New England Conservatory in Boston, USA. Previously she taught at the University of Rhode Island and Longy School of Music in Massachusetts. She was awarded Outstanding Teacher from the Belmont, Massachusetts Public Schools. She has given Suzuki workshops for the New England, Kansas, and New Mexico Institutes.

As a cellist, she has performed with the Boston Ballet, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Boston Lyric Opera, Hartford Symphony, and as principal cellist with the Viterbo Opera Festival in Itlay. She has been a member of Young Audiences of Massachusetts where she has presented over 500 concerts for youth. She founded and manages Copley Chamber Players. She has given concerts at Harvard University, Wang Center, and on National Public Radio.

Ms. Kiefer has participated in many summer music festivals, including two fellowships to the Tanglewood Institute. She played principal cello under Leonard Bernstein and played with the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa. She was awarded a full scholarship to the Yale University Norfolk Festival, where she studied with the Tokyo String Quartet.

3rd Ave. Arts PO Box 1383 Durango, CO 81302 (970) 903-7427