Jay Smith, Guitar
Lauren Hall, Violin
Benson Lee, Violin & Viola
A native of Hong Kong, Benson Lee began studying the violin at an early age with Mr. Frankie Hui and Prof. Wai-Ming Wong (former Concertmaster of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra) before moving to the U.S. to continue his studies with Dr. Igor Borodin, Dr. Matson Topper, Dr. Martha Walvoord, Dr. Katrin Meidell and studies viola with Ms. Amber Sander. A prize winning soloist and chamber music specialist, Benson has been granted the distinguished Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) for Violin Performance from the U.K. Mr. Lee continues to collaborate with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (Canada) and the Hong Kong Symphony Orchestra, as well as other national and international orchestras and ensembles. Mr. Lee has served as concertmaster and assistant conductor of the Brookhaven String Ensemble. In 2004, Benson began focusing his creative and artistic energies as a conductor by studying with Dr. Jerome Hoberman (Hong Kong Bach Choir and Orchestra), Mr. K. K. Chiu (SAR Philharmonic Orchestra) and Prof. Wang Jia Yang (HKAPA String Orchestra). After receiving critical acclaim as the music director of the Hong Kong Youth Musicians Philharmonic Orchestra from 2004-2007, Benson is now a favorite guest conductor of many fine orchestras and ensembles, including the Grandmaster Youth Chamber Orchestra (HK) and the DEI String Ensemble (HK). Benson studied conducting with world renowned conductors Maestro Miguel Harth- Bedoya (director of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra) , Dr. Clifton Evans (director of orchestral and string studies at UT Arlington). Benson has been appointed as assistant conductor of the Sinfonietta of Fort Worth, Texas and conductor of the North Texas Chinese Church Youth Ensemble. A passionate musician whether holding a violin or baton, Mr. Lee brings unparalleled artistry to all of his musical endeavors both at home and abroad.
Jenny Lin, Viola
A native of Taiwan, Jenny Lin began her piano studies at the age of 5 and her viola studies at the age of 10. After earning her Bachelor of Music degree in viola performance from National Kaohisung Normal University in 2007, Lin came to the United States to pursue her graduate studies at the University of North Texas. Lin has extensive experience in chamber and orchestra playing. She participated in Manchester Music Festival, International String Festival, The Rhythm in Sunshine Music Festival. Also, she was the principal violist of National Kaohsiung Normal Univeristy Orchestra, Tainan City Youth Orchestra, playing with Tainan City Symphony Orchestra and Kaohsiung City Symphony Orchestra. She served as assistant viola principal at UNT Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Lin was winner of many competitions, which included the Tainan City Viola Competition, National Sun-Fu-Long Competition and the National Chamber Music Competition in Taiwan. Lin won second place at the Kaohsiung City Viola Competition. She studied with Dr. Susan Dubois, Mr. Ralph Fielding. Currently, she studies with Dr. Misha Galaganov at Texas Christian University.
Chloe Park, Violin
Chloe Park started playing the violin at the age of 6. She earned both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees at the Indiana University. Chloe is currently working on her Artist Certificate at the Southern Methodist University with Chee-Yun.
Marina Dichenko, Violin
Marina Dichenko earned her Master of Master degree in violin performance and is now working on her Artist Certificate at the Texas Christian University.
Ai-Wei Chang, Violin
Native of Taoyuan, Taiwan, Ai-Wei Chang started learning the piano at the age of 5. Since picking up the violin at age 8, she has fully immersed herself in chamber music; winning the 2nd and 3rd places in the 1998 and 1999 Taiwanese Chamber Music Competition. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in 2005 from the Taipei Municipal Teachers College in Taiwan, majoring in violin and minoring in piano and voice. She loves playing in orchestra, and has traveled with a few orchestras to Japan in 1998 and to the west coast of the United States in 1999. She has had opportunities to play with some of the most renowned performers such as Jonathan Liu, Mstislav Rostropovich and Christina Long. She earned her Master of Music degree in 2008, and is now pursuing her Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at the University Of North Texas under the instruction of Felix Olschofka. She studied with Philip Lewis and Yan-Hua Wang in violin, and Cheng-Yao Lee and Christine Long in piano. Ai-Wei also teachers music in Coppell and Plano.
Zubaida Azezi, Violin
James Burch, Cello
James Burch earned his Master of Music degree from the Southern Methodist University. He is currently working on his Artist Certificate at SMU. In 2012, Burch presented works Stephen Ip at the NACUSA - Texas Chapter concert at the Richardson Public Library.
Brianne Sargent, Cello
Benjamin Katzen, Cello
Benjamin Katzen has performed in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Israel, and in such esteemed venues in the United States as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He has been a concerto soloist with several orchestras in his home state of New Jersey, and was a featured soloist at the New Jersey State Teen Arts Festival at the age of 18. As a member of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, he participated in a tribute to the legendary pianist/conductor Leon Fleisher at the 44th Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, attended by President George W. Bush and nationally televised on CBS. Well-versed in jazz, rock, folk and world music styles, he can be heard around the Dallas-Fort Worth area performing with various orchestras, singer-songwriters, jazz and world music ensembles. Additionally, he teaches cello and violin lessons in the Greenville (TX) ISD Suzuki Strings program. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in cello performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he was a student of Amit Peled.
Julian Tello, Viola
Adam Pratt, Cello
Adam Pratt is a junior at Texas Wesleyan University double majoring in music education and music performance. He has played in various ensembles throughout the state of Texas including the Austin Youth Orchestra, the Fort Worth Civic Orchestra, the University of North Texas Orchestra, and he currently serves as the principal cellist of the Wesleyan Wind Ensemble. In 2012, Adam was selected to present his lecture on Brahms' Piano and Violoncello Sonata in e minor at Texas Wesleyan's University College Day. Adam is a Dean's List student at TWU and is a recent recipient of the Irene Clark Scholarship recognizing achievement in music. He studies with Dr. Hsinyi Wang.
Kathleen McDowell, Cello
Yida Hu, Violin
Joel Adair, Trumpet
Chris Aucoin, trumpet
Chris Aucoin is comfortable performing all genres of music, and has performed countless performances in all venues, ranging from local night clubs, churches, hotel ballrooms and symphony halls. In addition to Serenata Strings, he has performed as a member of the Dallas Civic Wind Ensemble, the nationally known Bill Tillman Band, Soul Tsunami (12 years), Celebration Orchestra (big band), Professor D, MAXX, The G-Men, Midnight Snack, All Saints Brass, Rock Bottom, Mariachi Adonai, and Souled Out. In addition, as a freelance musician, he has played with many other local groups including Bulletproof Brass, King Creole, Robert Lee Kobb, Groove Posse, Ken Savage and the Best Kept Secret, and Lindy and the Look. Aucoin has performed as a soloist at hundreds of weddings, and his performances have been heard on TV commercials in several states. In addition to performing, Aucoin is an accomplished arranger, having written and transcribed hundreds of horn arrangements for numerous horn sections in the DFW area. This was a natural progression in his career, and just another aspect to his musical career that he finds very fulfilling.
Hyung Gu Kim, Piano
Liza Ivlela, Piano
Liza Ivlela is working on her piano performance degree at the Southern Methodist University.
Mikhail Berestnev, Piano
Mikhail Berestnev is working on his Artist Certificate at the Texas Christian University.
Edmundo Gonzalez, Piano
Edmundo Gonzalez is working on his Master of Music degree in piano performance at the Southern Methodist University.