String Program Director
Abimael grew up in a small but vibrant city in northwest Venezuela and began studying violin at the age of eight. He attended his local El Sistema “nucleo.” After earning a Bachelor of Music in violin performance, a Master’s in Education, and a Doctorate in Educational Sciences in Venezuela, Abimael received his Master’s in Music Education from Bard College’s Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and comes to OPUS after teaching in an afterschool music program in Boston public schools.
A science and nature writer, Miranda Weiss is a parent of two OPUS students, a violinist and a cellist. The cellist is also a Frescoes violinist! Miranda has seen firsthand the ways music can change kids’ lives–helping them learn in new ways and see themselves in a new light. And she’s seen how the experience of playing in ensemble lets kids be part of something larger than themselves–and, through busking on the Homer Spit–earn some ice cream money too! As a kid, Miranda was a Suzuki piano student, and she loves that her children play portable instruments, and that they get the opportunity to play with the regional orchestra and other ensembles through OPUS programs.
Fireweed Academy teacher and a founding member of Fireweed Frescoes, Kim Fine is enamored to say the least to be a part of OPUS and the growing youth ensemble movement taking place in Homer. At Fireweed, Kim and her fellow teachers are thrilled to offer group music lessons to their K-2nd students and to have the Frescoes join the growing ranks of youth ensemble programs in Homer. Placing a violin in the hands of every one of their students has proved transformative and hugely rewarding for her and her students.
Ginnie became part of the violin program when her first grade son, Daniel, was part of the very first year of Preludes. She is a skilled cardboard violin luthier and cheerleader for the program leaders. Ginnie’s son is now a part of HYSOC and she continues to help with parent insights. She loves the skills of resilience and focus her son has acquired from this program and enjoys watching him use those skills in all aspects of his life.
Known at Paul Banks as “the Grandma Reinhart”, Linda is a long-time volunteer there. She plays both violin and viola and has been a part of the Preludes program since its inception in 2016. Her past experience as President and Treasurer of the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra is helping the OPUS music movement in Homer to organize and grow in a healthy and sustainable manner.
When Lyn retired after 33 years of teaching elementary school, she wanted to support vital programs in the arts and sciences that promote equal opportunities for all students. She was delighted to be part of a team that introduced the Paul Banks Preludes which allowed every student to have access to the joys and benefits of learning an instrument and being part of an ensemble. She is also personally delighted to have access to the joys and benefits of learning violin and being part of Codas as well as honored to be part of OPUS.
Daniel, an accomplished violinist, performs with the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. He has concertized with many orchestral groups and well known performers. He has also taught violin privately for over 20 years. He is currently the conductor for all HYSOC groups. In his spare time, he is a naturalist and sea kayak guide in Kachemak Bay.
Lisa has been teaching strings for over 30 years and currently has a small private studio in Homer. She earned a Master’s degree in Music Education from Miami University and has had extensive Suzuki method teacher training on both violin and cello. Lisa was the music director of the Homer Youth String Orchestra Club for 9 years, co-founded the Anchorage Talent Education Association, helped organize and run Southcentral Suzuki Institute for 10 years, taught at Birchwood String Camp, and the Alaska Fine Arts Camp. Lisa has been an adjudicator for the Alaska All State Orchestra and Alaska Solo and Ensemble Festival. In addition to her private teaching, Lisa has homeschooled her own two children. As a cellist, Lisa has performed with many chamber groups and community orchestras including the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, the Anchorage Symphony, Anchorage Concert Chorus, Anchorage Opera, Alaska Chamber Singers, Anchorage Civic Orchestra, Juneau Symphony and Basically Bach Festival.