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  Our Faculty   

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Katie Carrington, viola

Katie originally hails from Chicago and made her Carnegie Hall debut performing the Telemann Viola Concerto. She holds degrees from The Juilliard School and Rice University, where she had the pleasure of working with Heidi Castleman, Hsin-Yun Huang, and James Dunham. Katie previously played in the Louisiana Philharmonic as well as Principal Viola in the Breckenridge Music Festival. She currently serves as Principal Viola in the Mercury Chamber Orchestra and as the violist of the Axiom Quartet. 


In addition to her performing career, she enjoys a rewarding teaching career that fulfills her passion for sharing music with children. She previously served as Artistic Director of the Greater New Orleans Suzuki Forum. 


She currently is on the Board of the Southeast Texas Suzuki Association as well as working with the Houston Youth Symphony and Mercury Chamber Orchestra’s educational programs. 

Katie Carrington
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Matthew Carrington, viola

Violist Matthew Carrington enjoys a diverse performing career, from chamber ensembles to large orchestras. He currently is a member of the Mercury Chamber Orchestra, which performs music of all eras on period instruments to enthusiastic audiences. Prior to joining Mercury, he has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic and the New World Symphony. As a chamber musician he has shared the stage with members of the Borromeo, Attacca, and Argus quartets, as well as exploring folk music from around the world with the Apollo Chamber Players. A native of Fresno, CA,  Mr. Carrington holds degrees from UC Santa Cruz and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and counts Roy Malan, Mimi Zweig, and Atar Arad among his principal teachers.

Matthew Carrington
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Lorento Golofeev

Lorento Golofeev, viola

Lorento Golofeev is a member of both the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet orchestras, where he holds the position of Assistant Principal Viola. In addition, he is a member of the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra. In the past, he has also performed frequently with Mercury Baroque Ensemble and the Bach Society of Houston. Lorento maintains an active teaching career, both at his private studio and at the American Festival for the Arts, which is held every summer in Houston for middle and high school students.

Lorento started his musical career at the age of 5 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. First Lorento started on violin and later, at the age of 17, he switched to viola. Before coming to the United States, he worked in Moldova in National Philharmonic Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra and Moldavian Opera and Ballet Theatre, with whom he toured all over Europe.

In his spare time, Lorento enjoys arranging music for string ensembles in both classical and pop styles. He is the founder of Ion String Quartet, dedicated to merging classical traditions with rock and pop music.


Elisabeth Hope, violin

Elisabeth Hope began the violin at the age of three in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  She obtained two bachelor degrees (in music and communications, public relations concentration) from George Mason University and a master's degree in music performance from the University of Houston.  She has been featured as a soloist with orchestras in New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Texas.  Mrs. Hope is in demand as a freelancing violinist and guest violin clinician in addition to running a thriving private studio in Dickinson, TX, where she offers private lessons, group lessons, and numerous recitals and concerts throughout the community.   She is on the board of the Southeast Texas Suzuki Association, serving as 2020-2022 president. Mrs. Hope is pleased to be offering Hope Violin Studio's Region and All-State camp for its seventh year, and is excited to have such amazing faculty for this year's camp!  

Elisabeth Hope
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Melissa Williams

Melissa Williams, Violin

Houston Grand Opera Orchestra Violinist Melissa Williams is currently a regular substitute with the Houston Ballet and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and has also performed as a member of National Ballet of Canada, Esprit, Saskatoon, Okanagan, and Toronto Symphony Orchestras.

Born and raised in Kelowna, BC, Canada Melissa moved to Houston TX in 2012 to pursue Master’s Degree in Violin Performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music ('14)

with Paul Kantor after completing a Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance at The Glenn Gould School in Toronto with Paul Kantor and Barry Shiffman.

Melissa has participated in the Tanglewood Music Centre, Youth Orchestra of the Americas, Banff Festival Orchestra, and the Mannes Institute for Contemporary Performance in NYC summer programs, and participated in the Kronos Quartet’s professional training workshop at Carnegie Hall as a member of the Annex String Quartet. Melissa is also a founding member of the Ion Quartet, a genre-bending String Quartet whose video recordings can be found on their YouTube channel.

Melissa maintains an active private teaching studio in Houston TX, has served as a guest orchestra clinician in CFISD, and is a frequent guest teacher for Region and All-State preparation.

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Sergein Yap

Sergein Yap, Viola

A native of Miami, Florida, violist Sergein Yap studied with Ivo van der Werff at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, with Martha Katz at the New England Conservatory, and with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2016, Mr. Yap was selected as a Zarin Mehta Fellow with the New York Philharmonic’s Global Academy Fellowship Program. Committed to new music and collaborating with living composers, Mr. Yap is a core member of the KINETIC Ensemble, and Loop38. Additionally, Mr. Yap performs as a substitute with the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, and Sarasota Orchestra.  Passionate about arts education and community impact, Mr. Yap is a founding executive officer of the Houston Viola Society and was a Da Camera Young Artist Fellow from 2017-2019. Summer festivals include the Banff Centre, Caroga Lake, Heifetz, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West, Perlman Music Program, Sarasota, and Tanglewood Music Center.


Mr. Yap is on faculty at the University of St. Thomas, the Kinkaid School, Houston Youth Symphony, and serves on the executive board of the Houston Viola Society. For the past 5 years, Mr. Yap’s students have held the top chairs in HYS, Region, and TMEA All-State Symphony. Mr. Yap's class of 2020 & 2021 seniors were accepted to the Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory, Rice University, McGill University, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin College, Mannes School of Music, UT Austin, University of North Texas, and the University of Houston.

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