Faculty 2015

Teaching Faculty


Philip Marten will be graduating in May, 2015 from Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where he studies with Cho-Liang Lin. Since he began playing violin at age 8, Philip has also studied under Norma Jean Seaton, Alice Joy Lewis, and Tiberius Klausner, and has participated in master classes with such esteemed musicians as William Preucil, Ivan Chan, Peter Salaff, Brian Lewis, and Takacs Quartet. Before attending Rice University, Philip served as concertmaster of the Kansas City Youth Symphony for three years, and before this spent five years in the Wichita Youth Symphony program. He also studied at the Heartland Chamber Music Academy for three years under the coaching of Jackie Lee. In 2010, Philip participated in the final round of the International Chamber Music Ensemble Competition in Carnegie Hall with Menergy String Quartet. Also in 2010 Philip won the Kansas City Youth Symphony concerto competition and performed with the Kansas City Youth Symphony. Philip was the winner of the Topeka Symphony Youth Talent Competition, performing as soloist with the Topeka Symphony in 2009. In 2006, he performed Vivaldi’s “Summer” on tour in Ireland with Ottawa Suzuki Strings. Other awards include the winner of the Stephen Paul Wunsch Foundation Scholarship Award in 2007, winner of a Fellowship to participate in the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in the summer of 2007 and winner of the String Competition at Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony in 2006. Philip has attended many summer music festivals, including Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Juilliard String Quartet Program, Aspen Music Festival and School, Meadowmount School of Music, Brevard Music Center, and Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute and Inspiration Point Fine Arts Colony sponsored by the National Federation of Music Clubs.


Olivia Marten began her violin studies at the age of five with Dana Bowen DeKalb and went on to study with Valerie Sullivan and Tiberius Klausner.

She has pursued bachelors’ degrees in both journalism and music, studying with Kirsten Yon and Andrei Grabiec at the University of Houston, and plans to continue her studies in 2016.

Currently, Olivia is fulfilling her love of coffee working as a barista and manager at Starbucks.

Prior to attending school in Houston, Olivia served as concertmaster of the Wichita Youth Symphony for three years, for a total of nine years with the program.

Olivia has been the recipient of numerous enabling grants and scholarships from the Koch Cultural Trust, private donors, and Peggy and Bill Shiffick.

She has attended many summer music festivals, including the Brevard Music Center, the Meadowmount School of Music, Sound Encounters and Ottawa Suzuki Strings, and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory.

More recently, she has spent summers performing and teaching various classes at Camp Encore Coda in Sweden, Maine.

Kaisaer Kaisaer Ainiwaer (Kaisar Anvar), pianist, born and raised in Karamay, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Northwest China, is currently in pursuit of his Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance at FSU, under the tutelage of Professor Read Gainsford. He began playing the piano at the tender age of seven, studying with one of the most acclaimed piano professors, Mrs. Tumris Musabayov, and continued his studies with the world-renowned Russian pianist and Professor, Svetlana Abdukarimova from the Tashkent Conservatory in Uzbekistan.

In 2006, Urumqi, he was offered to perform in a master class given by acclaimed pianist Dr. Richard Mercier, who toured Xinjiang at the time. This experience opened new perspectives, and comprehension for the classical piano repertoire composed by European masters. Encouraged by Dr. Mercier, Kaisar applied for and was accepted into the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan where he studied with Dr. Thomas Lymenstull, as well as chamber music coachings with Dr. Derison Duarte, Dr. William Chapman Nyaho, and Dr. Karen Walwyn. It was during this time that Kaisar had the opportunity to appear in National Public Radio with his colleagues, premiering six – hands – arrangement of “America” from West Side Story by Mr. Derison Duarte.

Over the years, Kaisar has been selected to participate in many master classes with world-renowned pianists such as Yoheved Kaplinsky and Jerome Löwenthal, professors at the Juilliard School of Music; Solomon Mikowsky at Manhattan School of Music; The 11th Van Cliburn Competition Winner Olga Kern; Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music; and Boris Berman, from Yale University. Apart from his success in his own hometown, Kaisar has won various competitions within the United States. These include, winner of the Florida State University Beethoven Piano Competition in 2014, winner of the Georgia Southern University Piano Concerto Competition in 2011, third prize in the Lennox National Piano Concerto Competition in Richardson, TX 2009, and winner of the Michigan Music Teachers Association Piano Concerto Competition in 2007.

Kaisar wishes to fulfill his dream to become both a concert pianist and collegiate piano professor in the future. He wishes to accomplish his dreams to make his family, his culture, as well as his beloved professor, Dr. Richard Mercier proud.

XjftTAzNDC6fNynL_awofqD9WKeFNl1MGpmdBiU9Ykw,oyhI6v1apQe77DW3O0BxUFeOplyBDZtxf3OlNDqLQqE,gwdNHOHhfPCVhroDlOV-ywXFJiztVkteel73Y7DV8S0Samuel Cho is the founder of In the Plains Music Festival in Topeka, Kansas. He serves as the Music Minister at First Baptist Church in Hinesville, Georgia, and is a member of  Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra. He is also the music consultant, and composes film music for Star Bright Donations in Lithia Springs, Georgia while he pursues a performance degree at Georgia Southern University under the instruction of Steven Elisha. Samuel was born in San Francisco, CA, but grew up and received his education in Taipei, Taiwan. His early musical experiences were primarily in drums, guitar, piano and singing a cappella. However, he found his greatest satisfaction in playing the cello.  He made his solo debut with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Honduras soon after he came to study in the States.  Since then, he has been performing with orchestras and choirs internationally. As a member of the Fairway Quartet, based in Kansas City and coached by Jackie Lee. They have received fellowships at numerous music festivals, including, Juilliard Quartet Seminar, McGill International String Quartet Academy, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Virginia Tech’s Intensive String Quartet Seminar, Accent at Cincinnati Conservatory and Heartland Music Festival.  In the past, Samuel was a member of the Yinqi Symphony, Topeka Symphony, as well as the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra. As an educator, he was the orchestra instructor at Seaman School district and also taught at USD 501 Topeka Public Schools in 2011. He served as orchestra conductor at Topeka Bible Church from 2009 to 2011. He also served as faculty member at New Heart String Camp in Houston, Texas from 2009 to 2011. Samuel was the Music Minister at St. Luke Episcopal Church in Rincon, Georgia from 2013 to 2015. Samuel released a Christmas album—Incarnation with pianist Shane Spangler.

Kenton Lanier

Kenton Lanier has held a private studio of violin and viola students in the Leavenworth, KS and greater Kansas City area since 2009. A Kansas City native, he is an active chamber and orchestral musician, playing in the St. Joseph Symphony, Topeka Symphony, Kinnor Philharmonic, and Benedictine College/Atchison Community Orchestra. He is currently pursing Master of Music degrees in Viola Performance and Musicology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

Kenton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Composition from Thomas Edison State College. Some of his primary violin and viola teachers have included Matthew Olson, Margaret Kew, Valerie Gardner, Alfred Abel, Robert Hagenbuch, Jr. Jackie Lee, and Scott Lee. He has participated in the St. Lawrence String Quartet Chamber Music Seminar at Stanford University, as well as the Heartland Chamber Music Festival in Kansas City. He has played in chamber music classes for the Miami String Quartet, the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin, the Harlem Quartet, and the Ariel Quartet.


Kenya Patzer has performed across the United States and Russia as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral member.  She began her violin studies at the age of 5 with Carolyn Sandquist and went on to study with Eleanor Allen and Tiberius Klausner.  Kenya earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, where she studied violin with James Maurer and chamber music with Basil Vendreyes, Richard Slavich, and the Moscow and Da Vinci string quartets.  She then went on to earn her Master of Music in Violin Performance from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she studied violin with Ken Goldsmith and Raphael Fliegel and chamber music with Brian Connelly and James Dunham.  Kenya has received master classes from Dorothy Delay, Eugene Fodor, David Updegraff, Joseph Silverstein, Ivan Zenaty, and Peter Salaff, among others. In addition to her solo and chamber work, Kenya is also an accomplished orchestral musician.  One of only a handful of musicians selected to perform two different years, Kenya is an alumni of the National Repertory Orchestra.  She was one of the youngest members ever accepted into the Topeka Symphony Orchestra and has performed with them a cumulative 13 years.  Kenya has been a member of the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra since 2003, both as a first violinist and as a soloist.  She was also accepted into the American-Russian Young Artist’s Orchestra during their 2002 season.  Kenya has also performed with The Woodlands Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of the Pines, Philharmonia of Greater Kansas City, Wichita Grand Opera, and Orchestra X of Houston.  She is also the former concertmaster of the St. Joseph Symphony Orchestra and St. Joseph Community Chorus Masterworks Orchestra.  Kenya is a frequent chamber musician in NE Kansas, collaborating with musicians at Kansas State University in Manhattan and Trio Fontana in Kansas City. Kenya also works at Topeka High School, where she teaches orchestra and physics.  In 2011, Kenya was awarded the Distinguished Staff Award for 1st Year Teachers and in 2012 was awarded with the state-wide Horizon Cable Telecommunication Award for 1st Year Teachers.  She also maintains a thriving private studio, filled with motivated, eager violinists.


Shannon Cho currently is a member of Chattanooga Symphony, Symphony Orchestra Augusta, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and South Carolina Philharmonic. She received her Masters in music performance at Georgia Southern University in May 2013 under Dr. Larisa Elisha. Shannon received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Washburn University, summa cum laude, with a minor in psychology.

Shannon was a member of the Topeka Symphony 1st violin section from 2005-2011, and was a member of the Lawrence Chamber Orchestra from 2005-2007.  Shannon was a founding member of the In the Plains Chamber Music Festival in Fairview, KS. Shannon has also taught violin privately since 2001, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. When she is not playing music, she likes to walk on nature trails and hunt mushrooms.


Carlos Cabezas was born in Ibague-Colombia. Recently he finished his first year of Masters in Violin Performance at Emporia State University. He is looking forward to transfer his studies to The University of Alberta in Canada.

Carlos has played violin with the following ensembles serving as first violin or concertmaster: Ibague Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Ibague Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Caldas, Philharmonic Orchestra of Medellin, Medellin Youth Philharmonic, Topeka Symphony, Washburn Symphony, Washburn Chamber Orchestra, Fetter String Quartet, Emporia Symphony, Emporia Chamber Orchestra, Emporia Piano Trio, Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra and All-State Kansas Philharmonic Orchestra.

He was granted full scholarship to study at Washburn University in 2005, and in 2013 full scholarship and Teaching Assistant at Emporia State University. During his studies at washburn Carlos has won the KMTA (Kansas music teachers association) in the category Freshman/Sophomore 2006 and Junior/Senior in 2007. Carlos was part of the Honors Fetter String Quartet that was the national finalist at MTNA competition in 2008-2009.

Carlos has studied violin with the following professors: Mr. Edgar Chamorro, Mr. Julio Camacho, Dr. Larisa Lebeda, Dr. Carlos Villa, Dr. Carlos Rocha, Mr. Gonzalo Ospina, Dr. Larisa Elisha, Dr. Ivan Zenaty, Dr. Jeremy Starr, Dr. Veronique Mathieu and Dr. Guillaume Tardif.

Carlos is a Musicnary violinist ambassador for the Seventh Day Adventist Church playing Christian concerts in SDA churches in Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Nebraska, New York, Washington State, and Alberta in Canada. Carlos in his free time loves to help the future violinists of Topeka teaching and motivating them to have music in their path and to consider it as a professional career.



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