Director of Toccata Orchestra & Orchestra Assistant
Orchestra Assistant & Chamber Group Coach
Director of Piano Chamber Music
Orchestra Assistant & Chamber Group Coach
TEAM OF EDUCATORS
Violinist Isaac Kay is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, Westmont College, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory College. Indebted to his instructors for their commitment and care in his musical training, Mr. Kay was fortunate to study under Rebecca Ensworth, Eugenia Poustyreva, Yue Deng, Thierry Stoeckel, Dr. Han Soo Kim, Linda Wang, Ian Swensen, Alexander Barantschik, David Halen, and Bing Wang.
Recently completing a project with Lincoln Center and Holland America Line, Mr. Kay has traveled to over 20 countries and performed over 300 concerts in 5 months onboard the MS Rotterdam bringing quality classical music to the open seas. In addition, he has performed throughout Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria, and extensively in the U.S.A., in renowned halls such as the Mozarteum (Salzburg), Dvorak Hall (Prague) Harvard University, Severance Hall, Mechanics Hall, among others.
In 2019, Mr. Kay was selected as one of nine students to receive the Center for Orchestral Leadership Training Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He has served in principal positions in the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Aspen Opera Center Orchestra, and the Aspen Chamber Symphony. In addition, Mr. Kay has attended the Credo Chamber Music Festival at Oberlin College, the Brevard Music Festival, and the Stringendo School for Strings.
Cellist Chenoa Orme-Stone is an active performer and music educator currently residing in Santa Barbara, California. Chenoa completed her Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of California Santa Barbara in the Fall of 2020. She holds a Master of Music from the Royal Danish Academy of Music and a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her teachers included Morten Zeuthen, Emilio Colón, Marc Coppey, and Jennifer Kloetzel, as well as members of the Pacifica Quartet, Danish String Quartet, and Calder Quartet. She has been invited to perform in masterclasses for such distinguished cellists as Yo-Yo Ma, Astrid Schween, Martin Menking, David Geber, Eric Kim, Anthony Elliot, and Chu Yi-Bing.
An avid chamber musician, Chenoa previously performed with the Diamond Ensemble and was a member of the Young Artists String Quartet at the University of California Santa Barbara. While studying at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, she regularly performed with the Copenhagen Philharmonic and the Royal Danish Opera Orchestra. She currently performs with various orchestras throughout southern California.
In addition to performing, Chenoa has extensive teaching experience and maintains a full studio of private cello students. She has also taught at schools and music education programs such as University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Symphony Music Education Center, Santa Barbara Strings, Lotus Chamber Music Festival, Westmont Academy for Young Artists, Copenhagen International School, and Seattle Music Partners.
Violinist Nicole McKenzie has performed widely as soloist and chamber musician. The Santa Barbara Independent declared, "McKenzie made a splash... she performed with gorgeous musicality.
Winner of the Sutton Chamber Music Award, she graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy, earned a BM Degree from Oberlin Conservatory, an MM Degree from Florida State University, and studied with Gary Kosloski at the Music Academy of the West.
Ms. McKenzie is Concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Folk Orchestra, teaches music for dancers at UCSB, directs and teaches for Sandcastle Music Together, coaches chamber music at Santa Barbara Strings, is a member of the duo, Continental Cafe, directs and teaches at Allegro Violin Camp, was a founding member of the Nicole McKenzie Improv Group (an improvising group of dancers and musicians), was a founding member of the Klezmer/Jazz group, Kalinka, regularly concertizes with renown pianist, Betty Oberacker, and maintains a private violin and viola studio. She performs on a violin created for her by Michel Eggimann of Rome, Italy.
Pianist Robert Cassidy has received critical acclaim for his performances and recordings of both solo piano repertoire and chamber music. He received his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky, Constance Keene, and Marc Silverman. Subsequent studies followed with the legendary pianist Menahem Pressler at Indiana University. Dr. Cassidy holds a Doctor of Arts degree in Piano Chamber Music and Accompanying/ Piano Performance from Ball State University, where he studied with Robert Palmer.
Dr. Cassidy often appears as a soloist and chamber musician. He has also been presented on radio stations WFMT in Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Series), WRUW, WCLV and WCPN in Cleveland, WKSU in Kent, Ohio, and WNYC in New York (Around New York). Dr. Cassidy has premiered solo piano works by the American composers David Noon and Keith Fitch. He is the pianist in the Cleveland-based, Almeda Trio (www.almedatrio.com) and regularly performs chamber music with members of The Cleveland Orchestra.
A extremely active and highly sought-after teacher and chamber music coach, Dr. Cassidy is in demand for master classes, workshops and lectures, private teaching, and adjudication. He maintains a private studio at The Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA.
Angela Ezeonyeka is a multi-faceted musician currently residing in Port Hueneme, CA. Her formal education began with a Bachelors of Music from Brigham Young University, emphasizing in Viola Performance. In 2010, she relocated to UCSB to study viola with Helen Callus in her graduate studies which she completed in 2016. While in her graduate studies, she performed for famous artists including Yo-Yo Ma, Gil Shaham, and members of the Silk Road Ensemble as a member of the Young Artists String Quartet in Residence.
Angela’s freelance work includes teaching and coaching for Santa Barbara Strings and Santa Barbara Symphony youth education programs, private studio instruction for piano, violin, viola, and beginning cello, studio recording, orchestra gigs with numerous orchestras along the coast, and performing for weddings and special events with the Santa Barbara String Quartet. Angela has performed on a few television programs like The Amazing Race Season 28 Finale Episode with the String Quartet.
From a young age, Angela has been interested in many different genres and styles of music. This interest makes her adaptable and desirable for recording artists in the studio. She has recorded on albums in folk, singer-songwriter, reggae, Irish, and Bluegrass.
Other Faculty Members
Sara Bashore, violinist, soloist and chamber musician, professional musician
Carson Rick, violist, professional musician
Logan Hodgson, cellist, Westmont Music student, etc.
Moon Man Whitehead, violist, Westmont Music student, also plays bagpipes and bells.
GUEST Faculty Members
Alita Rhodes, cellist, strings teacher, retired from Santa Barbara Symphony
Gerrie Fausett, cellist, public school administrator/ consultant
Miller Wrenn, double bass, professional musician, bass teacher
Margaret Langley, violinist, soloist and chamber musician, professional musician