Professional, Experienced, Passionate
Rachel Aiken, owner and director of Stellare Strings, is a performing violist and violinist in Youngstown, Ohio. Additionally, Rachel is the Personnel Manager with the Youngstown Scoring Stage, extending her diverse expertise as a musician contractor. As a performer, she has performed regionally with popular acts such as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Disturbed, Michael Buble', Josh Groban, and in the classical realm with the Newark Granville Symphony, the Youngstown Symphony, the Warren Philharmonic, Opera Western Reserve, as well as performing at the prestigious Aspen Music Festival. She has appeared as a soloist with the Youngstown Scoring Stage as well as acclaimed sacred music ensembles such as the St. Joseph's Cathedral Choir. Rachel also specializes in improvisation and electric violin performances, currently with Steven Vance Entertainment. Rachel has also performed on fiddle with Gipson and Fitz at folk festivals and other bluegrass venues statewide. Rachel earned a M.A. from Ohio State University in String Pedagogy, and a B.M. in Viola Performance from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Rachel is proud to maintain a private studio of violin, viola of all ages and levels.
Megan Sullivan, violin, is an active freelancer residing in Cleveland Ohio. Accomplished as both a classical and contemporary performer, she has played hundreds of concerts, weddings, and events with repertoire varying from classical to rock, with a little bit of everything in between. She is comfortable performing, improvising, sight-reading, transcribing, arranging, singing and studio recording. A few of her most notable performances include playing with Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, and the Playhouse Square Orchestra.
Orchestrally, she has performed with The Firelands Symphony in Sandusky Ohio, the Playhouse Square orchestra, was a member of the Ohio Light Opera pit, and has been a substitute with many orchestras such as the Mansfield Symphony (Ohio), the Kentucky Symphony, and more. Specializing in weddings, Megan has played over 200 ceremonies! She can play any song request you may have; either as a soloist, duet, trio or quartet.
Equally passionate about contemporary music, she has played with many bands and ensembles. Most recently, she has performed with Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Wesley Bright & the Honeytones, and served as the vio-cellist with the Cleveland rock-band, Seafair. She has also been seen with bands such as Remember Jones (pop/soul), The Dan Varner Band (country), The Rainbow Emergency (neo-soul), multiple wedding bands, and more. She also enjoys performing her own songs using a loop pedal to loop vocals and violin, creating a unique contemporary-classical sound.
In 2014, Megan graduated from the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music where she was a student of Dr. Julian Ross as a violin-performance major. While at BW, she was grateful for many prestigious opportunities, such as performing in masterclasses with renowned artists such as Takako Masame and Stephen Rose of The Cleveland Orchestra, working directly with acclaimed composer Christopher Theofanidis, and playing in the BW Bach Chamber Orchestra all four of her years at BW. This auditioned festival experience entails performing alongside faculty and Cleveland Orchestra members. During the 2013-2014 year, Megan also served as the concertmaster of the Baldwin Wallace Symphony Orchestra.
Megan is originally from Cincinnati, where she studied with Ms. Dorothy Han and Mr. Gabe Pegis. She has attended various prestigious summer music festivals such as AIMS - the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria), Interlochen Arts Camp, Brevard Music Center, and The Boston University Tanglewood Institute. In these settings, she worked one-on-one with many acclaimed teachers and performers such as Dylana Jenson, Timothy Christie, Maria Sampen, the Attacca Quartet, and more
A native of Los Angeles, Susanna Reilly performed in her family piano trio at an early age. She founded a professional string quartet in high school and an award-winning piano trio at California State University, Northridge, where she studied with Peter Rejto and earned her Bachelor’s in Music.
Summers of 1991 and ’92, Susanna participated in the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute, working with Lynn Harrell, Sharon Robinson, and Daniel Rothmueller and performing under world-renowned conductors Leonard Slatkin, Yuri Temirkanov, John Williams, and Simon Rattle. In 1992-93, she attended Youngstown State University, studying with Michael Gelfand. In 1995 she received her Master’s in Music Performance from Carnegie Mellon University, studying with Anne Martindale Williams.
Susanna has performed concertos by Saint-saëns, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, and Shostakovich, participated in Taos, Blomstedt, Chautauqua and Roundtop music festivals, toured the Soviet Union with string quartet, and is a “silhouette” in Fantasia 2000. Presently, she is on the Adjunct Faculty at Allegheny College, where she can be heard in solo and chamber music concerts each semester.
Cellist Robin Hasenpflug performs as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. She is a roster artist with Magisterra Soloists, performing chamber music concerts in London and Toronto, Ontario. As a member of the Holter Music Festival, she performed in a concert tour of Italy to audiences in Sacile, Pordenone and Trieste. Earlier in her career, Robin concertized in Kaisersalutern, Germany, the same region where she played with the Pfalztheater Opera Orchestra. In the U.S., Robin serves as assistant to the principal of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in Madison, and appears as principal on their two most recent recordings, Momentum and Mozart: the Early Concerti. She continues her post as principal cellist of the Butler County Symphony Orchestra as well as performing with the Erie Philharmonic and Wheeling Symphony.
Robin’s exploration and broad musical experience has enabled her to share the stage with some of today’s most popular artists. She performs regularly with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and has played concerts with Evanescence, Josh Groban and Michael Bublé.
A native of Western New York, Robin‘s early studies included lessons with Robert Hausmann of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Bruce Cramer. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance from the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music where she studied with renowned soloist, Regina Mushabac. From there she went on to earn a Master of Music degree in Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of LaSalle String Quartet cellist, Lee Fiser. An avid life learner, Robin continued seeking inspiration throughout her career in the studios of Eric Kim, Hans Christian Schweiker, Richard Hirschl, Ann Martindale-Williams and David Premo. In addition, she was a participant in festivals worldwide including the Aspen Music Festival, The American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, The National Orchestral Institute and the Summertrios Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Hasenpflug is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she maintains a private teaching studio and serves as the adjunct cello professor at Westminster College.
Robin currently plays on a 2011 William Whedbee cello.
Maria Fesz (cello) is a Cleveland area native and has been performing as a freelance cellist throughout the Northeast Ohio area since 2005. Maria holds both Bachelor of Music (Mount Union College) and Master of Music (Youngstown State University) degrees in cello performance. She has performed regularly with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, Warren Philharmonic, and Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. Maria's other professional ensemble experiences have included the Ohio Light Opera Orchestra, Cleveland Opera Orchestra, and the Adagio Strings quartet on Holland America Cruise Line. Maria also holds a Masters degree in Library and Information Science, and currently works as a librarian in Westlake, Ohio.
Stephen Barr is an award-winning composer and conductor working in Pittsburgh, PA. He writes in a variety of mediums, from modern concert music of all genres to contemporary film score and music for media in orchestral and orchestral-electronic hybrid styles. His concert music has been performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Florida Orchestra, American Academy of Conducting Orchestra and Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, as well as university instrumental and vocal ensembles, and appeared on the programs of numerous regional, national, and international music conferences.
He holds music degrees from Westminster College, the University of South Florida, and West Virginia University. His primary teachers in composition included John Beall, James Lewis, and Douglas Starr. He has been a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Aspen Music School and Festival, where he studied composition and film scoring with John Corigliano and Jack Smalley. He has studied conducting with Kathleen Shannon, Don Wilcox, William Wiedrich, Robert Page, and René Clausen.
Stephen is Assistant Professor at Slippery Rock University, the Artistic Director of the Shenango Valley Chorale, and director of music at First Presbyterian Church in Sharon, PA.
Megan Faye was born deep in the forests Ohio where she grew up catching fireflies, collaborating with faeries, and immersing herself in the magical world of music. At the luminous age of 5, she was introduced to the violin by her mother and soon after, began her studies with world class performer Michael Davis. By the age of 16, she had received the Ohio State Showcase Award for 3 consecutive years, won both the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Mansfield Symphony’s “Young Musicians Competition,” received first place in the National Federation of Music Club’s “Young Composers Competition,” and had performed in various cities across America on tour with the Oberlin College Quartet. In 2009 she received her B.A. in violin performance from FSU's School of Music where she studied under the strict discipline, yet creative and loving direction of Beth Newdome. During her college years she became a FISHOFF International Chamber Music Competition finalist (2005), a member of Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (2006-2009), Concertmaster of Florida State Philharmonia (2005-2008) and a recipient of the Michael David Fellowship Award (2008). In 2009, Megan moved to New York City to be featured with the blues band, ‘VulpesVulpes’ with a residency at the notorious Ace Hotel. While in NYC she also became a founding member of the contemporary, self-composing octet, “A Chordial Brio” along with becoming a member of the “Empire State Symphonia.”Over the years, Megan has grown to believe that the definition of music is an ever evolving art form in an ever changing world. She has played on multiple film scores, composed music for avant garde performance artists, collaborated with jazz combos, bluegrass and Irish fiddlers, rock bands, classical orchestras, circus performers, flamenco wielding gypsies, house DJ's and whatever else one can dream of in a world of ubiquitous and progressive music. Megan has been known to play fiddle music with a baroque bow, improvise looped and distorted electric violin over spoken word poetry, and on occasion, has shown up to solo with classical orchestras in a sundress and bare feet. Megan currently resides with her husband and daughter in Ohio, playing with symphonies such as the Youngstown Symphony, Warren Philharmonic, and the Mansfield Symphony. She also collaborates with the Youngtown Scoring Stage, Opera Western Reserve, and the Youngstown-based chamber group, Stellare Strings. Megan Faye’s latest recorded work can be heard on singer-songwriter Treya Lam’s debut album, “Good News is On the Way,” produced by prominent guitarist and composer Kaki King and to be released June 7th, 2018.