We have an amazing team of music professionals here at Vivace! Read the bios below to get to know our directors and coaches.
Denise Willey, founder and artistic director of the new VIVACE Youth Orchestra Program and Orchestra Camp, also founded the Lyceum Orchestra Program in 1987. She was named Utah Music Teacher of the Year by the American String Teachers Association, and was awarded Best of State (Children’s Orchestra and Camp) in 2018. An enthusiast of teaching Suzuki students to read music, she authored the I LOVE To Read Music! ™ literacy program and Easy Steps to Music Reading. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Utah. Mrs. Willey has directed hundreds of young musicians from across the country at the Lyceum Music Festival-Youth and Mountains & Strings camps, the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, and in school and after-school orchestra programs. She maintains a thriving private studio, is a registered Suzuki Teacher Trainer, and has served on the Suzuki Association of Utah board of directors for over thirty years. Mrs. Willey is the happy mother of six grown children—all of whom have received national recognition for their music—and the busy grandmother of nearly ten. She teaches orchestra at Willow Creek Middle School.
Suanne Bowcut (chorus) has been teaching and leading children’s choirs for over twenty-five years. She is currently the Administrative Director of the Utah Valley Children’s Choir and has been closely involved with this remarkable organization her entire career. Each summer the Children’s choir tours under the direction of Suanne and her husband Carl and has performed extensively across the United states as well as Mexico and Canada. She has taught music in public and private schools across Utah County and has been active in community art programs as well. She attended Brigham Young University and BYU Hawaii and is a licensed instructor for the “Let’s Play Music” music instruction system. Suanne is also a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and LOVES IT! She is a mother of six children and 11 grandchildren and is married to her best friend and biggest fan Carl Bowcut.
Kaitlin Rackham (violin) graduated with a Master of Music in Violin Performance from Brigham Young University in April of 2015, studying under Professor Alexander Woods. While in attendance Kaitlin placed 2nd in the 2014 Collegiate Level of the UMTA Concerto Competition, was a member of the Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras, and BYU’s Baroque Ensemble. Kaitlin was formerly the Concertmaster of the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Orchestra at Temple Square. Kaitlin has gained excellent experience in performance with high caliber ensembles and exceptional conductors. Beginning in her undergraduate career, Kaitlin has taught students of all ages with varying ranges of ability and skill. Additionally she has worked as a Chamber Coach for BYU’s SummerFest music program and as a sectional coach for several LYCEUM Orchestras and Summer LMFY. She teaches in Saratoga Springs and emphasizes the importance of sound quality and efficacy in practicing. As an advocate for the arts, Kaitlin was the committee chair of the 2013 Aspiring Musicians Competition for the TSO where she coordinated students, teachers and adjudicators to the great success of the competition’s first year. Through private lessons, Kaitlin is building a community of violinists in Saratoga Springs and surrounding areas that will propagate for years to come. Mother of three, Kaitlin loves to teach and perform, and help support Utah County with great pedagogical skill.
Hanna Cook (violin & viola) has loved “making music” since she was a toddler, although her formal musical training and violin studies didn’t begin until age 5. She currently studies violin & viola with Denise Willey. A weekly highlight for Hanna is playing as concert master in the Lyceum Philharmonic. Last year Hanna performed at Carnegie Hall with the American Fork High School Orchestra. She has soloed 3 times with the Utah Valley Symphony and with the American Fork Symphony. Hanna is the 5th of 6 children and she also enjoys playing duets, trios or quartets with her siblings for various occasions & events. When time permits, Hanna loves participating in recreational city sports and is a BYU sports enthusiast!
Matthew Shumway (bass) is an extremely well rounded and experienced musician. In his formative years, he studied with Dr. Eric Hansen, Professor of Double Bass at BYU. He attended Brigham Young University-Idaho and received a Bachelor’s degree in Double Bass performance. His teachers there included Dr. Aaron Miller and Dr. Joshua Skinner. Matthew then went on to earn a Master’s degree in Double Bass performance from Northwestern University in 2016 where he studied with Andrew Raciti, MM. As a classical bassist, Matthew has performed with many artists and groups including Renée Fleming, Alfie Boe, the Orchestra at Temple Square, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Idaho Falls Symphony, and the top Symphonies and ensembles at both BYU-Idaho and Northwestern University. He is the current Acting Principle Double Bassist for the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra. He was the winner of the 2013 Brigham Young University-Idaho Concerto Competition. Matthew has performed music of the baroque era extensively and played the Violone with BYU-Idaho’s Baroque Ensemble. His performance experience goes well beyond traditional classical music. He has played with a number of popular artists including Collin Raye, Richard Marx, and David Archuleta. He also plays and sings with the Mama’s Boys, his family’s bluegrass band. In September, 2014 Matthew married his wife Eliza. They currently live in Pleasant Grove where he teaches privately.
Britney Anglesey (viola) is the principal violist of the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra and has played locally with the Utah Valley Symphony and Oquirrh Mountain Symphony. She is a judge for the TSO’s Aspiring Musician Competitions and teaches privately in Lehi. She is a sectional coach for the LYCEUM youth orchestras and Summer LMFY program. She received her BS in Child Development with a minor in music from BYU-Idaho, where she studied with Dr. Kevin Call and toured Europe with the school’s Chamber Ensemble. Growing up in Idaho she enjoyed playing in quartets and local symphonies. She has played in international chamber workshops and enjoys focusing on ensemble work. Dedicated to furthering quality musical experiences and education in all areas, Britney helps coordinate outreach tours and concerts for musically underserved communities in the state of Utah. She has been playing viola for 25 years and values the importance of lifelong musicianship for her students and community. She has a wonderfully supportive family and enjoys reading, traveling, sewing, camping and other outdoor activities.
Catherine A. Schulzke (cello) has played cello since she was a toddler and has been teaching since 2005. As of June, she has completed all levels of Suzuki cello teacher training. She has soloed multiple times with the Utah Symphony, as well as with many other orchestras. She also serves regularly in the Orchestra at Temple Square as co-principal cellist. She has been a guest clinician at several camps and workshops in Utah and Idaho, including Bryce Canyon Music Camp, Cedar City Suzuki Regional Workshop, LMFY, and Mountains and Strings chamber Music Retreat. In 2016, Mrs. Schulzke received a degree from Brigham Young University, and currently lives in Payson with her husband, Nathan and their baby boy (April 2019). In addition to her family and her faith, she loves reading, running, popcorn, and chamber music.
Ashley Braithwaite (viola) has been teaching privately since 2005, and is actively involved in the Suzuki Association of Utah’s annual ViolaFest! Her students prepare and perform at UFMC’s Federation every year as well. Ashley has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Utah in Viola Performance, and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Utah State University. She has performed throughout Europe and enjoys playing chamber music. She is currently the festival manager for UMEA’s State Jr. High Orchestra. Ashley loves teaching her SEVEN middle school orchestras, and endeavors to instill the lifelong love of quality music in each of her 300+ students. She is always looking for innovative ways to engage students in music in her community as well. Ashley also loves action sports such as Supercross, and can be found outside on her dirtbike wherever the sun is shining.
Timothy McMurray is an avid educator, performer, writer, and arranger. Always engaged in a project, Tim seeks to share his passion for music to everyone he can reach. Filled with enthusiasm, he works with a wide variety of students in crafting and sharing their love for music. Tim believes each and every one of us has an inner voice and something to share. Currently Tim is the Assistant Director of the University of Utah String Preparatory Division and Director of Orchestras at Olympus High School. In addition to these positions, he maintains an active violin studio and frequently appears as a clinician. As a performer, Tim appears across Utah as a studio artist, soloist, and chamber musician. From a young age, Tim began studying the violin with his mother Denise McMurray, former president of the Utah Suzuki Association. While growing up in Maryland, he continued his music studies in the greater Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. From a young age Tim developed a great love for chamber music. He has had the opportunity to study and perform with a variety of world class chamber musicians throughout his career including the extensive work with the Cypress String Quartet, Amadi Azikiwe, Hasse Borup, and the Colorado String Quartet. Tim holds a Masters degree in String Performance and Pedagogy Emphasis from the University
of Utah and a B.M. In Music Education from Brigham Young University. He currently lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and their two children.
Performing on the violin for over 25 years, violinist Kristi Geddes Jenkins, from Ogden, Utah, has toured throughout the United States and Europe as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral musician, and part of the rock band, Room 102. She was the first violinist in the Aquarelle String Quartet that was chosen as a resident string quartet at both the Deer Valley, and Yehudi Menuhin String Festivals, working extensively with the Muir and Alexander String Quartets, violist, Toby Appel, and cellist, Lynn Harrell. She was a founding member of the professional Kronberg Ensemble located in Omaha, Nebraska. She graduated with a B.A. in Violin Performance from Utah State University in 2008 where she studied with Will Fedkenheuer and the Fry Street Quartet. While there she won the 2007 Concerto Competition, where she then soloed with the USU symphony. She then went on to complete her Masters of Music degree at University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2010, where she studied with Rebecca Fischer and Julie Yoon of the Chiara String Quartet. Kristi joined the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra in 2012, where she is currently the Concert Master. Kristi has been a mentor and coach throughout her various chamber experiences and has taught private students since age 16, teaching ages 3 to collegiate. She is currently teaching violin out of her home and raising her four beautiful children.
Sarah Arnesen has been playing music since age 5. She has a B.A in Cello Performance from Brigham Young University-Idaho and a M.M in Cello Performance from the University of Utah. She studied with Karin Hendricks, Robert Tueller, Elliott Cheney and Pegsoon Whang. Sarah is the Director of Music at Paradigm High School’s in South Jordan and runs a private Suzuki cello studio. Sarah has played with the Orchestra at Temple Square or 9 years and enjoys performing with the Canyon String Quartet. Sarah enjoys traveling and has toured the United States, Canada and Europe with various orchestras. When not making music Sarah loves to run, go to the theater, and spend time with her family.