We have an amazing team of music professionals here at Vivace! Read the bios below to get to know our directors and coaches.
Ryan Murphy was appointed associate music director of The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on March 27, 2009. In this capacity, he is responsible to assist Mack Wilberg, music director, with The Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in rehearsals, concerts, tours, and the weekly broadcast of Music & the Spoken Word. He also serves as the conductor of the Temple Square Chorale, the preparatory ensemble for new singers in Choir service.
Dr. Murphy has extensive choral conducting and professional musical theater experience. Prior to his appointment, he conducted six choirs in the Boston area, including two choirs at the prestigious New England Conservatory Preparatory School. He served for four years as the choral director at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, an internationally recognized secondary school affiliated with the New England Conservatory. He was the music director of the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in the St. George, Utah, area from 2005 to 2007 following five seasons as music director at the Sundance Institute in Provo, Utah. While in Boston, he maintained an active performing schedule, including collaborations at the Tanglewood Summer Festival.
Dr. Murphy graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in piano and organ performance and pedagogy. He holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from Brigham Young University and a doctorate in choral conducting from Boston University, where he studied with Dr. Ann Howard Jones.
Ryan and his wife, Jennifer, have four children.
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 thirteen. She has taught orchestra for over a decade and she currently teaches orchestra at Willow Creek Middle School.
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 Anne Schulzke (cello) has played cello since she was a toddler and has been teaching since 2005. She has completed all levels of Suzuki cello teacher training. Catherine 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 Pleasant Grove with her husband, Nathan and their baby boy Daniel. In addition to her family and her faith, she loves reading, running, popcorn, and chamber music.
Timothy McMurray (violin) 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.
Sarah Arnesen (cello) 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 for 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.
Kristi Geddes Jenkins, from Ogden, Utah, has been performing on the violin for over 25 years. As a violinist she 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.
John Shin was born in South Korea and raised in Utah. He has earned his Masters of Music in violin performance from the University of Utah. Since the early years of music making, his passion for chamber music became the number one priority in his music career. Over the years, he has worked with many world-renowned chamber musicians, including: Emerson Quartet, Takać Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, Doric Quartet, Jupiter Quartet, Brentano Quartet, and many more. As a reputable violinist in Salt Lake City, John continuously collaborates with the musicians of the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, faculty members of various universities, and numerous recording studios; LA East, Funk Studio, Soularium, Counterpoint, and MT Pit. As recent board member for the Chamber Music Society of Salt Lake City, he has worked extensively with the social media and networking side of the organization. His skill set for using computer software and marketing has been valuable to the society. Along with the skills mentioned above, John’s strongest skill is communication. As a creative thinker and diplomat, he is able to connect people and their ideas together to take initiative. His connection with many musicians and organizations around the Salt Lake City area validates his involvement in the community.
Elizabeth W. Marsh has served as Principal Cellist of the Orchestra at Temple Square for 10 years. She earned her masters degree in cello performance at University of Michigan under Richard Aaron, and bachelor’s degree in cello performance from the University of Southern California where she studied with Eleanore Schoenfeld and Peter Stumpf, and was principal cellist of her four symphonies there, collaborating with artists such as John Williams, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrè Watts and Sir James Galway. She has soloed with the Utah Symphony, Grand Junction Symphony, Debut Orchestra, Timpanogos Symphony, among others. She served a mission in Milano, Italy, and has been the cello soloist in Lamb of God production for many years. Her innovative cello book, The Scale Trail Challenge, is in its 3rd printing, along with its sequel, Up to the Bridge. She is an active cello teacher and free-lance recording musician. She is married to Gregory Marsh, and they have seven children, ages six and under.
Alexander Willey served four years in the U.S. Army as a combat medic in Kosovo. Prior to that, he won First Place in the entire country in the National ASTA String Competition in Atlanta, and full academic and music scholarships at Brigham Young University where he attended with a major in Bass Performance, and has guest soloed twice with the Utah Symphony. Alex has won many national prizes in Ballroom Dance competitions. He served as a missionary in the Orchestra at Temple Square from the time he was age 13 in 7th grade, the youngest music missionary in the history of the church. Alex was principal bass in All‑State Orchestra for a record five years. He was a five-palm Eagle Scout in the Order of the Arrow. Since retiring from the service, he is a busy free-lance musician.
Rebekah Lara Willey is a senior at Utah Valley University, where she has served as concert master of the UVU Symphony. Her teacher is Donna Fairbanks. Beka is double majoring in Violin Performance and Commercial Music (Film Scoring.) Rebekah has soloed with the Utah Symphony a record five times, along with the Debut Orchestra in Beverly Hills Utah Valley Symphony, with UVU Symphony among others. She was concert master of the Lyceum Philharmonic & Music Festival for ten years, from age 12, concertmaster of Utah’s All-State Orchestra, and performed in National High School Honors Orchestra. Rebekah started violin at 12 months with her mother, and also studied with Deborah Moench, Barbara Williams, and Katherine Eberly. She played her first full symphony at age 7, and solo violin in “Fiddler in the Roof” at 12. She won the Utah Prize in the first Stradivarius International Violin Competition, first prize in the Utah Baroque Competition, & 2nd place in the Grand Junction Symphony Competition. Teacher-trained in the Suzuki method, Rebekah maintains a studio of young violinists/violists, is assoc. director of new Vivace Chamber Ensemble, and is the string coach for the Vivace Orchestra Camp, Mountains and Strings, and Bryce Canyon Music Camp.
Miriam Wagstaff lives in the small town of Tropic Utah on the rim of Bryce Canyon National Park. She began studying violin at the age of six, adding viola at age eleven. Miriam served as concertmaster of the Utah All-State Orchestra 2018, and performed as All-Star Evening soloist with the Utah Symphony 2016. Over the past few years, Miriam has soloed with several orchestras across the state including the Utah Valley Symphony, Orchestra of Southern Utah, Southwest Symphony, and Timpanogus Symphony Orchestra. Miriam has participated in masterclasses with William Hagen, Stephanie Chase, Paul Coletti, Patricia McCarty, James Dunham, and Natalie MacMaster. Currently Miriam receives periodic coachings from Madeline Adkins, Bradley Ottesen, and Dr. Blanka Bednarz. Previous teachers include Prof. Monte Belknap, Dr. David Dalton, Dr. Judd Sheranian, Denise Willey, and Megan Cottam. An award winning fiddler with a particular interest in Irish/Celtic and other ethnic fiddling styles, Miriam was invited to fiddle with Russell & Lyndsey Wulfenstein at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, and on the live radio show “Life Under the Horseshoe.” Miriam was awarded the Utah state open championship in 2015. Miriam currently studies violin performance at BYU on full scholarship. She participated as first violinist in the BYU Honors Quartet 2019-2020. Miriam is currently managing a Bed & Breakfast in Tropic this summer and enjoying taking care of guests from around the world. In addition to her love of music, Miriam is also interested in becoming a midwife. She will begin a midwifery apprenticeship with Dianne Bjarnson of Pleasant Grove this fall.