Strings

Carissa Hall – Violin:

Carissa Hall teaches voice and violin. She is a classically trained vocalist with experience in classical and Broadway styles, and is currently pursuing a Vocal music degree. She has performed in a number of local theater productions, as well as in a bluegrass/country band, in the Fresno City College choir, and at recitals of Fresno City College’s Intermediate/Advanced voice class. Carissa has been playing the violin/fiddle for 14 years, focusing initially on American fiddle styles, and later branching into Celtic music and classical violin. She plays locally for the Irish dance group “Celtic Motion”.

Derek Stewart – Violin/Viola:

Derek has his Masters of Arts in Viola Performance from Fresno State University, where he also played viola for the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra. He has also played in the Fresno City orchestra, Youth Orchestra of Fresno (YOOF), along with various chamber music groups in the Fresno and Clovis areas. He has been studying Viola and Violin for since he was 10 years old, and has studied under Saskia Dyer and David Shearen, and Dr. Limor Toren-Immerman at Fresno State. He teaches both Viola and Violin for the after-school music program “Accent on Access” at Madison Elementary. He has participated in multiple music festivals including InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy, Music in the Mountains Conservatory in Colorado, and Fresno Opera and Orchestra Summer Academy (FOOSA). He has participated in master classes with Rachel Barton-Pine, Meidad Yehudayan, and Misha Galaganov.

Devinda Gunasekara – Violin/Viola/Cello:

Devinda has been studying violin and viola for 26 years with various instructors in California. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from CSU Fresno. While there he performed with the Symphony Orchestra as principal violist under the direction of Thomas Loewenheim. He has taught for the last 6 years as a classroom orchestra teacher in both Dublin and Fresno Unified School Districts. He has taught all education levels, including elementary, intermediate, high school and collegiate levels. Devinda currently plays with the California Opera, Tulare Symphony, Orpheus Concert Series, and even the Trans Siberian Orchestra. In addition to his classroom teaching, Devinda has taught privately for 14 years, including violin, viola, and cello.


Esther Bulger – Violin/Viola: Esther Bulger Photo

Esther has been playing violin and piano for over 13 years. Her primary instrument is violin and she has studied under Limor Toren-Immerman, Shoanie Young, and Tim Johnson. Esther holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Performance from Fresno State with an emphasis in violin. She also studied piano in the Bachelor’s program at Fresno State and has over 7 years of experience teaching both piano and violin to children and adults. Esther teaches primarily from a classical perspective but also makes adjustments to curriculum based on each student’s individual needs.