Annette Kraus is active in the local educational nonprofit arena, desiging projects, writing grants and providing operational support. A firm believer in the value of arts integration, Annette seeks to enhance opportunities for exploration of self and creative expression in the formal classroom. She holds degrees in Finance and Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania, and has worked in investment banking and IT project management. Annette lives in Portland with her four children.
Co-FOUNDer, Piano instructor
Anastasia Antonacos has given notable performances around the world as a solo recitalist and chamber musician. She has played at venues such as the Salle Cortot, Casa Orfeo, Holland's Alkmaar Conservatory and Alice Tully Hall. She has also played in Greece, Russia, France and Belgium, as well as various places in the U.S., including Washington, D.C., where she testified for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.
She won First Place at the International Young Artist Music Competition in Bulgaria, and she holds prizes from the Capdepera International Piano Competition in Mallorca and the Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Competition. In 2004, the Greek Women's University Club of Chicago awarded her the Kanellos Award. She attended the Holland Music Sessions, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival and the Wilhelm Kempff Beethoven Course in Positano, Italy, where she was one of eight pianists selected for an intensive study of Beethoven led by John O'Conor.
Dr. Antonacos has made solo appearances with the Northshore Philharmonic Orchestra, the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. She has collaborated with violinist Joseph Silverstein, as well as with members of the Vermeer, Cassatt and DaPonte String Quartets. She was a chamber music coach at Bay Chamber Concerts' Next Generation program for many years. She regularly serves as a masterclass teacher and adjudicator. A former member of the full-time piano faculty at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, she holds a master's degree and doctorate in piano performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Maine School of Music. She lives with her husband and daughter in Portland, where she was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of Portland by the Phoenix.
co-founder, violin instructor
Tracey Jasas-Hardel has been studying, performing and teaching violin for 35 years. Her passion for the instrument is notable and has led to numerous awards, performances, recordings, and teaching positions. After graduating from the Interlochen Arts academy, she went on to study with master pedagogues Linda Cerone, Victor Danchenko and David Russell at The Cleveland Institute of Music, earning undergrad and graduate degrees. While in college, Tracey attended Encore School for Strings in Ohio, as well as chamber music programs with the Audubon Quartet, the Cavani Quartet, and the Weilerstein Duo. She was chosen to play in the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, The Schleswig-Holstein Orchestra Festival, and the National Orchestral Institute. She was awarded a Fulbright grant for violin study in Berlin, Germany, where she attended the Hochschule der Musik and toured around Europe performing both as a recitalist and an orchestra member.
Upon her return to the U.S., she was selected to be a member of the U.S. Marine Band Chamber Orchestra, which performs chamber music in the White House at the President’s request for state dinners, meetings, and parties. While continuing study at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, she was a regular performer with the National Symphony Orchestra, The National Gallery Orchestra, The National Chamber Orchestra, and the Alexandria Symphony. After returning to the Midwest, Tracey became a regular performer with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and the Bel Canto Choir Orchestra and Waukesha Symphony, as concertmaster and principal second violin.
Currently, Tracey is living with her husband and three kids in Yarmouth, Maine, where she is teaching and playing chamber music. She continues to travel around the nation for performances and teaching appointments, enjoying every violinistic minute.
co-founder, cello instructor
Cellist Benjamin Noyes grew up in Portland, inheriting a rich musical/pedagogical heritage from his parents. He found local acclaim immediately and while attending Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, Irene Sharp invited him to study at San Francisco Conservatory's preparatory division. He won numerous awards, including top prizes in NFAA's ARTS Recognition, National Federation of Music Clubs, and National ASTA competitions, as well as being selected by Yo-Yo Ma to participate as soloist and recitalist throughout China, performing with the Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzen and Shanghai Symphony Orchestras. As a fellowship recipient he attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, Yale's Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Festival, and Meadowmount. As an undergraduate, he attended Eastman School of Music, received his BM from Rice University and his MM from Northwestern University, where he participated in the Chicago Symphony's Civic Orchestra, playing under maestros Pierre Boulez, Mstislav Rostropovich, and Daniel Barenboim. He held a position with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and various summer opera orchestras for five years before moving to Virginia to focus on teaching and performing.
After a year playing with the Roanoke Symphony, Roanoke Opera Orchestra and The Miami Symphony, and teaching as adjunct faculty at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Ben is building a private studio in Maine and continues to garner acclaim for performances of solo recital programs, chamber ensemble concerts and various non-classical ventures. His career with the cello has led him to collaborations and performances throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, as well as teaching, coaching, and motivating individuals of all ages and professions.