Dr. Eileen Brownell

Dr. Eileen Brownell is an avid performer and teacher of music. Eileen has enjoyed performing as a chamber musician in Michigan as a member of Helix 7, The Envision Chamber Consort, and the Great Lakes String Quartet. She performed as principal cellist of the West Shore Symphony Orchestra, and a section player with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic and others. Dr. Brownell has been teaching for just over a decade both privately and at institutions such as Bowling Green State University and the Ann Arbor School for Performing Arts. She has also performed, toured and recorded with the folk rock band Canada, a group based in Detroit, Michigan, who writes and performs all its own original material. As a member of the Brownard Duo, Dr. Brownell performed at the 2008 international Villa-Lobos festival at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Eileen earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance at the University of Denver, and her Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Cello Performance at the University of Michigan. She is a native of Sparks, Nevada.

Ruth Lenz

Ruth Lenz is concertmaster of the Nevada Opera and acting concertmaster of the Reno Philharmonic and Reno Chamber Orchestra. She performs as recitalist, chamber musician, soloist and concertmaster in venues throughout the western United States. She has shared the stage with such notable performers as Itzhak Perlman, Edgar Meyer, Luciano Pavarotti and Natalie Cole. Ruth is a violinist with the Telluride Chamber Music Festival in Colorado and with the Nevada Chamber Music Festival. She has also played in the Sunriver and Spoleto Festivals.

Ruth began her violin studies with her mother at age 2, earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Nevada Reno studying with Phillip Ruder, and her Doctorate from the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana where she studied with Sherban Lupu and Danwen Jiang.

In addition to performing, Dr. Lenz has a passion for teaching and maintains a large studio of violin and chamber music students. In her free time, she is an avid equestrian and outdoor enthusiast.

Ruth Lenz plays a Simone Fernando Sacconi violin.

Dustin Budish

A native of Reno, Nevada, Dustin Budish began his musical training at the age of eight studying the piano, but soon after a suggestion by his middle school strings teacher he realized his true passion was for the viola. While in high school, Dustin received numerous honors including principal viola of the Nevada All-State Orchestra and a Command Performance.

He went on to study at Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute with Jeffrey Irvine for which he received his BM in viola performance and then received his MM with honors at the New England Conservatory with Martha Katz. While in school, Dustin was a founding member of the Mephisto Quartet, which worked with and performed alongside members of the Cavani, Tokyo, Vermeer, and Cleveland Quartets, and received the Russell Award at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in 2001. As a Chamber musician, Dustin has performed at the Ravinia and Norfolk Festivals, and in 2005 was invited to Israel to perform with Maxim Vengerov's Mozart Project with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra.

As a member of the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Dustin was featured as soloist with the orchestra as a winner of the annual concerto competition under Maestro Alasdair Neale's direction. Also while in Miami, he served as artistic advisor and electric violinist to the "Friends" of New World, catering custom innovative fusions of classical music with hip-hop, electronic, reggae and funk.

Presently, Mr. Budish is acting Principal Viola of the Reno Chamber Orchestra, as well as Personnel Manager and Librarian. He spends his summers a member of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, and is also a regular substitute with the San Francisco Symphony.

Tianna Harjo

Tianna N. Harjo is a Reno native and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where she earned her Bachelor of Music, Applied Music (2004) and Master of Music, Applied Music - with an emphasis in Orchestral Performance (2008). She has been a professional musician in the Reno/Sparks area for over 10 years, performing with various local organizations such as the Reno Chamber Orchestra, the Reno Philharmonic, the Nevada Opera Association and the Nightingale String Quartet. She is presently the Personnel Manager and Librarian for the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Assistant Conductor and Principal Violist of the Susanville Symphony. She also enjoys arranging new music for the quartet to perform, specializing primarily in contemporary and rock genres. Aside from performing and arranging, Mrs. Harjo teaches privately and is constantly promoting music education, especially amongst the youth of our community.

Vanessa Porter

Vanessa Porter received her B.M. in violin performance from Butler University. During her stay in Indianapolis she played with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Also, while in Indianapolis she ran a private teaching studio of seventy students. After spending four years in Indianapolis, Vanessa relocated to Reno, Nevada where she finished a Masters of Music in the Orchestral Career Studies Program at University of Nevada under the tutelage of Stephanie Sant'Ambrogio. While in Reno, Vanessa has performed the Barber Violin Concerto and Mozart's 5th Violin Concerto with the University of Nevada Orchestra. She has also won contracts with the Reno Philharmonic and the Reno Chamber Orchestra. In the summer, Vanessa attends music festivals such as the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado and the Sunriver Music Festival in Oregon.

Carol Laube

Carol Laube moved to Reno in July of 2002. Prior to moving to Reno, Carol enjoyed playing for 6 years with the Lawrence Welk Show in Branson, MO. Before moving to Missouri, she spent several years touring the U.S. and Asia with the Mantovani Orchestra. Carol began her violin studies at the age of seven with Donna Cook in Arlington Heights, Il. She started her Bachelor's degree at Western Illinois University where she studied with Roland and Almita Vamos, and completed her degree at Rice University while studying with Edward Shmider and Raphael Fliegel. She received her first Master of Music in Chicago at DePaul University while studying with Mark Zinger and a second as a student of Phillip Ruder at the University of Nevada, Reno. Curently, Carol serves as the Operations Manager and Librarian for the Reno Philharmonic and also holds contracts as a violinist with both the Reno Chamber Orchestra and the Reno Philharmonic. Carol maintains a private studio in her home and also teaches with the Suzuki program in Reno. In her spare time (ha!) she enjoys hiking, camping, golfing, and baseball on the weekends with her favorite boys.