World Class Faculty
Jennifer Best Takeda, Violin
Currently Assistant Concertmaster of the Sarasota Orchestra, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a Master of Music degree from Manhattan School of Music.
Luisa Bustamente Ruben, Cello
A Julliard graduate, Luisa has taught at the New World School of Arts, the Westchester Conservatory in NY, and at her own music private studio in Miami. Relocated to Sarasota, Luisa is now accepting students of all levels through SMC.
Lena Cambis, Violin
A native of Montpellier, France, Lena started her violin studies at the age of 4.
Stephen Fancher, Piano
Originally from central Connecticut, Stephen earned his bachelors and master’s degrees in piano performance, studying piano at the University of Connecticut, Trinity College of Music in London, England, and at the conservatory at SUNY Purchase in New York. Stephen has been in Sarasota since 2012, relocating from the New York area where he was active as a musician and teacher. Having been awarded Stamford Connecticut’s Teacher of the Year in 2012, he was the general music and chorus teacher at Julia A. Stark Elementary School for eight years. Stephen decided to transfer his skill set as teacher to the field of finance, working as a financial advisor with the Mariash Lowther Group at Merrill Lynch from 2012-2016 and now works at the Sarasota Opera as their Development Officer. Stephen has been giving private piano and chamber music lessons for over twenty years and is very excited to be on faculty at the Sarasota Music Conservatory. He has been very active in the arts community in Sarasota; sitting on the board of the Artist Series Concerts, the Sarasota Music Conservatory, as well as performing the role of assistant conductor for Key Chorale.
Meghan Jones, Violin
Meghan is currently the Assistant-principal violin of the Sarasota Orchestra.
Daniel Jordan, Violin
Gil Katz, Double bass
Milene Moreira, Violin
Jake Muzzy, Cello
Sean O'Neil, Violin/Viola
Tom Purviance, Piano
Ryan Rice, FluteRyan holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rutgers University. A native of Louisiana, Ryan also earned a Master of Music degree from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Louisiana at Monroe. In 2002, Ryan was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to study flute privately for one academic year in Paris, France with Philippe Pierlot. Ryan has held principal flute positions with the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale, Boise Philharmonic, The Florida Orchestra, Sarasota Opera and the Louisiana Philharmonic among others. Additionally, he has performed with the Sarasota Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic and as guest principal flutist of the Oregon Symphony. Having a great deal of interest in sharing the knowledge he has accumulated, Ryan has held Instructor of Flute positions at Odessa College and the University of Texas Permian Basin, as well as at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and has been serving as Interim Instructor of Flute at the University of South Florida. Outside of music, Ryan also pursues aviation and is a commercially licensed pilot of both single and multi-engine airplanes.
Laura Stephenson, Clarinet
Laura is currently the Second Clarinetist of the Sarasota Orchestra. Laura has an extensive performance resume including ochestras such as Cincinnati Symphony, Pops & Opera orchestras, Alabama Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Naples Philharmonic and The Florida Orchestra. Laura was a student of Franklin Cohen at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She holds a Bachelor's of music degree from the Juilliard School in New York City, (where she studied with Charlie Neidich and Ayako Oshima) and earned her Master's from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where she studied with Yehuda Gilad.
Nadine Trudel, Cello
Nadine is currently Principal cellist of the Sarasota Opera and member of the cello section of the Sarasota Orchestra. Before moving to Florida to join the Florida Philharmonic, Nadine Trudel held a position in the Boston Ballet Orchestra and performed with several New England ensembles as well as the Pittsburgh Symphony.
Diana Walters, Voice
Gwen Wahman, Piano/Jazz