Lead musician, violinist
Violinist and fiddler, Kristen is an active musician in the Southeastern US and performs and records regularly with musical groups of various genres ranging from orchestras and chamber ensembles to old time, gypsy jazz, swing, bluegrass, and country, and has toured across the United States and in the United Kingdom. She is a two-time South Carolina State Fiddling Champion (2013 and 2019), the Jasper Magazine Artist of the Year for 2019, and was featured in the Summer 2020 Edition of Fiddler Magazine. Kristen performs frequently as a solo artist and with local groups Boomtown Trio, Flat Out Strangers, Parker's Back, and the Resonant Rogues (Asheville, NC).
She started playing violin at age 5, when a boy in her kindergarten class played Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for show-and-tell. She raced home that day and asked her mom if she could learn to play, and she has been hooked ever since! She received her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Oregon, where she studied violin with Fritz Gearhart, and received her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of South Carolina, where she studied with Dr. William Terwilliger and taught at the USC String Project under the direction of Dr. Gail Barnes. Kristen has been teaching Suzuki violin method since 2007, has taught private lessons and group classes in the Suzuki Academy of Columbia program since 2011, and also taught grades 6-8 orchestra at Kelly Mill Middle School in Blythewood, SC. Her students actively participate in local youth, region and all-state orchestras, and have won prestigious fiddle competitions such as the South Carolina State Fiddling Championship, Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, and Mount Airy Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.