Ovations Faculty

Ovations Faculty & Conductors

2017 Guest Conductors:

Veronica Jackson, violin lessonsVeronica Jackson, Green Orchestra
Read About Ms. Jackson

Ms. began teaching orchestra in Wake County Schools elementary, middle, and high schools in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Jackson moved to Richmond in 1994 and began teaching in Henrico County, where she worked for 17 years at several schools including Byrd Middle School, Godwin High School, Freeman High School, and Tucker High School. In Henrico County, she coordinated many events for middle and high school orchestras. Ms. Jackson’s middle and high school orchestras consistently receive superior and excellent ratings in District Orchestra Assessments. In August 2012, Ms. Jackson accepted the position of Orchestra Director at Francis Hammond Middle School in Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS). She continues to serve with her energetic style of teaching. The strings program at Hammond has doubled since she has been there. The Hammond Middle School orchestra students have received superior and excellent ratings at District Orchestra Assessments. March 2015, Hammond MS was the only school in the area to have four ensembles in the District X Orchestra Assessment – three received straight superior ratings and the fourth ensemble received an excellent rating. Coordinated by Ms. Jackson, the innovative and collaborative programming in the ACPS Strings Program has made a direct impact on the increase in the overall numbers in the District. Some of these programs are 7th and 8th Grade Honors Orchestra Event, 5th Grade Fiddle Fest, Electrify Your Strings featuring Mark Wood, ACPS Summer Band and Orchestra Camp, and LOWER STRINGS BOOST! also known as VIOLA, CELLO, BASS DAY. Ms. Jackson is proud to have been named Teacher of The Year 2017 for Francis C. Hammond Middle School, making her a candidate for candidate for teacher of the Year for Alexandria City Public Schools.

Ms. Jackson has also participated in several conducting workshops with such names as Dr. William Jones of Iowa State University, Dr. Anthony Maiello of George Mason University, and Dr. Marvin Rabin. She has served as guest conductor and adjudicator for several local, regional, and state events throughout Virginia and North Carolina. She was recently appointed director of Arlington Concert Orchestra, an orchestra for adults who have returned to playing their instruments. It is a program that is part of Arlington County Public Schools Community Learning program. She is now enjoying serving as the newly appointed director of the McLean Youth Orchestra Repertory Ensemble.


ErinEberly_headshotErin Eberly, Gold Orchestra
Read About Ms. Eberly

Erin Eberly is a graduate of George Mason University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education. She is currently taking graduate courses toward a Masters in Conducting. While at George Mason, Mrs. Eberly studied cello with Loran Stephenson, member of the National Symphony Orchestra. Since 2003 she has been an active free-lance cellist and guest conductor in the Washington, D.C. area. She has continued to maintain a small, private cello studio in her home and is a regular performer with the American Festival Pops Orchestra. Since 2007, Mrs. Eberly has been the Director of Orchestras at James Madison High School. Her ensembles have consistently received Superior Ratings at local and national events, including appearances in Myrtle Beach, Chicago, Orlando, and Charleston. In 2012, Mrs. Eberly’s orchestras were given the opportunity to perform for the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Mrs. Eberly is the Director of the Potomac Arts’ Ovations Strings Academy. She is an active member of MENC, VMEA, and ASTA.



2017 Ovations Faculty:

EugeneDovgalyuk_headshotYevgeniy Dovgalyuk, Violin Coach
Read About Dr. Dovgalyuk

Yevgeniy (Eugene) Dovgalyuk, a native of Riga, Latvia, began studying violin at the age of six. He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance at the University of Maryland, studying with Dr. James Stern. He holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from George Mason University. His teachers have included NSO violinists Pavel Pekarsky and Peter Haase. Winner of numerous performance awards, Mr. Dovgalyuk is a Concertmaster with Piedmont Symphony as well as the American Studio Orchestra, and Associate Concertmaster with the American Festival Pops Orchestra. Yevgeniy regularly performs with the National Symphony Orchestra, Fairfax Symphony, Alexandria Symphony, and is founder of the Liya Ensemble. He is actively involved with Liya Music Camp International in USA and Ukraine, where he serves as Music Director, as well as Liya Dovgalyuk Foundation, in memory of his sister. He has performed throughout the USA and Europe, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Latvia, and Russia. Yevginiy also serves as adjunct violin professor at Liberty University.


MichelleFleischman_headshotMichelle Milligan, Violin Coach
Read About Ms. Milligan

Michelle (Fleischman) Milligan is currently the orchestra director at Robert Frost Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia. She has worked for Fairfax County Public Schools since 2011 and has taught at Frost Middle School, Willow Springs Elementary and Centreville Elementary Schools. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors College at George Mason University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. There, she studied violin with National Symphony violinist Peter Haase and conducting with Anthony Maiello. She was a member of the George Mason University Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, as well as the school’s pep band Doc Nix and the Green Machine. She received the the Achievement Award for Professional Preparation from the School of Music in 2011.
Ms. Milligan is currently the Personnel Manager and violinist for the Manassas Symphony. She also performs with the Friends and Family Chamber Orchestra, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Manassas Chorale and Fairfax Chamber Players. Her notable performances include those with Jay and Molly Ungar (Ashokan Farewell) and late fiddle icon, Pete Seeger. She also taught at Vienna Summer Strings 2013, Franklin Band and Orchestra Camp 2014 and was a guest conductor at Stringendo Summer Strings 2014 in Poughkeepsie, New York. She is an active member of the National Association for Music Education and American Strings Teacher Association.


Rachel McAleer Violin LessonsRachel McAleer, Violin Coach
Read About Ms. McAleer

Rachel McAleer is a Violin Teaching Artist at Potomac Arts Academy in Fairfax, Virginia. At Potomac Arts Academy, Rachel has a committed private studio of beginning, intermediate, and advanced violin students. In addition to teaching private lessons, Rachel teaches group classes for beginning violinists. Rachel co-directs Violin Bootcamp, a two week intensive summer camp for intermediate and advanced violinists. Rachel enjoys performing in the Washington, DC area. She regularly plays with the Arlington Philharmonic, the McLean Orchestra, and the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. With PASO, she has performed in many wonderful venues, including the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University.

In May 2016, Rachel completed a Master of Music program in Violin Performance at George Mason University. While at GMU, Rachel studied with June Huang and was concertmaster of the Mason Symphony Orchestra. In April 2016, Rachel gave a solo recital at the United Christian Parish in Reston, VA. Rachel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Pedagogy from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where her primary instructors were Mimi Zweig and Dr. Brenda Brenner. While at IU, Rachel studied the methodology of pedagogues, Paul Rolland and Shinichi Suzuki. These influential violin teachers greatly enhance Rachel’s teaching style. While studying at IU, Rachel was a lead teacher for the Fairview Elementary Violin Project, a music program for underserved children in Bloomington, IN. She also taught supplemental lessons at the IU String Academy. From 2008-2012, she was a member of the IU symphony orchestras, performing in a vast array of orchestral, operatic, and ballet performances. In 2010, Rachel performed a solo recital at Ford Theater at Indiana University. In 2012-2013, Rachel taught elementary general music, elementary violin class, and middle school string orchestra at KIPP DC public charter school in Washington, D.C.

Rachel is committed to developing professionally as a teacher and performer. She is an active member of the American String Teachers Association and is on the board of the Virginia chapter of American String Teachers Association. One of her duties as a VASTA board member is to produce and publish ‘Fingerboard’ e-newsletters for the string teaching community of Virginia. In 2015, 2014 and 2012, Rachel attended the national conferences for the American String Teachers Association.


MattRichardson_headshotMatt Richardson, Violin Coach
Read About Mr. Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Freelance Violinist/Violist and teacher in the DC Metropolitan area. He frequently performs with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, The National Philharmonic, the New Orchestra of Washington, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, The Williamsburg Symphony, the Apollo Orchestra, and the Mclean Orchestra. Other orchestral experience includes performances with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, the Virginia Opera, Opera on the James, the Mark Morris Dance Company, the International Chamber Orchestra of Washington, the Cathedral Choral Society Orchestra, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, and the American Festival Pops Orchestra. He is a frequent solo and chamber recitalist in the Metropolitan DC area, performing on such series as the Kent Chamber Music (DE) series, the Music with the Angels series (DC), the USAF Band Chamber series (VA), and the Fairfax County Spotlight on the Arts series (VA), as well as having performed in numerous DC venues including, The Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Millennium Stage, The Washington National Cathedral, The Music Center at Strathmore, The Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria, The Washington Masonic Memorial, The Church of the Holy City (DC) and many others.

Additionally, Matthew has been an active violin teacher and clinician in the Northern Virginia area since 2007, maintaining private studios at The Potomac Arts Academy at George Mason University, and out of his home in Centreville, VA. His students have gone to rank highly in all levels of the American Youth Philharmonic orchestras, the Mclean Youth Orchestra, and the Arlington Philharmonic’s “Crescendo” chamber music program, as well as leading sections in the Northern Virginia and North Central Virginia Senior Regional Orchestras, and the Virginia All-State Orchestra. He has also served on the faculty of the Corcoran Chamber Music Institute at George Washington University since 2014, and the GMU Ovations Summer Strings Academy since 2009. Matt’s primary teachers include Peter Haase, Zino Bogachek, Karen Johnson, Weigang Li, and Joseph Wargo.


BenPereyra_headshotBen Pereyra, Viola Coach
Read About Mr. Pereyra

Benjamin Pereyra graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education. While attending Mason, he studied viola with National Symphony violinist/violist Edwin Johonnot, NSO violist Raymond Scavelli and Kennedy Center Opera House violist Phillippe Chao. Mr. Pereyra had studied conducting with Anthony Maiello. He was a principal violist of the Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, and was one of the first string players in the school’s pep band Doc Nix and the Green Machine. Benjamin Pereyra was also a chartering member of the Rho Omicron chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and an honorary member of the band fraternity Kappa Kappa Psi.

Mr. Pereyra is a teacher in the Prince William County Schools. He performs with professional ensembles, such as, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Manassas Chorale and substitutes for Mclean Symphony. Mr. Pereyra has worked several years with National Symphony Orchestra Education for the Summer Music Institute. He has participated in rehearsals with the National Symphony and has performed in both, the Orchestra Hall and Millennium Stage, located at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Entering his 5th year of teaching, Mr. Pereyra spent his first three years in PWCS at Porter Traditional School and Forest Park High School. Benjamin Pereyra is currently remains the orchestra director at Forest Park High School in Prince William County.


ElizabethOHara_headshotElizabeth O’Hara Stahr, Viola Coach
Read About Ms. Stahr

Elizabeth O’Hara Stahr is a professional violist living in Northern Virginia. A native of Hershey, Pennsylvania, Elizabeth graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA in May of 2005 with a Bachelor of Music in viola performance, where in her senior year she served as assistant principal of the Temple University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Luis Biava of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In May of 2011, Elizabeth received her Master of Music degree in viola performance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC where she performed with the CUA Symphony Orchestra as both principal and section violist. Elizabeth has also performed in several premier ensembles as both principal and section violist throughout the DC Metro, greater Philadelphia, and south central PA areas. She has had the privilege of studying viola at CUA with Ms. Tsuna Sakamoto, violist of the National Symphony Orchestra, and continues to take lessons from her. At Temple, Elizabeth studied under Ms. Evelyn Luise, principal violist of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. She also studied with Ms. Alice Bish of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.

Elizabeth also has extensive experience with chamber music. She received in-depth training as a young player at several chamber music institutes and workshops. In addition, Elizabeth has benefited from the coachings of prestigious chamber musicians at Temple and CUA such as violinist Helen Kwalwasser, Philadelphia Orchestra violist Sidney Curtiss, and cellists Orlando Cole, Jeffrey Solow, and Michael Mermagen. She is co-founder of the Vivace String Quartet in central PA, formed in 2000, an ensemble that has performed several recitals and countless private functions in the Harrisburg, PA area. Elizabeth is also the co-founder of the Altra Strings in 2008, a professional all-female quartet formed out of The Catholic University of America with whom she currently performs as violist.


Bomin Collins, cello lessonsBomin Son Collins, Cello Coach
Read About Ms. Collins

Bomin Son Collins graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University with a Bachelor of Music Performance and received her Masters in Music Education at George Mason University. She started her music training early on the piano, but then switched to cello as her choice instrument at the age of 9. Since then, she has held principal roles in the American Youth Philharmonic, Boston University Chamber Orchestra and was a fellow member of the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship Program on a full scholarship.
As a cellist, she has performed and was featured as a soloist at multiple venues such as Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall and Kennedy Center. She obtained numerous awards from many competitions including a Grand Prize from the Third International New Praise for Piano and Strings. She has participated in master classes with Alban Gerhardt, Paul Katz, Norman Fisher and Joshua Gordon. Her principal teachers include Dorothy Amarandos, Glenn Garlick of the National Symphony Orchestra and late Marc Johnson of the Vermeer Quartet.
As an educator, Mrs. Collins currently directs and oversees over 240 students in five different levels at Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, VA. All her groups consistently receive superior ratings at participating competitions and state assessments. Her Chamber Orchestra, which is the highest level of five, was recently chosen to perform at Virginia Music Educator Association Conference in Fall 2016. Recordings are submitted and judged blindly, and the top programs across the state of Virginia are selected to perform for the conference.
In addition to teaching, Mrs. Collins enjoys being a music coach in the community and freelances as a cellist. She is an artistic conductor with Prelude Orchestra of the Capitol Youth Symphonic Orchestra, a premier youth orchestra group that serves the Greater Washing DC area. She continues to sustain her love for playing the cello as a section member in the McLean Orchestra and American Festival Pops Orchestra. She also serves as a faculty member at Ovations Summer String Academy, Vienna Summer Strings, and Cellospeak.


KathrynHufnagle_headshotKathryn Hufnagle, Cello Coach
Read About Ms. Hufnagle

A native of Northern Virginia, Kathryn Hufnagle has returned to the area as of the summer of 2014. Most recently Kathryn has held the position of Associate Principal cello of the South Dakota Symphony, a position she held for seven years. In 2003 she received her bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA having studied with David Wells and Peter Stumpf. Ms. Hufnagle received her master of music degree in 2007 from the Cleveland Institute of Music having studied with Stephen Geber, retired Principal Cello of the Cleveland Orchestra. In addition to playing in South Dakota, Kathryn has also served as Principal Cello of the Sioux City Symphony. She has also performed with the Omaha Symphony, Canton Symphony, New World Symphony, Mansfield Symphony (OH), New Bedford Symphony (MA), and the Boston Philharmonic. An active chamber and collaborative musician, Kathryn is a former member of the Sioux City Symphony String Quartet and the Augustana String Quartet. Both ensembles had a main mission of performing recitals and outreach concerts all over the Midwest.

While in South Dakota Ms. Hufnagle became widely known and respected for her love of teaching and successes of her students. She enjoyed working with younger students in her private Suzuki studio while guiding college students during her tenure at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. Kathryn has received fellowships to attend Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival. In 2007 she received the Samuel Mayes Memorial Cello Award from the Tanglewood Music Center for musical excellence. She has also participated in music festivals such as the National Repertory Orchestra, Yellow Barn, and Meadowmount.


Dewey_headshotnewGlenn Dewey, Bass Coach
Read About Mr. Dewey

Mr. Dewey has been a performer and educator for nearly twenty years. His clinics and performances of classical, jazz and commercial styles of music have taken him on tours throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. An active clinician and guest lecturer, Mr. Dewey has appeared at many universities, colleges, and public schools for orchestra and jazz festivals, as well as double bass symposiums. His extensive performing background includes his solo performance with the Millikin/Decatur Symphony in a world premiere of “The Eclectic Heartland” by David Burdick, a tone poem commissioned by Mr. Dewey, and his performances at the Kennedy Center leading the Glenn Dewey Trio. In 1994 he was awarded the Principal Bassist position with the “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band. (B.M., University of Illinois; M.M., Northwestern University)


KyleAugustine_headshotKyle Augustine, Bass Coach
Read About Mr. Augustine

Musician 1st Class Kyle Augustine, born and raised in Woodbridge, Va., joined the Navy Band in 2009. He received a Bachelor of Music in 2005 from George Mason University and a Master of Music in 2008 from the Peabody Conservatory, both in double bass performance. While at Peabody, he received the Olga Von Hartz award for outstanding string playing. He has performed at the Chautauqua Music Festival and Kent/Blossom chamber Music Festival. His teachers include Glenn Dewey, Jeffrey Koczela, Paul Johnson, Scott Haigh and Curtis Burris. Prior to joining the Navy Band, Augustine was a member of the Maryland Symphony. Additionally, he has performed with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, served on the faculty at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., and is an active performer in the Navy Band Chamber Music Recital Series. In his free time he enjoys playing with yo-yos, juggling, and performing magic tricks.