WANCHI HUANG, Professor
Wanchi, born in 1970, began violin lessons with her mother in her native country Taiwan at the age of six after initially studying a year and a half of piano. Before the age of 13, she had won numerous Taiwan-wide competitions in both violin and piano including the Taiwan National Violin Competition at age 12. At age 13, she made a decision to concentrate on violin and came to the United States to study with Daniel Heifetz and Shirley Givens at the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Division, later doing so while concurrently attending the Baltimore School for the Arts. At age 15, she made her solo debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Catherine Comet.
Wanchi has received her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1990, her Masters of Music from The Julliard School in 1992, and her Doctor of Music from the Indiana University School of Music in 1996. Her teachers included Jasha Brodsky, Jaime Laredo, Dorothy Delay, Naoko Tanaka, and Franco Gulli. She has appeared in the master classes of Isaac Stern, Joseph Gingold, Lorand Fenyves, and Camilla Wicks. She was twice a recipient of a fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival and once of a full scholarship at the Banff Center of the Arts in Alberta, Canada. She has given highly acclaimed recitals and collaborated with internationally renowned performing artists in chamber music performances throughout the U.S., including in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, Minnesota, California, Virginia, and Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington D.C. Her performances have been aired numerous times on WFLN, the classical radio station in Philadelphia, as well as on WQXR in New York City. She has presented numerous master classes, as well as served as an adjudicator in string competitions domestically and internationally. She was honored to be invited as an adjudicator to the 60th Hong Kong Music School Festival in 2008. Since 2008, she has been the guest performaning/teaching artist for Bay View Music Festival in the summers. She has also taught full-time for a year at Tunghai University in Taichung Taiwan before accepting her current teaching position at the James Madison University School of Music in 1998, where she is currently an associate professor of violin.
Dr. Robert McCashin, born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, began playing the violin at the age of 11, following a short period of piano study. Under the tutelage of Jerrie Cadek Lucktenberg, Dr. McCashin progressed at a rapid pace, becoming the Co-Concertmaster of the Chattanooga Youth Symphony at age 14, and Concertmaster by age 15. A year later, at age 16, he successfully auditioned for and won a position as a professional member of the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. McCashin completed both the Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Violin Performance at Louisiana State University. The following year, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Violin at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth, TX. During his time in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, he successfully auditioned for posts in both the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Opera Orchestra. As a member of the Ft. Worth Opera Orchestra, he was Principal violinist for four to five major opera works per year, having the opportunity to work with internationally renowned opera singers, such as Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo as well as a wide range of nationally known guest artists and conductors. He was also a member two professional string quartets. One, the Kimball Quartet, performed multiple annual concerts at the Kimball Art Gallery in conjunction with each of their major art exhibits.
In addition, he played performances with numerous other regional professional orchestras throughout north and central Texas, including the Wichita Falls and Waco Symphony orchestras, played in a variety of settings, including recording studio work in Dallas, as an orchestral musician for the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and in backup ensembles throughout the metroplex with a broad range of nationally known performers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne.
Dr. McCashin has studied with a variety of fine teachers, including Jerrie Cadek Lucktenberg, Dinos Constantinides and John Farrell, who was a direct student descendant of Galamian. Dr. McCashin has performed in masterclass settings with several well-known violinists, including the late Henryk Szerying. Dr. McCashin’s performance experiences include nearly 30 years of solo recitals, extensive chamber music performance and nearly 30 years as a professional orchestral musician. Along with his extensive performance background, Dr. McCashin has taught violin at the college/university level for more than 35 years. His students have gone on to well established graduate programs, are highly successful teachers in the public schools and perform professionally as members of chamber ensembles and orchestras throughout many locations across the U.S.
Dr. McCashin guest conducts in a variety of settings, including Regional and All-State Orchestras across the US, and is invited frequently to present conducting workshops and seminars for state teacher conferences throughout the nation.
He is, as well, a successful writer and arranger of educational publications, having now published nearly 50 works for the Grade I through VI levels. His original works and arrangements are published by both The FJH Music Company in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and Tempo Press of Ann Arbor, MI. He has been a member of the Board of the Virginia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, Chair of the ASTA National Merle Isaac Composition Competition, and Founder, Past President and National Board member for the College Orchestra Directors Association.
He is currently a full professor in the School of Music at James Madison University, where he is the Director of Orchestras and Professor of Conducting and Violin.
Max Rabinovitsj attended the Royal Brussels Conservatory of Music (Belgium) and is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music. He has been the concertmaster of the Ottawa (Ontario) Philharmonic, the New Orleans Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the Nice (France) Orchestra and the Gulbenkian (Portugal) Orchestra. He was also Associate conductor of the Nice and Gulbenkian Orchestras. In Chamber Music, he participated at the Marlboro Music Festival for six years, found the St. Louis String Quartet, which was in residence at Washington University. In Europe, he founded the Trio da Vinci, which toured extensively on that continent. He was Director of Festivals in Entrecasteaux, France and in Sintra and Evora in Portugal.
Max debuted as a solo recitalist in New York City at Alice Tully Hall, in Lincoln Center, and performed the Bach Double concerto in Carnegie Hall with Isaac Stern. As a conductor, he became well known for his interpretations of the classical repertoire and his work with Youth Orchestras. He conducted great artists such as Rostropovich, Jaime Laredo, Gil Shaham, Viktoria Mullova, Maria Joao Pires, Davide Gueringas, Roger Pascal, Pierre Amoyal and many others. As soloist, Max has played under James Levine, Leon Fleisher, Max Rudolf, Thomas Mayer, Walter Susskind, Vladimir Goldschman, Jerzy Semkov, Lukas Foss, Claudio Scimone, Eleazar De Carvalho, Michel Tabachnik, and Philippe Bender.Max has been a Professor at Washington University, the University of Texas and the University of Evora (Portugal). He has also taught at the Nice Conservatory (France) and Edgecliff Academy in Cincinnati. He is currently residing in Charlottesville, Virginia with his wife, Mary. He met his wife, a harpist, when they were both students at The Curtis Institute of Music.