Dana Meyer, founder and Artistic Director of Music City Strings, is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music and has been passionate about teaching for more than 35 years. In her early years she developed and implemented the Boone County Schools Strings Program in West Virginia, was a faculty member of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, instructor and chamber music coach at the New World School of the Arts (Miami), and became a performing faculty member of the Tucson Chamber Music in the Mountains in Tucson, Arizona.
While much of her early teaching career was focused on the high school and collegiate level, Mrs. Meyer performed extensively with chamber music groups and major orchestras in the United States. She has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Denver Symphony, the Richmond Symphony, and with all the major orchestras in Florida. During her decade long tenure with the American Sinfonietta, she toured Europe annually and was part of the performing faculty at the Bellingham Music Festival.
While in Florida, Mrs. Meyer taught at the Dillard High School of Performing Arts and was instrumental in securing college scholarships for her students Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste, who have since formed the famed hip hop duo Black Violin. In 1999, Mrs. Meyer discovered a passion for the teaching of young students and established her first private Suzuki studio in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She immersed herself in the Suzuki pedagogy and became a protégé of Ronda Cole.
As her studio thrived she became President of the Suzuki Association of South Florida. In 2005, Dana Meyer established a violin studio in Franklin, Tennessee. Her dream was to create a program that would provide children the means to become confident, sensitive and beautiful artists. Music City Strings was the result of this dream. As Mrs. Meyer’s time is now mainly devoted to Music City Strings, other former faculty positions and posts include the Wintergreen Performance Academy, the Middle Tennessee State University Governor’s School of Music, the South Carolina Suzuki Institute at Furman, The Fine Arts Student Academy in Nashville, and President of the Middle Tennessee Suzuki Association.
In addition to her role as Artistic Director of Music City Strings, Mrs. Meyer is currently a faculty member with the Greater Washington DC Suzuki Institute, the Suzuki Institute at PhoenixPhest! in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Suzuki String Institute at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Kentucky and Auditions Coordinator for the Strings Division of Nashville Area Music Teachers Association.
Kurt Heinecke, Assistant Artistic Director
In his 35 years in the music industry, Kurt has been a music teacher, band director, touring musician, church music director, private music teacher, and studio musician. What has kept him busiest though has been his 22 years working with the world-famous “VeggieTales” and “3-2-1 Penguins” video series. As Music Director for Big Idea, his roles have encompassed song-writing, co-writing, scoring, arranging, performance, conducting, and production on over 75 million videos and 5 million CDs sold. His work has garnered 7 Dove Awards, the affection of kids worldwide, and many rolled eyes and compliments alike from parents! Currently writing and performing the score for the CBN series “SuperBook,” Kurt composes and produces on many music and film projects, and records his variety of instruments for fellow producers. His brass instruments, Irish whistles, and ethnic flutes can be heard in Disney Park projects around the world, including the brand-new Shanghai Disneyland!
With two sons playing violin and viola, Music City Strings has become a key part of Kurt’s musical life. As Assistant Artistic Director, Kurt is kept busy working on arrangements, playing in the band, and coordinating much of what happens behind the scenes.
Christia Chambers, Instructor
Christia Chambers made her orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall in 2008. A graduate with honors in Viola Performance at the University of Michigan, Mrs. Chambers received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from the University of Akron with honors as well. She is the recipient of numerous competition awards and scholarships. Besides being a grand prize winner of the prestigious Tuesday Musical Scholarship Performance Competition, she was awarded the Arden J. Yockey Scholarship for Strings, the Winifred Collins Scholarship for Music Education and was a James B. Angell Scholar.
A lifelong musician, beginning violin at the age of four, Mrs. Chambers is passionate about music education. She has dedicated herself to the pursuit of serious string pedagogy and has been a violin instructor for 10 years.
Kenneth Calhoun is Music City String’s performance coach and choreographer. Kenneth brings 35 years of experience and creativity to the program. With a background in Interior Design and a Vocal Performance degree, aesthetics and musicality are at the forefront of his expertise. Kenneth has for the past 30 years been designing and creating award winning high school competitive marching band shows. He is additionally sought out nationally, as a judge and consultant in the marching pageantry world. Kenneth judged for Winterguard International for 8 years and was also a performing member of Chimeras, an Independent World Class Winterguard in 2005, based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Kenneth has served as the Visual Caption Head for groups such as Memphis Sound Drum Corps, Fred J. Page High School Band, Independence High School Band, Giles Co. High School Band and writes and creates shows for many other award winning marching bands and winterguards.
Kenneth attended University of Tennessee and studied Interior Design and currently has his own business, Refresh. In 2006, he went back to Cumberland University and received a Vocal Performance Degree as a Tenor and was an active member of the Cumberland Chorale and University Singers for 4 years, as well as having the lead in several musicals produced by the university. Kenneth has also been the director and choreographer of 4 spring musicals at Goodpasture Christian School, including “The Sound of Music”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “The Wizard of Oz” and “A Broadway Revue”.
Kenneth is passionate about educating young performers in music and the arts and is motivated by his love of those activities and the experiences of the performing members. He believes in a strong work ethic coupled with a relentless pursuit of excellence. Kenneth continues to strive for ways to enhance his knowledge, so that he can pass that on to future generations of performers in the musical arts.