String Faculty

Holly Smardo

Orchestra Conductor

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Holly Smardo has enjoyed many years of successful Suzuki violin teaching, not only in Arkansas, but also in Kansas City, Washington D.C., and in Illinois. Many of her students have successful careers as performers across the country. She also has served as Concertmaster of the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and continues to perform throughout the community.
Also, passionately committed to bringing musical opportunities to her community in Northwest Arkansas, Holly is a founding member of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been instrumental in making first class orchestral performances accessible to everyone, as well as new opportunities for students such as the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and Carnegie Hall’s Link Up.

A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Ms. Smardo later earned a master’s degree in Suzuki pedagogy and performance from the Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Her principle teachers include Tiberius Klausner, Kent Perry, and John Kendall. Recently, Holly was awarded the prestigious Certificate of Achievement by the Suzuki Association of the Americas. This award is presented to individuals who demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning and excellence in teaching. For more information concerning Holly’s Suzuki training, please visit this link: https://suzukiassociation.org/people/holly-smardo/

Holly lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband Buzz. Their two children, Carissa and Craig still enjoy making music, but have chosen to pursue professions in healthcare. Craig will attend the University of Arkansas Medical School and Carissa will soon graduate from the University of Louisville Dental School. Throughout the years many of Holly’s students have attended the Inspiration Point Camp String Camp including her daughter Carissa. She looks forward to giving back to an organization that has given so many students positive musical experiences and opportunities for success! http://www.hstudiosnwa.com

 

Andrew Chu

Violin

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Andrew Chu is a graduate of the University of Arkansas where he studied violin with Dr. Er-Gene Kahng and piano with Dr. Tomoko Kashiwagi.  He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in violin performance and a graduate certificate in collaborative piano.  Andrew is the Principle Second violinist for the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) and also a section violinist with the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas (SONA). While at the university, he served as concertmaster for the University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Currently Andrew teaches World Music at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and violin lessons throughout the Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma region.

Judy Rownak

Violin and Theory

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Judy Rownak attended the University of Arkansas and Phillips University in Oklahoma, majoring in Music and Elementary Education. She is married to John J. Rownak Jr., and is the mother of three grown sons and grandmother of thirteen. She is a violinist and pianist, and maintains a private studio in her home. She has been a violin and theory teacher at Inspriation Point String and Piano Camp for twenty-two years, and also teaches theory at the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra Youth Orchestra.

She founded the Fayetteville String Quartet and was also a founder of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, serving on the Board for 5 years. In recent years she has played with the North Arkansas Symphony, Civic Orchestra of Benton County, Tulsa Junior College Symphony Orchestra, The Oklahoma Baptist Symphony Orchestra and the University Baptist Church Orchestra and Handbell Choir, and Ozark Bronze Handbell Choir.

For twelve years she was the manager of the North Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and was the Marketing Director for the North Arkansas Symphony for five years. For several years she was the Director of the Miss Claremore Scholarship Pageant and worked directly with the Miss Oklahoma Scholarship Pageant. Recently she was named a Trustee on Opera In the Ozarks Board.

 
 

Cellist Rob Bradshaw has performed throughout the United States as chamber musician, soloist, and orchestral musician in venues ranging from New York’s Lincoln Center to the Regattabar Jazz Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Bradshaw has collaborated with artists Greg Sauer, George Crumb, the Grammy-winning Pacifica String Quartet, Laura Bossert, and Wayman Chin.  He has premiered new works by Robert Baksa, Anne-Vale Brittan, Rob Deemer, Shawn Garmon, and Marvin Lamb, and gave a premiere performance of Brian John’s A Glimpse of the Philippines at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.Mr. Bradshaw is principal cellist of the Fort Smith Symphony, and has performed with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, Opera Fayetteville, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Academia Filarmonica, and the Collegium Musicum at the University of Oklahoma. He has been a guest teaching fellow and artist at the Stamford International Chamber Music Festival in Stamford, England. In addition to performing, Mr. Bradshaw maintains an active cello studio in Norman, Oklahoma, and is artistic director of Scissortail Productions, Inc., an OKC metro area Chamber Music series featuring young, energetic professional musicians from around Oklahoma. He serves on the faculties of the University of Oklahoma and the Norman School for Strings.

Mr. Bradshaw is currently working with composers on three newly commissioned works for the cello, as part of a larger project that explores the emotional impact of severe weather. All three compositions feature composers who live and work in Oklahoma, the center of “Tornado Alley.” During the 2016-2017 season, Mr. Bradshaw performed as guest soloist with the Fort Smith Symphony, premiering a new concerto for clarinet, violin, and cello by Patrick Conlon.

He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma, a Master’s Degree with distinction from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Music degree with distinction from the University of Oklahoma. His principal teachers include Jonathan Ruck, Greg Sauer, Terry King, Wayman Chin, and Roger Tapping. He has performed in master classes for Laurence Lesser, Paul Katz, Colin Carr, Matt Haimovitz, Emilio Colón, and the Pacifica Quartet. He is a member of the American String Teachers Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Society for Music Theory, the College Music Society, and the Oklahoma Music Educators Association.