This page serves to introduce the names and faces of the people who run Community MusicWorks and support the Providence String Quartet's many programs and activities.

Click here to learn more about our musicians or here to learn more about the Fellowship Program participants.

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Minna Choi

Elizabeth Cox

Jesse Holstein

Jori Ketten

Chloë Kline

Kimberly Young

Sebastian Ruth

Sara Stalnaker

Chase Spruil

Lisa Barksdale

Donald Tarallo

Bryony Romer

Adrienne Taylor

Laura Cetilia

Julia Emlen


Minna Choi, Fellowship Program Director / Resident Musician

Minna has been involved with Community MusicWorks since 1998 and was a founding member of the Providence String Quartet from 2001 to 2004. After attending the Hartt School of Music where she earned a Masters Degree in Violin Performance, Minna returned in 2006 as the Fellowship Program Coordinator. She rejoined the Providence String Quartet in 2009. She graduated from Brown University in 1996 with a BA in Philosophy and her influential teachers have included Eric Rosenblith and Lois Finkel. She has performed with the Boston Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra. Each summer, she performs at the International Musical Arts Institute in Fryeburg, ME.

Elizabeth Cox, Manager of Communications & Administration

Liz began her work at Community MusicWorks in 2006. Growing up in Boston, she attended Boston University for two years until she left, much to the dismay of her parents, to play drums and sing in Christmas, a rock trio. Many years and several CDs later the trio disbanded and the jazz/pop combo Combustible Edison was formed.

Combustible Edison recorded four CDs, toured the United States, Canada and Europe, and scored the film Four Rooms, collaborating with director Quentin Tarantino, among others. Personal highlights include performing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and providing the singing voice for Bridget Fonda in the film Grace of My Heart. Lowlights include several gigs at Sudsy Malone's, a combination bar, rock club and laundromat in Cincinnati.

Liz resides in a historic fixer-upper in Pawtuxet Village and, of special note, has resumed her undergraduate education at the University of Rhode Island.

Jesse Holstein, Senior Resident Musician

Jesse Holstein, violinist, is a founding member of the Providence String Quartet, and has been a resident musician since 2001. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory, he completed his graduate studies with James Buswell at the New England Conservatory. He is an active recitalist, orchestral, and chamber musician, and serves as concertmaster of the New Bedford Symphony. In 2003, Jesse was invited to join the faculty of the Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music. He has performed as a guest artist at the Montana Chamber Music Festival and Bay Chamber Concerts. In 2009, he performed the Brahms Double Concerto (with PSQ cellist Sara Stalnaker) with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra.
Jori Ketten, Media Lab Director

Jori Ketten began collaborating with Community MusicWorks and the Providence Youth Arts Collaborative in late 2007 to plan the March 2008 Imagining Art + Social Change Conference. Jori has worked with multiple youth arts organizations in Providence and in international locations as a teacher, documentarian, and special projects coordinator. To learn more about her work, visit
Chloë Kline, Education Director / Resident Musician

Chloë received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she was a viola student of Martha Katz. While in Houston, Chloë was the Chamber Music Assistant at the Shepherd School, and also taught violin and viola at the Brazoswood High School and the Lake Jackson Intermediate School in Lake Jackson. Other influential teachers include Karen Tuttle, Roberto Diaz, and Richard Young. Chloë has also studied chamber music with members of the Vermeer, Juilliard, Guarneri, Cleveland, American, Orion, Brentano, Emerson, and Tokyo string quartets, and has participated the Aspen, Banff, Taos, Sarasota, Musicorda, and Kneisel Hall summer festivals.

From 1998 until 2000, Chloë performed in concerts and festivals in Germany and across the United States as a member of the Lipatti String Quartet, the graduate string quartet in residence at Northern Illinois University. During the same time period, she was the assistant principal of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra and principal viola of the Pamiro Opera Company, during which time she designed and implemented a series of educational concerts for the Green Bay public schools. In 2005, Chloë received a Master's degree in Arts in Education from Harvard University's Graduate School of Education.

Chloë completed the Community MusicWorks Fellowship Program in 2008, as a member of the pilot class.

Sebastian Ruth, Founder & Artistic Director / Resident Musician


Sebastian Ruth is a professional musician and educator committed to exploring connections between the arts and social change. Mr. Ruth graduated from Brown University in 1997, where he worked closely with education scholars Theodore Sizer and Reginald Archambault on a thesis project exploring the relationship between the philosophy of moral education and music.

Over the past twelve years, he has assembled musicians and community organizers to build Community MusicWorks, a nonprofit organization that provides transformative social and musical experiences to at-risk youth and families in urban communities of Providence, Rhode Island. With a current operating budget of $660,000, Community MusicWorks is built around the permanent urban residency of the Providence String Quartet, the only such urban string quartet residency in existence.

In February 2000, Sebastian co-created a conference featuring revered American philosopher Maxine Greene entitled “Transformative Teaching in the Arts.” He arranged for Dr. Greene to return to Providence in May 2004 for a symposium sponsored by Community MusicWorks entitled “Education, Art, and Freedom: An Exploration of Philosophy and Pedagogy” and again in 2008 to give the keynote address at a conference entitled “Imagining Art + Social Change.”

A founding member of the Providence String Quartet, he was previously a member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ocean State Chamber Orchestra, and the Wild Ginger Philharmonic. Sebastian has participated in the Audubon String Quartet Seminar, the Yellow Barn and Apple Hill Chamber Music Festivals, and the International Musical Arts Institute. Influential teachers have included Eric Rosenblith, Rolfe Sokol and Pamela Gearhart.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Music Arts Institute, a member of the Advisory Board for the Sphinx Organization and a member of the Board of Visitors for the Longy School of Music.

In 2007, he was selected by the Providence Monthly as one of ten people most likely to change the face of Providence.

In 2010, Sebastian was the recipient of a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Learn more here.

Sara Stalnaker, Senior Resident Musician

Sara Stalnaker, cellist, is a founding member of the Providence String Quartet, and has been a resident musician since 2001. Sara has also performed as a member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, the Corbett Duo, Gallatin Duo, Kalistos Chamber Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, and Portland Symphony Orchestra. Her solo work includes a recording on the MMC label and a performance of the Brahms Double Concerto (with PSQ violinist Jesse Holstein) with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Community Orchestra. She is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and Rice University.

Chase Spruill, Resident Musician

Chase graduated with a Bachelor's in Music Performance from Sacramento State University in 2010, and has been a resident artist at Sacramento State since that time with his chamber group, Citywater New Music Ensemble. Chase has extensive teaching and performing experience (he began teaching group violin classes at the ripe old age of 13, in his hometown of Vacaville, CA), and we feel incredibly lucky to have him join the CMW community this year.

Adrienne Taylor, Program Director, Daily Orchestra Program

Adrienne has worked to bring communities together through music education and performance as a former member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago’s MusiCorps and the Boston Public Quartet, and as a CMW Fellow ('08-'10). Formerly assistant principal cello of Portugal’s Orquestra do Norte, Adrienne has also performed with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, the Eroica Ensemble, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. She attended Indiana and Northwestern Universities where her teachers included Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and János Starker.

Most recently, Adrienne participated in the Abreu Fellows Program at the New England Conservatory, where she studied El Sistema, Venezuela’s world-renowned community music education philosophy. Adrienne is thrilled to return to CMW as a Third-Year Fellow, and to incorporate what she has learned from El Sistema into her work with CMW students and staff.

Lisa Barksdale, Associate Resident Musician

Lisa earned her Master of Music and Performance Diploma from Boston University. At BU, Lisa studied violin principally with Lucia Lin. While there, she was also able to explore her passion for chamber music as a member of the Iris Quartet, studying with members of the HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank" Muir String Quartet, both in school and at the Muir Quartet's Emerging Quartets Program in Deer Valley, Utah.

Lisa has also recently discovered a new love of playing the Baroque violin, which she studied with Jane Starkman at BU and in total immersion this summer at Oberlin Conservatory's Baroque Performance Institute. She hopes to continue performing baroque music during the coming year.

On the other end of the musical spectrum, Lisa enjoys playing contemporary music. She was a member of Boston University’s Time’s Arrow new music ensemble and attended New England Conservatory’s Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice in 2011. In the Boston area, she frequently plays with the Atlantic Symphony and Neponset Valley Philharmonic Orchestras. Above all she remains committed to teaching, maintains a private studio in Boston, and she is looking forward to contributing to the success of CMW's daily orchestra program and growing as an educator.

Donald Tarallo, Graphic Design Consultant

Donald Tarallo has his BA in Studio Arts and Graphic Design from Clark University, his MFA in Graphic Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and he studied under Wolfgang Weingart at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland. He has worked as a graphic designer and photographer in Oslo, Norway, and as an identity designer in Seoul, Korea. Since 1998, he has maintained a freelance practice and has worked on the development of new identity systems for Sotheby’s, Icograda and the Hong Kong Design Institute. Don has taught graphic design at Clark University, Rhode Island School of Design, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art, and the Samsung Art and Design Institute. He is the recipient of a Marion and Jasper Whiting fellowship for typographic research in Rome, Italy. His work has been awarded by the AIGA and published in China, Japan, Korea, and the United States. Don is an Assistant Professor at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.

Born and raised in Worcester, Don has lived in Norway, Switzerland, China, and Korea. His hobbies include hiking, cooking, and photography, and his musical interests range from classical to folk, soul, and The Clash.

Don began work for Community MusicWorks in 2003. View Don's work at

Bryony Romer, Institutional Relations

Bryony has many years of experience in fundraising, organizational development, strategic planning, and project management. Prior to founding Bryony Romer Consulting, she was a managing director at David Bury & Associates, where she advised leading arts and educational organizations on implementing effective development programs, building organizational capacity, realizing institutional funding opportunities, and developing strategic plans. Her clients have included Meet The Composer, Creative Capital, Chamber Music America, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, and the Center of Creative Arts.

Laura Cetilia, Associate Resident Musician

After graduating with distinction from the School of Music at Indiana University, Laura accepted a position with the Graduate String Quartet at Wichita State University, where she received her graduate degree in cello performance. She has since performed in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Peru, and Italy. Laura has an experimental electronic group of her own, Mem1, which has allowed her to collaborate with the Penderecki String Quartet and perform at the Orange County Museum of Art, REDCAT (Walt Disney Hall), and at numerous galleries and festivals throughout Southern California. Mem1 curates the quarterly experimental music series, CTRL+ALT+REPEAT, which features performances by local and internationally recognized performers of experimental electronics and new music.

Laura completed CMW’s two-year Fellowship Program in 2008. Learn more about Mem1 by clicking here.

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