Classes & Ensembles
Youth and Community Orchestra Graduate Teaching Assistant
Born and raised in Seattle, Washington, Nicholas made his conducting debut with The Music & More SummerFest Music Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He earned his Undergraduate degree in Violin Performance at Central Washington University, and is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting at Oklahoma State University. His principal mentors include Nikolas Caoile, Dorian Keilhack, and Thomas Dickey
Samantha graduated from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors in Music Education and a concentration in Cello Performance where she studied with Meredith Blecha-Wells. She recently won the Oklahoma State University Concerto Competition and performed as soloist with the OSU Symphony Orchestra in early February 2018. She also won first place in the Ad Astra String Competition in February of 2018 and second in 2017. Sam has been accepted into a number of festivals such as Brevard Summer Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival and Hot Springs Music Festival. She is currently spending a year in Stillwater teaching and playing. Her future endeavors include more Suzuki training and the possibility of a Masters. Samantha is a dedicated teacher and has received Suzuki teacher training at the Chicago Suzuki Institute. Her students have attend North Central Honors Orchestra (NCHO), the OSU Summer Music Camp, the Arkansas Summer Music Camp, and CelloFest at OSU.
Dr. Jacqueline Skara
Co-Director, Violin and Viola Faculty
Currently, Dr. Jacqueline Skara serves as Assistant Professor of Viola and Music Education (Strings) at Oklahoma State University Greenwood School of Music. A native of Southern California, Jacqueline is a driven and focused string instrument educator and performer. A valued teacher who connects personally with her students, she designs innovative curricula and infuses modern technology into the classroom. Committed to community engagement, Jacqueline has worked with organizations such as Cheerful Heart Mission located in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Kabarek University in Kenya, and the Fairview Violin Project in Indiana, to create and develop string programs locally and internationally. Her global teaching experience includes proficiency in distance teaching and a commitment to culturally responsive pedagogy.
Jacqueline is a member of the ASTA Conference Planning Committee, the Advisory Board for the Music Educators Journal, and she currently serves as the Student Advisory Committee Chair for the National ASTA. Jacqueline has presented at the ASTA National Conference, the NAfME National Research Conference, Big Ten Academic Alliance Music Education Research Conference, and Desert Skies Research Symposium. Her research interests include pedagogical and descriptive analyses of string shifting, and the intersections of parental involvement, parent attitudes towards music in school curricula, and parent social/cultural capital.
An avid chamber musician, Jacqueline was a founding member of the Allium String Quartet and has always enjoyed participating in local groups that perform music outside of the Western art tradition. During her time in Chicago, she was principal violist of the Civic Orchestra and frequently performed with many regional ensembles.
Jacqueline received bachelor’s degrees in viola performance and French from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, a master’s degree in viola performance and chamber/orchestral literature from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and a PhD in music education with a minor in viola performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her primary viola teachers included Robert Becker, Pam Goldsmith, Roland Vamos, and Steve Wyrczynski. Dr. Brenda Brenner served as her dissertation chair and mentor throughout her PhD studies.