String Project Faculty

The University of Arizona String Project is directed by Dr. Theodore Buchholz.

Caroline Bell fell in love with the cello at a youth outreach concert, where she saw one for the first time and decided it was the perfect medium-sized instrument. A decade later, Ms. Bell realizes her chosen instrument is a bit more than medium-sized, but has discovered many other reasons to love the cello. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 where she played Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, and has since toured all over the world. Ms. Bell spent her summers nurturing her love for music at famous summer programs such as Idyllwild, the Indiana University Summer Strings Academy, and the Marrowstone Orchestra Festival. Ms. Bell is currently studying with Dr. Theodore Buchholz to receive her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from the University of Arizona, where she plays in the Arizona Symphony Orchestra.

Gabby CiocaGabby Cioca began studying the violin at the age of three. She participated in youth string organizations until switching to viola in eighth grade, continuing her studies in both private lessons and ensembles. She sat principal chair for Tucson Philharmonia Youth Orchestra for two years and played with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and the Tucson Repertory Orchestra. She has performed in Carnegie Hall, and over the summer of 2018 Ms. Cioca has worked with the National Symphony Orchestra in the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute at the Kennedy Center. In her free time she enjoys reading and listening to movie scores.

Eleanor Faussane began as a cellist in his elementary school orchestra and discovered his passion for teaching music through his high school marching band experience. The exposure to such a different ensemble from his string orchestra inspired his pursuit to explore the diverse communities of music. Since then, he has been a member of the North Valley Symphony Orchestra, MoezArt Productions Pit Orchestra, as well as multiple honor bands and orchestras. He founded the Old Vail Middle School After School Orchestra in 2018 and actively participates in the University of Arizona American String Teachers Association chapter while also acting on the Collegiate Advisory Committee. Mr. Faussane is currently an undergraduate student at the Fred Fox School of Music where he is working towards his BM in Music Education, studying cello with Dr. Theodore Buchholz and piano with Dr. Daniel Linder.

Chiara Ferrero is an active chamber and orchestral musician and has performed across the U.S.A. and Italy. She has played assistant concertmaster and principal second violin in the Arizona Symphony Orchestra. Chiara is a versatile artist who is devoted to sharing and inspiring audiences through her performances. In May 2018, she was featured in the new album released “Desert Sound” by Jacob Acosta. During 2018 she performed with the RCJ piano trio throughout Tucson. Past teachers include Federica Biribicchi, Lee Roberts, Laura Tagawa. Chiara is currently earning her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, where she is studying with Timothy Kantor.

Jayden Frasure is a third year cellist attending the Fred Fox School of Music and he is studying for his Bachelors of Music in Music Education. He found his passion for teaching while attending the AMEA Regional festivals in high school. He later became a participant in the American String Teachers Association chapter at the University of Arizona and currently studies under the direction of Dr. Theodore Buchholz.

Melisa Karić, violinist, is devoted to deeply artistic and emotionally honest interpretations. Her passion for chamber music has resulted with the First Prize in the International Chamber Competition in Croatia and First Prize in Annual Chamber Competition of CSMV in Spain. She’s a new member of the Grove Graduate String Quartet at the University of Arizona. As an education ambassador, she is active pedagogue and wholeheartedly devoted to passing her knowledge to young students. After graduating with honors from the University of Sarajevo she continued her studies in CSMVigo in Spain. Currently, she is pursuing a masters degree at the University of Arizona.

Angel Moreno is a Music Education student at the Fred Fox School of Music. He was raised in Mexico where he began the violin. In 2014, he moved to Tucson, AZ for high school and he took viola lessons from Mr. Bourret. At the University of Arizona, Angel has taken lessons from professor Xiao, Roth, and Amato, teachers that had a significant impact in the way he plays and teaches music. Angel is currently studying viola under the tutelage of Dr. Gebrian, who has shared practicing and teaching techniques from her vast knowledge of music and neuroscience with Angel.

An avid musician and teacher, Carissa Powe started playing the violin when she was three years old and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Arts in Violin Performance at the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. She has won multiple awards locally and nationally for her solo and chamber performances, and she made her debut solo performance with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra when she was 12 years old. Teaching is a passion she has been pursuing for the past 5 years, and in her free time she enjoys discovering contemporary classical artists and hiking.

Raiden Thaler is pursuing a Master of Music degree at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music under the tutelage of Dr. Molly Gebrian. He is principal viola of the Arizona Symphony Orchestra and a new member of the Grove String Quartet, the Graduate String Quartet at the University of Arizona under the mentorship of Professor Tim Kantor. Raiden graduated Magna Cum Laude from Florida State University as a National Merit Finalist.

Lexi Fallgatter

Yvette Lanz

Carissa Powe


Faculty members Mr. El, Mr. Jayden, and Ms. Maria perform Auld Lang Syne for three cellos.