Ann Montzka-Smelser

Ann Montzka-Smelser began her violin studies with her father at the age of three. She later studied at the Oberlin College Talent Education program with Kazuko Numanami then in Glen Ellyn,Illinois with Rebecca Sandrok. During college Ann studied violin and viola with the late Pierre Menard of the Vermeer Quartet. In between receiving her Bachelors in Music Education and Masters in Perormance and Pedagogue, Ann studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. Ann was first prize winner in the Blanch Ellis Concerto Competiton and in June 2003, recieved the Byron Hester Outstanding Teacher Award. Ann has toured extensively with the Ruggieri String Quartet under Columbia Artist Manegement. She has held principal positions in the Rockford, Fox Valley and Illinois Valley Symphonies and is currently the concertmaster of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Ann is on the music faculty at Nothern Illinois University during the school year and is on faculty at the Colorado Suzuki and Chamber Music Institute at Snowmass and the Chicago Suzuki Institute in the summer months. Ann is also the Director of NIU' s Community School of the Arts violin program. Ann lives in DeKalb, Illinois with her husband, Linc Smelser and their two children Genevieve and Benjamin.

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