KARLA SMART HICKMAN
With almost 20 years of performing and teaching experience, Karla Smart-Hickman is a highly qualified professional violinist and private violin educator. Karla is brand new to the Skagit Valley and is already looking forward to leading the Fidalgo Youth Sinfonette, the Mount Baker Sinfonette, and string groups at the Skagit Family Learning Center as well as Silverbeech Elementary School. Karla teaches violin privately with the Peterson Conservatory of Music and Art, in Mount Vernon, and she performs locally with the Starry Nights Chamber Orchestra. Karla has an extensive background in Suzuki Violin Talent Education, including seven years of long-term teacher training with pedagogues Susan Kempter (University of New Mexico, 2006-2007), Ed Kreitman (Atlanta Suzuki Intitute Practicum, 2002), Mark Bjork (University of Minnesota, 2000-2002), and Dr. Louise Scott and Karen Hallberg (Northern Arizona University, 1995-2000). During that time, Karla also studied for one year (1998) at Arizona State University with Dr. Katie McLin. Karla received her bachelor's degree in violin performance from Northern Arizona University in 2000. She continued her graduate performance studies with Mark Bjork (UM) and Carmelo De los Santos (UNM). Karla gained chamber, solo, and symphonic performance experience playing in the Arizona Opera Company, the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra, the Sante Fe Symphony, and in summer programs, including the Meadowmount, Brevard, and Las Vegas Music Festivals. During her last seven years in Colorado, Karla cultivated a large studio of private violin students and also enjoyed playing violin with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Her students range from young Suzuki violinists, to traditional pre-professional students, as well as beginning and continuing adults. Karla enjoys working with people and earnestly strives to encourage each student to achieve their personal best. With the help of her mom, Jackie Smart, Karla began studying violin at the N.A.U. Suzuki Prep School when she was seven years old. Karla also loves dancing, teaching Zumba and water aerobics, the outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, and, of course, fiddling.