Dr. Vincent Phelan and Mrs. Elizabeth Council-Phelan are Co-Artistic Directors of the Corryville Suzuki Project (CSP) & TEEN STRINGS. With over 60 years of combined teaching experience, Vincent and Elizabeth enjoy working with students of all ages and abilities. They also direct the Cincinnati City-Wide Summer Camp and facilitate the annual Cincinnati City-Wide Suzuki Violin Play-In.
Vincent and Elizabeth are both active performers in the Cincinnati area with extensive pedagogical and conservatory training. As guest clinicians, the Phelans give lectures for workshops and teach and perform at Suzuki Institutes. Vincent and Elizabeth have both been awarded Studio Teacher of the Year by the Ohio String Teachers Association, in 2015 and 2020 respectively.
Dr. Vincent Phelan
A performing artist extraordinaire, Dr. Vincent Phelan is a passionate and dynamic educator, clinician, conductor, and speaker. As a unique musician with extensive knowledge of many musical styles, he uses his conservatory training, sense of humor, and love of people to bring out his own creativity and help students actualize theirs. As a dedicated leader in music, Vincent deeply values creating great performances while positively influencing the character of others.
Vincent is currently the Concertmaster of the Southwest Ohio Philharmonic as well as a liturgical musician at the Community of the Good Shepherd Parish. Previously, he was the Concertmaster of the Middletown Symphony for 20 years. He is an active recitalist, and has performed with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, and other musical organizations throughout Ohio. In 2015, Vincent was awarded Studio Teacher of the Year by the Ohio String Teachers Association. Vincent enjoys working with children, and has performed extensively for young audiences. He plays bluegrass music in the Cincinnati area and formerly performed with the band RETREAD.
Vincent holds degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where he studied with Won Bin Yim and Dorothy Delay. He received his doctoral degree from CCM in 2006. He has studied Suzuki Pedagogy with Linda Stieg, Nancy Lokken, Pat D’Ercole, and Ronda Cole.
Vincent teaches violin at God’s Bible School and College. Formerly, Vincent was Instructor of Strings and Chamber Music at Ursuline Academy and the Violin Instructor at the Cincinnati Dominican Seminary . Vincent also served as String Instructor and Orchestra Director at St. Clare Elementary School in Cleveland; and was interim Orchestra Director at Nagel Middle School in Anderson Township. He has provided Suzuki instruction at the Encore Music Studio in Columbus and the CCM Preparatory Department. Vincent served as an adjudicator for the 2011 and 2012 Cincinnati Overture Awards.
When he is not performing or teaching, Vincent enjoys spending time with his grown children, Peter and Veronica, and his dog, Mia.
Elizabeth is passionate about both high-level teaching and performing. In 2020, she received the Studio Teacher of the Year award from the Ohio String Teachers Association. Elizabeth and her husband Vincent have directed the Corryville Suzuki Project, an accelerated family-oriented music program that offers violin and viola instruction to children ages 4-18 from the Tri-State area, since 1995. Elizabeth directs the music theory curriculum, and the Phelans also train instructors and student teachers through the program.
Elizabeth is Principal Violist of the Southwest Ohio Philharmonic, and formerly led as Principal Violist of the Middletown Symphony for over two decades. Elizabeth and Vincent toured Ireland in 2018 performing as a duo in Ireland’s historic sites including Galway Cathedral, Knock Shrine Basilica, and Ballintuber Abby. She has performed with the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, and the Richmond (Ind.) Symphony. Elizabeth, Vincent, and their son Peter perform chamber music as the Phelan Trio. Formerly as a college student, Elizabeth performed with the All-American College Orchestra at Disney’s Epcot Center, playing daily shows with famous entertainers.
Elizabeth holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where she was a scholarship student of Peter Kamnitzer, famed violist of the LaSalle Quartet. She previously received her Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Elizabeth has studied Suzuki pedagogy extensively with over 15 Suzuki teacher trainers, including William Preucil and Michelle George.
Elizabeth is an active member of Sigma Alpha Iota, the international music fraternity for women, and has received both the Sword of Honor and the Rose of Honor. Elizabeth has held teaching positions in Cincinnati at the Musical Arts Center and the CCM Preparatory Department where she also taught music theory. Elizabeth also taught church music to grades 1-4 for the Guardian Angels Religious Education Program in Mt. Washington for eight years. Other former teaching positions have included Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan.
Elizabeth enjoys traveling to see her son Peter (cellist) and daughter-in-law Jenni (clarinetist) in Manchester, England. Her daughter, Veronica is a violist studying Environmental Studies at the University of Cincinnati. As a volunteer, Mrs. Council-Phelan currently serves as a member of the Patient and Family Advisory Committee at the Daniel Drake Center for Post-Acute Care in Cincinnati. Elizabeth also volunteers as administrator for the Local Home Repair Ministry at her parish.
Sarah McBryant, Student Teacher and Office Assistant
Sarah McBryant has over 10 years of experience performing in instrumental and vocal ensembles. She graduated in Cincinnati from God’s Bible School and College in May, 2020. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Christian School Music Education K-12 with a major in Violin. Sarah recently completed her student teaching and internship at the Corryville Suzuki Project, where she was privileged to be mentored by Dr. Vincent Phelan and Elizabeth Council-Phelan. Sarah is currently working as the Office Assistant for CSP and has begun teaching beginning violin students at a local church.
Kate Kilgus, Development Assistant
Kate Kilgus is a clarinetist in the Cincinnati area who is passionate about sharing music with others through teaching, collaborating, and performing. She recently completed a Master of Music degree in Clarinet Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She will continue her studies at CCM with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree beginning in the fall of 2020, where she will serve as the Graduate Assistant in Clarinet.
Ms. Kilgus enjoys performing in a variety of contexts and ensembles. She aims to make her performances accessible to a wide audience by programming an engaging and varied repertoire. Her solo recitals have featured classical and contemporary solo clarinet pieces, personally commissioned works, nontraditional chamber groups, and original arrangements. In Cincinnati, she has performed with the CCM Wind Ensemble, CCM Concert Orchestra, and CCM Chamber Winds ensembles as well as the Queen City Orchestra and several musical theater ensembles. She is the Development Associate for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, as well as Development Assistant for the Corryville Suzuki Project.
Ms. Kilgus holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Clarinet Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Lawrence University, both of which she received in 2018. She has studied privately with Christopher Pell, David Bell, Andrew Marriner, Amy McCann, and Meghan Cabral. She is a member of Sigma Alpha Iota National Women’s Music Fraternity as well as Phi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Lara Messerly, Suzuki Early Childhood Education Instructor
Lara Messerly is the instructor for the new Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) class as part of the Saturday Ensemble and Music Theory Program at the Corryville Suzuki Project. She brings her combined experiences of performing professionally, teaching violin privately, and raising five children of her own, ages 3 – 20.
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Lara began violin study as a Suzuki student at the age of 4. At the age of 8, Lara’s family traveled to Matsumoto, Japan, where she took several private lessons with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute.
Lara earned a Bachelor of Music and Master Music degrees in Violin Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studied solo performance and chamber music with Kurt Sassmannshaus and members of the Tokyo and LaSalle String Quartets. She attended Interlochen Arts Camp, Tanglewood Institute and Aspen Music Festivals.
After college, she pursued a career in violin teaching, performance and studio recording at LA East studios in Salt Lake City, with the Intermountain Chamber Orchestra and the Ballet West Orchestra. Her performance opportunities continued in Ohio with the Columbus Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, the Lancaster Festival Orchestra and Collegium Cincinnati. Lara has performed with well-known pop artists including, Aretha Franklin, the Beach Boys, Amy Grant, Peter Cetera and Mannheim Steamroller, among others.
Lara has completed Suzuki teacher training with Linda Stieg, Cathy Lee, Rita Hauck, Wan Tsai Chen, Lynn McCall, and Andover Educator Bridget Jankowski.