Now in it’s 25th year, Dr. Vincent Phelan and Mrs. Elizabeth Council-Phelan founded the Corryville Suzuki Project (CSP) in 1995, an accelerated family-oriented music program that offers violin and viola instruction to children ages 4-18 from all parts of the Greater Cincinnati area. Vincent and Elizabeth have 57 combined years of teaching experience and enjoy working with students of all ages and levels and train instructors. In addition to serving as Co-Artistic Directors of the CSP and TEEN STRINGS, and the Cincinnati City-Wide Suzuki Camp, the Phelans also 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.
Dr. Vincent Phelan
Vincent, violinist and violist, is Concertmaster of the Middletown Symphony, and liturgical musician at the Community of the Good Shepherd Parish. 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 fiddle in the Cincinnati bluegrass 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 and the Cincinnati Dominican Seminary. Formerly, Vincent was Instructor of Strings and Chamber Music at Ursuline Academy of Cincinnati. 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. Since 1998, Vincent has been teaching at summer Suzuki Institutes with his wife Elizabeth When he is not performing or teaching, Vincent enjoys spending time with his children, Peter and Veronica.
Elizabeth is Principal Violist of the Middletown Symphony. She has performed with the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, and the Richmond (Ind.) Symphony. As a college student, she performed with the All-American College Orchestra at Disney’s Epcot Center.
Elizabeth received her Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She 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. Elizabeth studied Suzuki pedagogy with Michelle George, Nancy Lokken, Joe McSpadden and Ronda Cole.
Elizabeth, Vincent, and their son Peter have formed the Phelan Trio performing on area recitals. As a member of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), the international music fraternity for women, Elizabeth has served in several offices and leadership roles and is a recipient of three SAI Professional Development grants.
Elizabeth has taught in Cincinnati at the Musical Arts Center and the CCM Preparatory Department where she also taught music theory. Elizabeth 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 “The Music Stand” in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan.
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.