Sunday, October 30, 3:00 PM, La Salle-Peru Auditorium

Brahms Double Concerto

Schubert Symphony No.8, Unfinished

Ann Montzka, violin

Linc Smelser, cello

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Ann Montzka Smelser began playing violin at the age of 3 with the help of her father, Arthur Montzka.  Later she studied under Kazuko Numanami and Sarah Hersh at the Oberlin College Suzuki Program and later with Rebecca Sandrok and Pierre Menard.
In between receiving her Bachelors of Music Education and Masters in Performance and Pedagogue at Northern Illinois University, Ann studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan.
Ann has performed with many orchestras (and was proud to sit concertmaster with IVSO for several years) and is currently principal 2nd violinist with Camerata Chicago and concertmaster of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Ann became a Registered Suzuki Teacher Trainer in 2005 and currently teaches Suzuki Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University and Music Institute of Chicago. Ann teaches about 40 private students while directing the Suzuki Strings Program at Northern Illinois University. Ann enjoys working with families and teachers at Institutes and workshops throughout the United States. Ann and Linc were guest teachers at the 2010 International String Conference in Singapore. Ann gives annual Teacher Training courses in Lima, Peru and Costa Rica.  Ann lives in DeKalb, IL with her husband, Linc and Golden Retriever, Chloe while their two children, Genevieve and Benjamin, attend college at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

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A native of Arizona, Linc Smelser received his Bachelor’s Degree in Cello Performance from the University of Arizona where he studied with Dr. Gordon Epperson and received his Master’s Degree and Performer’s Certificate in Cello Performance and Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University having studied with renowned cellist and pedagogue Raya Garbousova.  Advanced study included work with cellists Marc Johnson, Ron Leonard, Gabor and Peter Rejto, Heinrich Schiff, the Vermeer Quartet, and pianists Richard Faith and Jerome Lowenthal.


In 2003, Mr. Smelser was appointed conductor/music director of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra in DeKalb, IL. In 2009 he was awarded Conductor of the Year by the Illinois Arts Council.  He has most recently been appointed conductor/music director of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra.  He has guest conducted the Northern Illinois University Philharmonic, the Harper Symphony Orchestra, the Fox Valley Orchestra (Aurora) and the Skokie Valley Community Orchestra. He is also conductor of the NIU Sinfonia and Symphonette, two youth symphonies that attract students from the Northern Illinois area.


Mr. Smelser has appeared as a soloist with Camerata Chicago, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and has twice appeared in recital on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series in Chicago, which is broadcast live on over 44 stations across the United States.  He has won several awards including first prize of the National Society of Arts and Letters Chapter Competition, top prize of the National Federation of Music Clubs Regional Competition and first prize of the International Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Competition.


Mr. Smelser has been a member of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra Cello section since 1992 and has been an active substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997.  He is also Principal Cellist of Camerata Chicago, a chamber orchestra based in Chicago.  He continues to perform in The Three Celli, a chamber ensemble with Stephen Balderston and Brant Taylor, throughout the Northern Illinois Area.


Mr. Smelser is a faculty member of the Northern Illinois University Music Department and has been teaching private cello lessons through the NIU Community School of the Arts since 1988.  He was guest lecturer of cello at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music from 2006-2016.  He is also on the faculty of the Chicago Suzuki Institute and the Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute in Utah and is pianist/accompanist of the Northern Illinois University Suzuki program.