The Bacon Family

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The following is a letter to me from the Bacons:

Twenty-five years ago you taught a parent class at the Albuquerque Suzuki School in Hoffmantown Center.

I remember sitting there learning wonderful things about the importance of encouragement, celebrating the tiny steps, reviewing, listening, patiently building the individual skills which our children would one day put together.

I remember listening to your student Megan play a piece beautifully after you whispered in her ear. I was so nervous playing the violin for the other parents in our final class.

After I finished the parent course, you agreed to take our little Ruth into your studio. She got her violin right before she turned 4. Two years later, you started little Beth. Ten years later you started little Donna. Three years later you started little Jane.

As Dr Seuss says, "Oh the Places You'll go." The Bacon girls have gone so many places on their musical journey, physically, cognitively, and emotionally. And their journeys continue. Oh, the places you have taken who-knows-how-many-families, through training one student who goes on to teach others.

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of our journey with you and Dr Suzuki, we want to give you this storyteller doll with the four children in her arms symbolizing the four Bacon girls you have taken into your arms and your heart and nurtured in beautiful, lasting ways.

Ruth Bacon

A native of New Mexico, Ruth Bacon received her Bachelor of Music from the University of New Mexico in vocal performance and string pedagogy and completed her Master of Music degree in violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

For the last several years, she served as Concertmaster of the Ashland Symphony.

This season, she has been guest concertmaster of the San Juan Symphony in Colorado.

Ms. Bacon has held positions with the Canton Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, the New Mexico Symphony, and Santa Fe Pro Musica.

Since finishing school, she has travelled extensively, subbing regularly with orchestras including the Richmond and Columbus Symphonies, the Erie Philharmonic, and Pittsburgh Opera.

She enjoyed touring North America last year with Star Wars: In Concert, playing the music of John Williams in full orchestra.

Ms. Bacon is deeply committed to playing chamber music and has performed as a member of the Mauthe String Quartet in the Cleveland area, with an emphasis in community outreach and new music performance.

As a soloist, she has performed concertos with the Ashland Symphony, the Las Cruces Symphony, the University of New Mexico Symphony, the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, and most recently, the Albuquerque Philharmonic, playing the Brahms Double Concerto.

Ms. Bacon spent this summer as Concertmaster of Opera in the Ozarks and as an artist at Lakes Area Chamber Music Festival.

Previous festivals have included Tanglewood,Aspen, and Spoleto USA.

In addition to performing music, Ruth pursues her interests in cooking, running, yoga and teaching.

Elisabeth Hope

Elisabeth Hope grew up in a musical family and began studying the violin at the age of three, under the instruction of Suzuki teacher-trainer Susan Kempter in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She was inspired to pursue music as a lifelong career during her time as a member of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, touring across the United States, Mexico, and Spain with the symphony and winning its concerto competition her senior year of high school.

In 2004, Mrs. Hope began her undergraduate studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she studied violin with Peter Haase.

Four years later, Mrs. Hope graduated from George Mason with a double Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and in Communication, with a Public Relations concentration.

While in Virginia, Mrs. Hope performed with the McLean Symphony and was a featured soloist in several George Mason Symphony Orchestra performances, including two concerts at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage in Washington, DC.

Mrs. Hope holds a Masters of Music degree from the University of Houston's Moores School of Music, where she studied violin with Andrzej Grabiec.

She currently manages a private Suzuki violin and viola studio in Dickinson, Texas.

Mrs. Hope also works as a freelance violinist with the Victoria Symphony and performs frequently throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area.

Her ultimate goal in all areas of her life, including making music, is to glorify God.

Donna and Jane Bacon

Donna Bacon, a senior in high school, will perform the Barber Violin Concerto with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony in April 2014.

Jane Bacon is currently studying the viola.

Photographs of Susan Kempter's Bisiach courtesy of Robertson & Sons Violin Shop