Madera String Quartet
Madera String Quartet is one of
the most sought-after Tucson AZ based
ensembles for weddings, corporate
events, and parties. The group
performs both classical music,
as well as original arrangements
of popular contemporary songs,
bringing a level of artistry and
professionalism your guests
are sure to notice!
Emmy Tisdel is a doctoral student in the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona, where she studies with Tim Kantor. She joined the Tucson Symphony Orchestra as a member of the second violin section in Fall 2022. Emmy has been selected as a P.E.O. Scholar for the 2022-23 academic year, and is also a former University of Arizona Doctoral Fellow. Within the University of Arizona, Emmy is a member of the Graduate String Quartet, the Cabrini Quartet. Emmy graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a Bachelor’s degree in Music, from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University with a Master of Music, and from Schulich School of Music at McGill University with an Artists’ Diploma and a Graduate Diploma in Music Performance. She is a co-founder of Ensemble Urbain, a conductorless chamber orchestra based in Montreal; she is a faculty member for the SA’ Oaxaca strings international music festival, which provides free chamber music tutoring to students based in Mexico; and a member of Austin Camerata, an interdisciplinary chamber music organization based in Austin, Texas. Former teachers include Jinjoo Cho, Kenneth Goldsmith, David Bowlin, Samantha George, and Katie Brooks.
Originally from Houston, TX, violinist Laura Casarez moved to Tucson in 2017 and has since become an active member of the local music community. She currently holds the position of assistant principal second violin in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and is also a member of the TSO String Quintet. She performs frequently in local groups such as True Concord Voices and Orchestra, Borderlands Ensemble, and Tucson Pops, as well as with her own chamber music group, the Oracle Piano Trio. In addition to her performing schedule, Laura runs a private teaching studio and works as a chamber music coach for Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. Laura graduated with degrees in violin performance from Rice University (BM) and University of Arizona (MM).
Katie Baird, a passionate violist and arts advocate, has established herself as an emerging leader among her generation of violists. Within the past two years, Katie was named the 2021-22 Presser Scholar, the Undergraduate Creative Achievement Award Winner, and The University of Arizona College of Fine Arts Outstanding Senior. Katie recently graduated from The University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, where she obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in Viola Performance under the tutelage of Dr. Molly Gebrian. The healing power of music has led Katie to Suite Melody Care, where she serves as the Arizona Chapter Lead. Through volunteer efforts, she organizes themed, interactive concerts for young Arizona artists and performs for audiences in hospitals, long term care facilities, and retirement residences. Katie’s mission is to bring performances of music by composers from traditionally underrepresented communities to audiences who otherwise do not have the ability to attend a high-priced classical concert due to their health, mobility, or financial barriers.
Cellist Juan Mejía started his early musical studies in Medellín, Colombia. Upon moving to the United States at the age of seventeen, he was accepted into the prestigious preparatory music program at the Interlochen Arts Academy before attending the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to complete his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees. In 2016, he was the recipient of the prestigious University Fellows Awards at The University of Arizona. In 2020, He received a DMA from The University of Arizona where he studied with Dr. Theodore Buchholz. He joined the music faculty at Pima Community College in 2021. As a performing artist, Mejía is extremely versatile and experienced in playing with different types of ensembles. From 2014 to 2016, he performed with the San Francisco Symphony’s outreach program Adventures in Music (AIM), which gave chamber music concerts in the most vulnerable communities in San Francisco. He serves as substitute cellist with the Grammy Award-winning ensemble True Concord Voices & Orchestra, as well as the Tucson Symphony Orchestra. He often performs chamber music concerts at the Benderly-Kendall Opera House for the Santa Cruz Foundation for the Arts in Patagonia, Arizona, where he serves as artist in residence. He sits on the board of Arizona Friends of Chamber Music (AFCM) where he co-directs multiple programs including the Tucson Adult Chamber Players (TACP) and the Chamberhood ensemble.