Kathleen Foster serves as the cello professor for the Petrie School of Music at Converse College and teaches younger students through the Lawson Academy. She is a member of the Lawson Trio, the Spartanburg Philharmonic and Asheville Symphonies. A resident of Maine for almost 20 years she served on the cello faculty at both Bates and Bowdoin Colleges as well as at the Merriconeag Waldorf School. She was principal cellist of the Maine State Ballet Orchestra, the Maine Chamber Ensemble and PORT Opera Company. She has been a member of the Portland (ME) Symphony since 1990 and maintains that position, returning to Maine at least four times a season to play for all their classical Masterworks concerts.
Professor Foster is a dedicated teacher for students of all ages and all levels. Her students regularly win local competitions, top chairs in Allstate and scholarships to summer programs and undergraduate-graduate level universities. She has studied both the Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais philosophy and incorporates this knowledge into her teaching, helping the student find ease in playing.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University and her Master of Music in Cello Performance from Bowling Green State University. Her principal teachers have included Janos Starker, Fritz Magg, Peter Howard and George Neikrug.
Tanja Bechtler is the artistic director of the Bechtler Ensemble Music Series. The series can be heard at the Bechtler Museum, at Central Piedmont Community College, Queens University, UNCC , Davidson College and other educational institutions. The Ensemble is currently in residency at Queens University. Tanja was awarded the“ Woman of Achievement “ of 2015 by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, an international volunteer service organization. The award recognizes outstanding women for their significant contributions so the state of North Carolina. Tanja, a native of Switzerland, was introduced to the cello at the age of nine, through the Orff Educational system. She earned scholarships to the North Carolina School of the Arts for her Bachelor Degree and also to the Manhattan School of Music for her Masters Degree in Performance. She participated in various master classes by teachers such as Yo-Yo Ma. For twelve years, Tanja was an orchestral player with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra where she also participated in numerous of their educational residencies throughout the Charlotte- Mecklenburg school system. She has performed professionally at Lincoln Center, the Spoleto Festival, for the Charleston Symphony, the Cayuga Chamber Players, the Akron Symphony, as a soloist with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and for numerous recital series including the Caramoor Festival.
Currently Tanja is the cello professor at Gardner-Webb University, Queens University and also holds a private teaching studio. In 2017 she added to her teaching methods the Mark O’Connor method book 1-4. She is an active participant of the practice “HORA”, , a science based training that develops physical and intellectual inner strength, endurance and the ability to remain calm during any activity, which has enabled her to fulfill her passion as a music educator.