Ken Leighton 6:30 p.m., Aug. 20
The Grossmont Symphony String Quartet
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The Grossmont Symphony String Quartet is the resident string quartet of the Grossmont Symphony Orchestra (GSO) at Grossmont College . Its two-fold mission is to serve San Diego's East County community through performances of chamber music at local venues and to perform educational concerts at junior and senior high schools throughout the East County. As principal members of the GSO's string section, they also assist the music director of the GSO in coaching members of the section, in addition to mentoring their inside stand partners in rehearsals/ performances. The String Quartet's varied performing repertoire includes chamber music suitable for serious chamber music concerts, to educational performances, to lighter music for social events.
Patricia McCormick, first violinist with the Grossmont Symphony String Quartet and Concertmaster with the GSO, joined the GSO 20 years ago at the age of 13 because her violin teacher wanted her to get some orchestral experience. After two and a half years with the GSO, she left to join the San Diego Youth Symphony followed by the San Diego Young Artists Symphony Orchestra -- both conducted by the late Louis J. Campiglia. She toured with them all over Europe and Mexico. In the last four years, Patricia has played first violin with the La Jolla Symphony, the Orquesta de Baja California, and the Filarmonica Internacional de las Californias. Patricia attributes her tenacity, passion, and love of music, in large part, to maestro Campiglia’s high standards and appreciation for music. Patricia studied violin with Lillian Hester, Janos Negyesy, and Michael Tseitlin and has received chamber music ensemble training from Joseph Evans (Michigan State University), Tarla Grau (Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin) and Rainer Mehne (Berliner Philharmoniker). She attained her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Advanced Music Performance from the University of California, San Diego, followed by an International MBA from United States International University (2001). Patricia married in August of 2001 and currently runs her own manufacturer representative business from home.
Elizabeth Valdez, second violinist with the Grossmont Symphony String Quartet and Principal Second Violinist of the GSO, is passionate about music! The granddaughter of an accomplished pianist and folk harp maker, her musical roots run deep. Through early private study with Lillian Hester and playing with the Helix High School Orchestra, it was seemingly effortless for Elizabeth to create a solid foundation and love for music. Her abilities continued to flourish in local orchestras, including the USD Symphony, Palomar Symphony Orchestra, and the GSO. Her talents (and eagerness to learn from mentors) have progressed her to the professional level that she now enjoys with the GSO and the String Quartet. With over ten years volunteering as Principal 1st Violin for the CCT (Christian Community Theatre) Orchestra, she has performed in hundreds of musical productions. Elizabeth has also taught privately from her home and coached the string department at Valhalla High School. With a strongly developed style of playing she has naturally progressed into a leadership role. She also performs with her home church vocal band and in several local church orchestras, and founded Sunrise Strings (for weddings and parties).
Mark Crellin, violist with the Grossmont Symphony String Quartet and principal violist with the GSO, is a native San Diegan. He began his music studies at the age of ten playing piano, reed, and brass instruments until, at the behest of his high school orchestra director, he discovered the viola. Mark has studied with noted San Diego violists Louise Ottaiano, and Karen Elaine. Mark has performed professionally with such orchestras as the Minot Symphony Orchestra of North Dakota and the San Diego Chamber Orchestra, in addition to local San Diego community orchestras.
Gordon Grubbs, cellist with the Grossmont Symphony String Quartet and Principal Cellist with the GSO, has performed in chamber music and as soloist throughout Southern California and Mexico. He began studying cello in his home town of Wichita, Kansas, with master teacher Lois Ayres Gordon, and quickly distinguished himself as a soloist, a chamber musician, and orchestral player, winning competitions and scholarships to help further his musical studies at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan. Mr. Grubbs joined the Wichita Symphony Orchestra while pursuing a degree in music performance at Wichita State University. These years provided many opportunities including founding the Chamber Orchestra of Wichita and becoming a member of the WSU Faculty 20th-Century Ensemble while still an undergraduate. After relocating to Southern California, Mr. Grubbs studied with Los Angeles Philharmonic cellist Ronald Leonard. He has toured extensively in Mexico with the Camerata de Enseneada de Todos Santos and recorded with the Orquesta Pro Musica Ensenada. Mr. Grubbs stays active in the professional musical life of San Diego appearing frequently in recital.
In 2013, violinist Alyze Dreiling achieved 3rd place nationally in the American Prize competition.