James Engman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where he studied violin performance and physics. His interest in music and performance includes genres such as classical, folk styles (especially American and Celtic), and jazz. Largely due to his parents’ involvement in the local musical community of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, James began studying the violin at five under the instruction of Dan Ognavic and later studied with Dr. Tyrone Greive. He also plays guitar, piano, and accordion. The SHAR Apprentice position has been an enjoyable experience on many levels for James since it engages his interest in a wide variety of fields, such as science, economics, art, education, and history. From working with young musicians to sharing his knowledge and expertise with customers, he has learned a great deal about the string instrument industry. His plans for the future are to perform with a professional orchestra and various smaller ensembles, start a Celtic gypsy funk band, complete a master's degree, and teach English and violin in a foreign country.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Josephine Llorente moved to Michigan to work for SHAR as Educational Sales Representative and Honorary Apprentice. She graduated from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with a degree in music education and later pursued a degree in music business. As a former elementary music teacher, Josephine loves spending her day talking with teachers from across the country. Previously, she interned with Connolly Music at the NAMM Music Products Trade show in Anaheim, California. She is excited to return to NAMM show in January as a SHAR representative in order to escape the Michigan winter. Although she misses New York, Josephine enjoys exploring Michigan and continues to play violin in her spare time.