Alexandria Holter traveled from the Rocky Mountains in Montana to Michigan in order to work for SHAR as an apprentice and sales representative. Alex recently graduated from the University of Montana with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Her parents have always encouraged her to follow her dreams in music, starting at the young age of three when she decided to play the violin and attend the local kinder-music classes. In middle school, Alex's teacher encouraged her to branch out and try different instruments, eventually leading her to her primary instrument and love: the viola. Taking lessons with Beth Mazanec, the local high school orchestra teacher, allowed her to pursue her many different musical loves such as fiddling, contemporary ensembles, and teaching local kinder-music classes. When at the University of Montana, her professor Margaret Baldridge encouraged her to apply for the SHAR apprentice program, which would introduce her to the professional music world. From working with customers on the phone or finding that perfect fit in the SHAR showroom, Alex loves talking shop and getting people excited about their new products. Alex hopes to continue her music education and receive a master’s degree and eventually a PHD in orchestral conducting, and maybe even another master’s degree in ethnomusicology. She hopes to live overseas in Ireland or England, depending on where she and her partner, Cortney, can both find jobs.
Lauren Thompson graduated from Lawrence University in June 2013 with a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental/General Music Education and a minor in psychology. Inspired by her older brother, she began studying the violin at the age of six, first with Audrey Nowak and later with Melissa Gurholt. After several years of playing violin in the Lawrence Academy of Music Chamber Ensembles, Carol Leybourn encouraged Lauren to take up the viola in the Chamber Ensembles. She promptly fell in love with the instrument and the repertoire. While at Lawrence University, Lauren studied with Matthew Michelic and played in the university orchestra, conducted by David Becker. She also studied abroad in London, where she took lessons with Jonathan Barritt and was a Synchronisation Intern with Kobalt Music. In the winter and spring of 2013, Lauren had the opportunity to student teach with Kristi Stingle and Jilaine Jarvis in the Neenah Joint School District and with Cheryl Meyer in the Appleton Area School District. She misses all of her students, but is excited to pursue a new musical opportunity. Outside of her experience with the traditional string, wind, brass, and percussion instruments, Lauren studied and performed for several years with Gamelan Cahaya Asri, the Balinese Gamelan ensemble at Lawrence University. She hopes to one day attend the Cudamani Summer Institute in Bali to continue her study of the Balinese performing arts. Currently she is undecided about her future education or career paths, but she is considering paths in music, business, psychology, and ethnomusicology. Outside of her study of music, Lauren enjoys ultimate frisbee, Star Trek (the Original Series, of course), reading, and traveling.
To read about our former apprentices, click here