Bio

The Palm Strings Quartet is comprised of 4 highly trained and dedicated professional musicians with expertise in performing all styles of music from Classical to Romantic, Broadway to Rock and Roll. our past events include such locations as the Ringling Museum, The Ca Da'zan Mansion, and Spanish Point Historical site. The Quartet is based out of Venice, FL, but travels much of the Southwest Florida area for events.

Donna Smith (Violin)

Originally from Allentown, PA, began performing professionally at ten years of age. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.F.A. in violin performance and a B.A. in music theory and composition with a minor in piano performance. She did graduate work at the University of Michigan in music composition and violin performance.

Donna performs locally as a solo violinist and pianist and also with Palm Strings Quartet and the Venice Symphony, along with other organizations in Southwest Florida. She has been a church musician for over 20 years and currently serves as pianist for local churches to provide music for worship services. Donna is music director and pianist for Epiphany Cathedral’s Contemporary Mass and also the music director, organist, and choir director at Lakeside Lutheran Church. Both churches are located in Venice, FL

Donna has performed with Salute to Vienna Concert Series which features conductors and guest artists from Vienna, Austria as well as Hungary for the past 7 years. The event is held annually on New Year’s Eve at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, followed by performances in Sarasota, and Barbara B Mann in Fort Myers. She played violin for a performance of Haydn’s Creation in Varna, Bulgaria in May 2009 as part of the International Conductor’s Workshop and in June 2010 travelled to perform Mozart Requiem with the International Choral Festival, concerts in Budapest, Hungary, Vienna and Eisenstaedt Austria, Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic.

       

Karen Tuttle (Violin)

Karen comes from a family of musicians so it is only natural that she began playing violin at seven years of age. She performed as a violinist in Florida All-State orchestra and as a violist with the Florida West Coast Symphony in the early 1980’s. She was a founding member of the Venice Symphony and their principal 2nd violinist for many years.

Karen currently serves as the Venice Symphony’s principal violist, teaches both violin and viola, and is an active chamber music perfo

 

       

Shawn Snider (Viola)

Shawn began playing the viola in the 7th grade at the age of 12. He grew up in Bradenton, Florida where he started taking private viola lessons in the 9th grade with Jim Fawcett (previous Associate Principal violist of the Philadelphia Orchestra) and later with Leanne Darling of the Florida West Coast Symphony. Shawn earned his Bachelors degree in Viola Performance from the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) in 2003 from the studio of George Taylor, and returned to Florida to further study with Pamella McConnell at the University of Miami. Shawn has received chamber music coachings from the Julliard Quartet, The Ying Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, John Graham, Oleh Krysa, Mikael Copelmann, Zvi Zeitlin, Charles Castleman, Alan Harris, and Paul Wolfe.

Currently, Shawn is a member of the Southwest Florida Orchestra, the Venice Symphony, and serves as principal violist of the Anna Maria Island Community Chamber Orchestra and Chorus.  He has played throughout Southwest Florida in many events such as Governor Charlie Crist's wedding reception, back up musician for the Motown group “The Commodores” and on many occasions in orchestra’s under the baton of the late Eric Kunzel (from the Cincinnati Pops).

As a soloist, Shawn has recently performed the Telemann Viola Concerto with the Anna Maria Island Concert Orchestra. In June 2010, Shawn travelled to Budapest, Hungary, Vienna and Eisenstaedt Austria, Bratislava, Slovakia & Prague, Czech Republic as the featured viola soloist performing Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante as well as the principal violist for performances of Mozart’s Requiem.

     

Alyson King (Cello) Alyson King began playing cello at the age of 10. Alyson studied under Melissa Brown of the Alcott ensemble and Paul Ross of the Portland String Quartet.  She has played with various orchestras in New England and Florida, most recently with the Venice Symphony.  She is thrilled to be part of the Palm Strings Quartet. Alyson also enjoys playing music at home with her young daughters who are violinists!

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