Verena Lucía Anders, founder, is a LatinX pianist, conductor, vocalist, composer and music educator. Verena was born in Berlin, Germany, of Chilean and Peruvian parents. After immigrating to the U.S., Verena began her training in music and dance at the age of four at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD.
While a dance major at the Baltimore High School for the Arts, she continued her studies in music and piano at the Peabody Institute. Mrs. Anders completed her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Santiago Rodriguez at the University of Maryland, College Park with a minor in Voice and French. While in college, Mrs. Anders had the opportunity to sing with the Tallis Scholars.
Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, Mrs. Anders studied at the Alvin Ailey School for Dance in New York, while maintaining an active life singing with the choir of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the New York Choral Artists, and the early-music ensemble Amor Artis. During her time in New York, Verena sang in the grammy-award winning performance of John Adam’s On the Transmigration of Souls. She also sang with the early-music ensemble
Verena received her Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting in 2010 from the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. During this time, Verena held the position of Music Director at St Francis of Assisi in Derwood, MD where she continued to serve for eight years. During her time in D.C., Verena maintained an active life as a performing musician and dancer. Mrs. Anders also engaged in several outreach programs in music and dance.
In 2012, Verena accepted a position at St Thomas Aquinas Church in Arizona. During her 4 year tenure there, Verena directed multiple adult and children’s choral ensembles and the resident orchestra. Mrs. Anders also assisted in developing a school music curriculum for the Diocese of Phoenix.
Locally, Verena has served as Choral Teaching Artist with the Atlanta Music Project (a tuition-free music school for underserved youth) and as a Music Educator at the Fugees Academy for refugee children. Verena has sung with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus and Chamber Chorus, Coro Vocati and the Atlanta Schola Cantorum. Mrs. Anders is also a founding board member of the Atlanta School for the Arts. Mrs. Anders currently lives with her husband, Will Buthod, and their 2 dogs, in Atlanta, Georgia.
Nivek Anderson is a musician at heart and in mind. This love of music was cultivated by the sounds of music from her loving home with her musical father, mother, and brother. A native of Atlanta, Georgia (specifically from College Park), she refers to herself as a Fulton County kid as she attended Fulton County schools where she began playing the string bass in the fourth grade and has continued to play stringed instruments ever since. Her main performing instrument is the cello, but she enjoys teaching violin, viola, cello, and bass. This love for the strings was cultivated by the steadfast love and dedication of her music education teachers from elementary to high school - Mr. Farmer, Mr. Pena, Dr. Paige, Ms. Humphrey, and Mr. Walker. Nivek graduated from the Viola Turner Magnet Performing Arts of Tri-Cities High School in 2006. Because of their influence and her God-given gifts to teach and perform on these instruments, Nivek humbly enters her eighth year of teaching strings in the public education system. She currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Pebblebrook High School in Mableton, Georgia. She deems it a privilege to be able to continue to pass a legacy of excellence and commitment to music education in public schools.
Nivek is a lifelong learner. Her earned degrees and certifications include a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis in Child and Family Development, an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Music Business from The Terry College of Business, and a teaching certificate in music (P - 12) in the state of Georgia. In 2018, Nivek earned a Master of Music in Music Education at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina.
As an educator, Nivek is known for establishing a positive learning environment for students in which they feel welcome and meet the expectations; they are challenged and expected to progress toward excellent music making and musicianship. Her groups are known by their attention to intonation and warm tone production. Within eight years, Nivek has been afforded to the opportunity to teach strings to students in grades two through twelve. She has been invited to serve as an adjudicator for Georgia Music Educator Association Solo and Ensemble and honor orchestra auditions. Her performing organizations have earned Superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluations and top ranking awards at festivals.
In addition to teaching, Nivek enjoys performing on the cello. The year 2019 marks her 19th year as a cellist. Known for her tone that reaches and nurtures the soul, Nivek is humbled by the beauty and power that emits from the four strings of her cello. She has been blessed to perform and record with local artists and community choirs on the cello and vocally throughout the state of Georgia and beyond. Nivek is also the cellist and founder of East West Strings, a performing string ensemble. For further information about East West Strings, please visit www.eastweststrings.com.
Nivek resides in College Park, Georgia where she enjoys living in the same community in which she was raised. She enjoys the simple life while a good hearty laugh at least once a day is good for her soul. She is a member of Antioch Baptist Church North under the leadership of Pastor Kenneth L. Alexander. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and shopping. Her favorite place is a beach with turquoise water.
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