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KT Fernhaven (previously Katie White Swanson) earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degrees from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where she studied with Dr. Kathryn Steely. They also studied violin as a secondary instrument under the tutelage of Dr. Eka Gogichashvili. She completed a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Viola Performance at the University of Oregon, where she studied with Dr. Leslie Straka. KT enjoys incorporating contemporary works into all levels of pedagogy and performance, and presented a lecture and terminal document entitled, "A Pedagogical Introduction: Viola Repertoire from 1987-2013" in December of 2014 at the University of Oregon. Additional studies include solo and chamber group mentorships and masterclasses with violists such as Amadi Azikiwe, Helen Callus, Roberto Diaz, Christof Huebner, Samuel Rhodes, and Geraldine Walther.
KT has been teaching violin and viola for over fifteen years as a private instructor, a string chamber music coach, and an adjunct faculty member for institutions such as Temple College, Baylor University, and the University of Oregon. After completing their studies, KT taught in the Eugene, Oregon area where they performed with the Eugene Symphony and Oregon Mozart Players. After living in Helena, Montana and serving as principal of the Helena Symphony, KT recently relocated to Portland, Oregon where they perform with local ensembles such as the Portland Chamber Orchestra, the Portland Opera, and the Eugene Symphony.
KT served on the board of directors for the American Viola Society from 2020-2022.
KT performs on a 2017 viola by Kevin Joseph Kelly, which won a 2018 VSA award for tone, and a Rodney Mohr bow.
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