The Tallahassee Homeschool String Orchestra (THSO) is a string education program dedicated to providing valuable ensemble experience to homeschool string students of varying playing levels. It is open to all homeschool students and other interested students as approved by the orchestra directors. All rehearsals begin with prayer and are taught with a Christian emphasis and worldview. THSO consists of five ensembles for students between the ages of 3 and 18, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups.
About the Faculty
Joanna Pepple, Director
Joanna Pepple is a co-founder of the Tallahassee Homeschool String Orchestra, currently directing the orchestras in their fourth year. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology at Florida State University and has served as a Musicology Teaching Assistant, teaching core music history classes to undergraduate music majors. She earned a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance at Appalachian State University and Mercer University, respectively. Her teachers include Dr. Nancy Bargerstock, Dr. Eric Koontz, Dr. Giselle Hillyer, Dr. Jo Nardolillo, Ms. Ginny Respess, and Mr. Benjamin Baxter. As an orchestral musician, she has served as a contract player with the Albany Symphony, Macon Symphony, and Western Piedmont Symphony. At Appalachian State University, Joanna completed her Master’s degree serving as a Graduate Assistant in the Hayes Graduate String Quartet, playing both violin and viola. Wanting to learn more about effective strategies in teaching young children, she completed the Long-Term Suzuki Pedagogy Training (Books 1-10) at East Carolina University under the tutelage of Joanne Bath while pursuing a second Master’s degree in Music Theory/Composition. There she was a teacher in an outreach after-school elementary Suzuki program in Bath, North Carolina, taught undergraduate music theory and fundamentals at the University, and created and managed a music theory lab for tutoring undergraduate music majors. Currently, Joanna teaches violin and viola at both Thomasville Road Academy of the Arts and independently in her home studio. Her dissertation research on the impact of the Leipzig Conservatory on American music education has brought her to study and research in Germany in 2014 and 2015, funded through DAAD grants (German Academic Exchange Service). Joanna loves working with students and sharing her passion for learning and music.
Marianna Brickle, Instructor
Marianna Brickle is pursuing a Doctor of Music degree in violin performance at Florida State University under the tutelage of Corinne Stillwell. As a graduate assistant, Marianna coaches chamber music ensembles, teaches violin technique classes to music majors, and performs both in the University Symphony Orchestra and in numerous chamber music ensembles. Additionally, Marianna holds a Master’s degree in violin performance from FSU and a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Maryland where she studied with David Salness. During her studies at UMD, Marianna worked with members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Guarneri String Quartet. Marianna was a recipient of the Director’s Scholarship and also received two merit scholarships from the Rislov Foundation. In the summers of 2014 and 2015, Marianna was chosen for a teaching fellowship with the Marian Anderson String Quartet in Bryan, Texas. She performs professionally in both the Tallahassee and Ocala Symphony Orchestras. Additionally, she plays in orchestra concerts in Georgia and Alabama, and formerly played with the Fairfax Symphony in Virginia. Marianna is an alumna of the National Orchestral Institute and the Brevard Music Center, as well as the Duxbury Music Festival in Massachusetts. Currently, Marianna serves on the faculty of Thomasville Road Academy of the Arts in Tallahassee.
Lisa Foltz, Instructor
Lisa M. Foltz, holds a Master of Music Degree from Florida State University, and a BA in Music and a BS in Political Science from Jacksonville University, with minors in International Studies and Business Administration. An active leader and participant in Tallahassee’s music community, Lisa is Music Director and Conductor of Rose City Symphonic Band, Music Director and Conductor for the Tallahassee Music Guild’s 2017 Sing-Along Messiah, Associate Conductor for Capital City Band, featured vocalist for Thursday Night Music Club, and violinist in her church’s orchestra. In addition, Lisa has five years of experience teaching elementary strings. For three years, she served as Associate Conductor for a community orchestra. As a conductor, Lisa has participated in workshops in Romania, New York (Bard, Eastman, and String Orchestra of Brooklyn), Virginia (Richmond Symphony Orchestra), Rhode Island, and Florida. A fourteen-year veteran of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, Lisa performed on sixteen ASO recordings, four of which are Grammy winners. With the chorus, she toured to Carnegie Hall five times, Ojai, Ravinia, Birmingham and London England, and to Berlin for performances with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003, 2008, and 2009. In 2007 and 2009 she was selected by audition to participate in the Carnegie Hall Professional Choral Workshops under Helmuth Rilling. Locally, Lisa has been a soloist with the Tallahassee Community Chorus, the Tallahassee Bach Parley, the Sing-Along Messiah, the FSU Chamber Choir, and at her church. In 2016, Lisa premiered Robert Strobel’s song cycle, “Three Songs of the Librarian” a work written for her following a prior collaboration. Lisa enjoys traveling with her husband Mark.