Raised in a family of musicians and music teachers, Annissa began studying violin and piano at age 5. By age 13, she discovered her true passion—the viola! Annissa received her master’s degree in viola performance with an emphasis in violin/viola pedagogy at the University of Oregon in 2015, where she studied with Leslie Straka. Additionally, she completed a music education master’s degree with K-12 teaching licensure in 2016 from the University of Oregon, specializing in music and strings. In her capacity as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the UO, she taught a full studio of violin and viola students in UO’s Community Music Institute, violin group classes, Music Mind Games/Kodály, coached chamber music in the Chamber Players program, and taught violin/viola methods courses. Annissa is a registered instructor in Suzuki violin/viola, Music Mind Games, Music Together, and Kodály, and has served on the faculty of the Northwest Suzuki Institute in Eugene. She has thoroughly enjoyed serving as Director of the Douglas County Youth Orchestra for two years, and also currently serves as Program Manager for the Corvallis Youth Symphony Association, as well as Lead Teacher in their Elementary Strings program. She performs regularly with Oregon ensembles, including the Eugene Ballet Symphony, the Salem Chamber Orchestra, and the Eugene Symphony Orchestra.
Before moving to Oregon, Annissa lived in Tempe, Arizona, where she received degrees in viola performance and French from Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude from the Barrett Honor’s College. In Arizona, Annissa was in demand as a violist, violinist, and teacher, serving as the primary violist for the Sweetwater Strings Quartet and sitting assistant principal viola for the Musica Nova Orchestra of Scottsdale. Annissa has performed in master classes for renowned ensembles including the Brentano, St. Lawrence, Takács, and Orion String Quartets and for legendary violists including Doris Lederer, Geraldine Walther, and Helen Callus. She has been invited as a Guest Artist at music festivals around the world, including at the Ameropa Festival in Prague, Czech Republic (2011), the Astoria Music Festival in Astoria, Oregon (2012), the Mendocino Music Festival in Mendocino, California (2013), and the Vianden Music Festival in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (2014). In her free time, Annissa enjoys cooking big meals for friends, speaking French (badly), and running, biking, and hiking in the lovely Oregon outdoors.
She is thrilled to enter her third year as Director of the Douglas County Youth Orchestra, and is looking forward to another musically inspiring season!