Faculty & Guest Artists

Current Faculty Roster

Prima Volta Ensemble

Anna Hess, conductor

Debut Orchestra

Rebecca Kiekenapp, conductor

Ned Farrar, orchestra assistant

Dale Jones, orchestra assistant

Lanson Wells, orchestra assistant

Violin Sectional/Masterclass Coaches

Anna Hess

Lanson Wells

Viola Sectional/Masterclass Coach

Dale Jones

Cello Sectional/Masterclass Coach

Rebecca Kiekenapp

Bass Sectional/Masterclass Coach

Sue Lucas

Festival Chamber Music Program

Chamber Music Coaches

Clyde Beavers

David Cooper

Luke Darville

Anna Hess

Dale Jones

Benjamin Karp

Margaret Karp

Rebecca Kiekenapp

Lanson Wells

Masterclass Teachers


Daniel Mason


Margaret Karp


Rebecca Kiekenapp

Paul York

Faculty Bios

Clyde Beavers, D.M.A. [website]


Clyde Beavers is a graduate of the Juilliard School where he was a scholarship student under the tutelage of the world-renowned cellist Harvey Shapiro. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kentucky. Clyde Beavers is Adjunct Professor of violoncello at Asbury University and Transylvania University and also serves as Assistant Principal cellist in the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. Beavers has recorded for the Naxos label and performs on a cello that was recently crafted by Tim Jansma.

David Cooper, D.M.A.


David Cooper is a graduate of The Juilliard School where he studied with pianist Earl Wild. David has also studied with many of the great pianists of the world including Ruth Laredo, John Ogden, and Abby Simon. He holds the doctorate degree in piano from the University of Kentucky. David also plays the organ and is currently organist at First United Methodist Church in Lexington. He has performed as piano soloist in the Netherlands and Canada. David is also an avid gardener in Lexington having grown over 100 roses and many other plants. He is currently a member of the music faculty at The Lexington School.

Luke Darville, M.M.


Luke Darville began playing the cello with the Heritage Area String Program in Danville, Kentucky. He then had the privilege to study under Dr. Clyde Beavers in Lexington. Luke received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Louisville in 2010. While there he won the University of Louisville's Concerto Competition in both 2007 and 2008, playing the fourth movement of the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor and Ernest Bloch's Schelomo under the direction of Kimcherie Lloyd. Luke has also studied with Hans Jørgen-Jensen at Meadowmount School of Music, and Tanya Remenikova at Bravo! Summer Institute. He plans to continue his cello performance studies under Tanya Remenikova at the University of Minnesota.  Luke has toured internationally as a founding member of the Apollo Trio. Luke's cello was crafted by American luthier Timothy J. Jansma.

Rebecca Goff

Prima Volta Ensemble.

Anna Hess, B.M., B.M.M.E

Prima Volta Ensemble, Violin

Anna Hess is the program director for North Limestone MusicWorks, the newest, youngest ensemble of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, and the first El Sistema-inspired program in Kentucky. Anna holds degrees from the University of Kentucky in violin performance and music education and is an active performer and teacher in the Lexington region. An avid performer in the community, Anna is an independent contractor with the Lexington Philharmonic, a quartet member on the Woodsongs Radio Show, and was Principal with the UK Symphony Orchestra during their recent tour of China.

Growing up in a musical household, Anna was fortunate to begin her study of the violin at an early age, and her focus in recent years has been to share her passion for music with the youth of the region, first as an orchestra teacher in the Montgomery County public school system and most recently as a teaching artist and program director for North Limestone MusicWorks. In addition to her work with CKYO, Anna maintains a private violin studio and is a teacher with the Central Music Academy.

Dale Jones, B.M.


Dale Jones graduated in 1987 from the University of Louisville with a bachelors degree in music (viola performance), studying with Virginia Schneider and Michel Samson. He also studied abroad at Samson's studio in Amsterdam. As a youth, Dale studied piano and viola; he played viola in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra for six years, including their Romania/USSR tour. For 10 years, he lived in Japan translating and teaching English and music. Dale began his violin/viola studio in the Lexington area in 2002. Dale has varied musical experience: viola sectional coach for CKYO, co-director of L.O.V.E. (Lexington's Original Viola Ensemble), Kentucky Ballet Theater Orchestra, chamber ensembles, and four years with the West Virginia Symphony. His professional interests include the folk music of Asia and Eastern Europe, Broadway, quartet arranging, and analysis of the old masters of violin and viola. This is Dale's fifth year with Festival of Strings.

Benjamin Karp, M.M.


Benjamin Karp is Associate Professor of Music and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Kentucky School of Music, and principal cellist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2009, he also has been Adjunct Associate Professor at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. In January of this year Mr. Karp performed, taught, and adjudicated auditions in China, visiting Hohhot, Tianjin, and Beijing.

Mr. Karp has concertized on four continents, including appearances as soloist with the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra and the Espirito Santo Philharmonic in. In February he performed the Elgar cello concerto with the Dekalb Symphony, and next season will play the Walton concerto with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

Benjamin frequently joins the cello section of the Cincinnati Symphony and has played in Carnegie Hall five times with the orchestra. Mr. Karp has performed with the CSO on tours of the United States, Europe, Japan, China, Singapore, and Puerto Rico. He was a member of the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra for ten years, serving as principal cellist for five.

Benjamin Karp received the MM degree from Indiana University, where he was a student of Janos Starker and Gary Hoffman, and a BA in Philosophy from Yale University.

Benjamin Karp is a widely known chamber musician, appearing at festivals throughout the United States. Mr. Karp was for six years cellist of the New College String Quartet and principal cellist of the Florida West Coast Symphony. He has recorded for the Telarc, Gasparo, Arabesque, CRI, BMG, and Centaur labels. He can also be heard on the CD The Bright Lights of America with the punk band Anti-Flag.

Margaret Karp


Margaret Karp is on the faculty of the University of Kentucky. She is Assistant Concertmaster of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, and was previously principal second violin of the Florida Orchestra and the Sarasota Opera. Ms. Karp was a student of James Buswell at Indiana University, and while a member of the Philharmonia da Camera in Dortmund, Germany also studied with Valery Gradow. She has performed in chamber music festivals throughout the United States. Ms. Karp teaches and performs at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. She was previously on the faculty of the Intertlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan.

Rebecca Kiekenapp, M.M.

Violoncello, Conductor

Rebecca Kiekenapp, a native of Faribault, Minnesota, earned a B.M. summa cum laude in cello performance from the University of Minnesota as a pupil of Tanya Remenikova. She moved to Lexington, KY in 1995 to attend the University of Kentucky where she earned a master's degree in cello.

Ms. Kiekenapp has extensive orchestral and chamber music experience. She has participated in the Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! chamber music program at the University of MN, and the National Orchestral Institute. As a member of the Niles String Quartet at the University of Kentucky, she attended the Audubon String Quartet seminar, participated as a semifinalist in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition, and was heard in live performance on the Woodsong Radio Hour. Ms. Kiekenapp served as principal cellist of the University Symphony for several years, also performing as a two-time winner of the UK concerto competition. She performs regularly as a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra and in other area concerts.

Her teaching background includes serving as faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the Governor's School for the Arts, and with the Festival of Strings music camp in Lexington, where she is also co-director. Currently a doctoral candidate in cello performance at UK, Ms. Kiekenapp also maintains a private studio in Lexington.

Daniel Mason, M.M. [website]


Daniel Mason has concertized widely in the United States and Europe, gaining wide recognition both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. His activities have included live national radio broadcasts from WFMT in Chicago, frequent appearances on NPR's Performance Today and performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington. A member of the Jascha Heifetz Master Class at the University of Southern California for three years, he has degrees from the Ohio State University and the University of Southern California.

Mr. Mason is currently in his twentieth year as Professor of Violin and Head of the String Department at the University of Kentucky. He is concertmaster of and frequent soloist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also, for seventeen years, concertmaster of the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra, appearing many times in a solo role.

Mr. Mason has just completed a series of master classes and performances in Korea and China, appearing as soloist with the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, he appeared as soloist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchesta in Ravel's Tzigane and Vaughn-Williams' The Lark Ascending and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante Mr. Mason's travels while performing recitals and giving master-classes have taken him to Austria, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy, Turkey, and the Republic of Georgia. In March, 1996 he played the premiere in Vienna of a solo work written for him by composer Alexander Blechinger. His performance of the work is included on a CD recently released in Vienna.

An enthusiastic advocate of recent music, Mr. Mason has recorded a CD of chamber music by noted American composer Joel Hoffman released by Gasparo Records. He has performed the music of many other composers, working in consultation with them, including John Cage, David Amram, Wiliam Bolcom, Bernard Rands and Joseph Baber.
In summer 2001, Mason appeared in Florence, Italy with the Leonore Quartet playing in the Galleria Accademica. Last summer he was a member of the faculty of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music-sponsored Opera and Music Festival of Lucca.

He also directs the University of Kentucky String Project, for which he received a $100,000 grant from the American String Teachers Association. The Project trains string teachers while providing affordable instruction to more than 100 area children.

Professor Mason's students have won positions in the Chicago Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic, West Virginia Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Charleston Symphony, Cedar Rapids Symphony and others, as well as teaching positions at universities around the nation.
When time permits, Mr. Mason heads for the mountains for excursions such as a recent traverse of the entire Sierra Nevada range in California, including the summit of Mt. Whitney.

Lanson Wells, M.M.

Orchestra Assistant,

Violin, Viola. Lanson Wayne Wells (violin/viola) is active as a performer and teacher. He is currently principal violist of the Firelands Symphony, assistant principal of the Ashland Symphony and the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, as well as a section member of the Cleveland Opera Circle. He is a former member of the Muncie Symphony and Marion Symphony. Mr. Wells performs chamber music with flutist Kimberly Sperian as a member of Duo Galant. He has attended the Aspen, Brevard, Sewanee, Hot Springs, Oberlin Baroque, and Pierre Monteux summer festivals. He has studied at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music as well as Cleveland State University. His major teachers are Art Klima, Louise Zeitlin, Nancy Campbell, and John Hedger. Born in Lexington Kentucky, Mr. Wells is also active in teaching and performing upon bass, mandolin, dulcimer, guitar, and banjo.

Paul York, M.M. [website]


An accomplished soloist, chamber musician and teacher, Paul York has appeared in recital and with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. York serves on the string faculty at the University of Louisville, where he maintains an active teaching and performing schedule. Recent solo appearances include a performance of Karel Husa's Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, Colored Field for Cello and Orchestra with the Louisville Orchestra and Vivaldi's Double Concerto in G Minor with internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. York is a member of the Louisville String Quartet and was a founding member of The Logsdon Chamber Ensemble, a Texas Commission of the Arts Touring ensemble as well as ensemble-in-residence at Hardin-Simmons University. In April of 2006, he performed recitals throughout Japan. As a champion of contemporary music, Mr. York has commissioned works for the cello by such composers as Stefan Freund, Marc Satterwhite, Steve Rouse, Paul Brink, and Fredrick Speck. He also premiered Alfred Bartle's new orchestration of Bartok's First Rhapsody for cello with the Sewanee Festival Orchestra.

Mr. York has participated in numerous summer festivals. He is currently a member of the artist faculty at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, where he performs solo and chamber works, in addition to his teaching schedule. He has also performed at Strings in the Mountains in Colorado, the Abilene Chamber Music Series, and served as principal cello with the Des Moines Metro Opera Orchestra. He has held principal cello positions with numerous regional orchestras and performed as a member of the cello section of the Saint Louis Symphony under the direction of Leonard Slatkin.

Mr. York received his bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and his master of music degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he studied with Ronald Leonard. Other teachers include Gabor Rejto, Owen Carman, and Louis Potter. The recipient of numerous honors and awards, Mr. York was selected to participate in the prestigious Piatigorsky seminar at the University of South California. Mr. York can be heard on the Centaur, Arizona University Press and CRS labels and is presently recording a CD new works written specifically for him.