Since receiving his masters degree in violin performance from Wichita State University in 1976, René has made his living in music, as a performing violinist, teacher, and conductor. Before moving to Denver in 1994, he was a violinist with several professional orchestras, including Oklahoma, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Birmingham. His first job after college was at Lamar University, in Beaumont, Texas, where he taught violin and viola, and conducted the university’s orchestra. While living in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 90’s, where he played in the Alabama Symphony, René had the opportunity to be the music director of the Red Mountain Chamber Orchestra, a community orchestra in many ways similar to the Parker Symphony Orchestra. It was this group that made him come to understand the important role that community orchestras play in providing opportunities for musical expression to many who would otherwise not have that chance.
He made his mark in the Denver area playing as the principal 2nd violinist with Opera Colorado and the Central City Opera Orchestra, as concertmaster for the Lone Tree Symphony Orchestra, and as conductor of the Arapahoe Community College. He is now semi-retired, but continues to conduct the PSO and play with Inside The Orchestra – a group that performs classical music concerts in elementary schools and Tiny Tots concerts for young children and parents.
When he is not busy with his musical endeavors, René spends time in his woodworking shop at home. He has been an avid woodworker since he was in high school. Be sure to check out his website at www.sjoelbakcrafter.com.
Nadya Hill, a Colorado native, has been featured as a violin and vocal soloist with various orchestras across the country, and is comfortable in a wide range of musical styles from classical to jazz and non-classical traditional and ethnic music.
Known for her work with current composers, Nadya has premiered and recorded two original song cycles by Robert Spillman and numerous pieces with William Hill including “Three Wings for Voice and Full Orchestra” with the Colorado Symphony, “El Pero Azul” with the Evergreen Chamber Orchestra, and “African Sketches” for the Colorado Symphony’s “Drums of the World”. Nadya is also a member of the award-winning jazz ensemble “Bill Hill and Friends”.
Nadya and her husband Michael Hoffman are the co-founders and directors of the Mountain Area Chamber Music Festival, and Nadya is the Marketing Director for Denver Violins.
While not performing, Nadya loves hiking with her mutt Sophie, cuddling with her moggie Dasch, and making art and organic cosmetics for her small business Gemini Botanics. Hill received degrees from both the University of Michigan and the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Nadya Hill, Concertmaster
Joy Mullhollan Peoples
Katie St. Gemme Pate
Bold = Principal or co-Principal player
Musicians are listed alphabetically to emphasize their equal contributions to the orchestra