Evelyn Petcher is New York City based violinist and teaching artist who collaborates on innovative concerts and projects in the U.S. and abroad. Recent solo engagements range from playing Beethoven’s Romances with the Covenant College Chamber Orchestra in Lookout Mountain, Georgia to improvising variations on a Tuvan folk song with the internationally known Alash Ensemble in Baltimore, Maryland. In February 2016 she will perform at the University of Arkansas with pianist Hannah Mindeman, in the inaugural concert of their duo Colibri.
Evelyn’s performances often have an unusual twist, such as dancing while performing a Sarasate showpiece, or pairing Bach sonatas with beat-boxing. Her collaboration with beat-boxer Shodeke Talifero at a Classical Revolution Baltimore event was described by the Baltimore Sun as making “interesting sparks fly.” She enjoys new music and has performed with experimental groups such as the Baltimore based SONAR New Music Ensemble. In 2013, she curated and performed in a set of coffee shop
concerts called “Music On Caffeine,” featuring Bach’s humorous “Coffee Cantata” among other new and classic works. Evelyn has also appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in traditional concert series in Baltimore, Maryland, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Montreal, Canada, and Nassau, The Bahamas.
A seasoned orchestral musician, Evelyn has played with many groups including Symphony in C, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Annapolis Symphony, and the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida. She is an experienced section leader who has served as concertmaster and principal 2nd violin on many occasions for orchestras such as the Peabody Symphony, Covenant College Chamber Orchestra, and Masterworks Festival Orchestra.
The same imagination that characterizes Evelyn’s performing is evident in her active work as a teaching artist. In demand as a creative composition workshop leader, she has done projects with the Alexandria Symphony El Sistema Program, Bravo Waterbury, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ORCHKids among others. In one project, she helped a class of 60 kindergarten students write a song exploring the concept of growth, in another she led a team of teaching artists and 55 children in creating a composition on the themes of justice and peace. Most recently, she has been working with middle school students at the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s, writing a song inspired by ideas of belonging and home as a part of YOSL’s partnership with Carnegie Hall’s “Somewhere Project.” This spring she is also teaching public school Kindergarten students for the Center for Arts Education as part of a project focused on integrating musical learning with reading and math curriculum.
Evelyn is an accomplished strings teacher, having taught violin and string ensembles for students aged 6-13 at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s ORCHKids program in West Baltimore public schools for three years prior to moving to New York. During her time there, both the Peabody Conservatory Preparatory and the Baltimore Youth Symphony Orchestras engaged her many times to coach ensembles and orchestra sectionals. At ORCHKids, she became passionate about the El Sistema movement of music education for social change, and in 2014 she co-founded East Lake Expression Engine, an El Sistema inspired program based at New City Fellowship East Lake church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Currently, she teaches strings for the Youth Orchestra of St. Luke’s in Manhattan, and the Noel Pointer Foundation in Brooklyn, and returns to Tennessee to teach at East Lake Expression Engine during the summers.
Evelyn’s love of the stage began with childhood solo performances with the Chattanooga Symphony and youth orchestras. Her love of cross-arts collaboration was sparked by communication training courses at the Heifetz International Music Institute, and her involvement in a high school Shakespeare theater troupe. She continued pursuing liberal arts during her undergraduate degree at Covenant College, in her hometown of Lookout Mountain, Georgia. While studying violin with Jay Christy and music composition with Brandon Kreuze, she also explored drama, literature, and writing, graduating with a double major in English and Music in 2010.
In 2012, Evelyn earned her master’s degree in violin performance, studying with renowned violinist Pamela Frank at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. A scholarship winner and concerto competition finalist at both the Masterworks Festival and the Heifetz International Music Institute, she has been fortunate to continue her professional development in recent summers through workshops with the Chiara Quartet, Community Music Works, and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.