About our teachers

teachers at early bird string academy

Kathryn Christie grew up in Milwaukee and attended Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin, where she studied violin with Vartan Manoogian and obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance. She is a longtime member of the Ariel Trio and the Northern Lights String Quartet. Kathryn maintains a private violin and viola studio in addition to her work with the Early Bird String Academy. She also is a freelance violinist in the Twin Cities metro area.

Ingrid Koller is a freelance violist and violin/viola teacher in the Twin Cities area. She has played in numerous ensembles and orchestras including the St. Paul Civic Symphony, the First Unitarian Society Orchestra, and the Anoka Opera Ensemble. She has played in the Lake String Quartet for 17 years and is a performing member of Thursday Musical. Nationally recognized artists with whom Ingrid has played include Roy Clark and contemporary Christian recording artists, Michael Card and Fernando Ortega. She is a member of the contemporary Christian rock group EDGE. Ingrid is a founder and co-director of the Early Bird String Academy. She studied with John Tartaglia at the University of Minnesota where she obtained a BM in Viola Performance. Other teachers include Rennie Regher of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Milton Thomas at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.

John Madura is a retired teacher from the Mounds View Schools where he taught for 44 years.  He was also the district spring board diving coach during that time.  He has been awarded the MMEA Music Educator of the Year in 1988, MNSOTA Master School Orchestra Teacher in 2009, and is in the Swimming Hall of fame in Austin  and the University of Minnesota.  John teaches cello and practices every day.  He loves to camp, hike and play chamber music with his wife, Kathryn Christie