Denise Willey, from Pleasant Grove, Utah, a trained Suzuki teacher in violin, viola, cello, and bass, is a Registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She has conducted school, community, and student orchestras for 35 years, where she has taught literally (no pun intended) hundreds of children to read music. She has also taught music pedagogy at Brigham Young University, and guest-conducted the Utah Valley Symphony. Mrs. Willey was honored to be selected Studio Music Teacher of the Year-1997 by the Utah Chapter of the American String Teachers’ Association. She has presented or lectured on music literacy dozens of times at ASTA and Suzuki conferences, and is a faculty member at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute.
Mrs. Willey is a dedicated mother and homemaker. Her six children have all studied Suzuki music: violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, and organ; several have soloed with the Utah Symphony, and perform with the Orchestra at Temple Square/Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They have all been principal players at Utah’s All-State Orchestra, Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas, and the Lyceum Youth Orchestra Program, as well as Debut Orchestra Camps and several university symphonies. All six are now Suzuki teachers.
Mrs. Willey founded the Lyceum Chamber Ensemble, a select string orchestra, in 1987; LCE has performed side by side with the Utah Symphony Orchestra, for the prestigious Temple Square Performance Series, and was selected to perform, one of four orchestras from the entire nation, for the American String Teachers’ National Conference in Reno in 2005, and in Santa Clara in 2009.
Denise Willey has served for fifteen years on the Suzuki Association of Utah Board of Directors. She maintains a thriving private studio; her students have performed across the country in orchestras and master classes, and have won scholarships to universities throughout the West. She has been published in professional journals, and her string arrangements are used in orchestras and ensembles all over the Intermountain West.
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