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Photo "Hall of Fame"

Photos of this summer: 2017


and Previous years:

2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010   2009   2008   2007 2006      
2005   2004   2003   2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   1997                  
ASTA Festivals 2012 - 2013 - 2014
Christmas in the Cerritos Mall in 2010-2011-2012


History Buffs

Here's an opportunity to learn more about the history of women violinists born before 1950, music written by women for the violin, and societal attitudes toward women violinists, all compiled by CMIsc Director Kay Pech. It's a bit of her own history and easy reading.

book cover

Alumni News

We're eager to learn "where are you now?" and "are you still active making music?"
Send us your news!

Michi Wiancko shown below (violinist, San Clemente HS '95, Cleveland Insitute of Music '99, Juilliard Master of Arts '01) is not only a GREAT violinist, she is a composer and also has an alter-ego she calls Kono Michi. Her many CDs are terrific.... very sensual and creative. Be sure to visit her website at

Who are the others in this photo?
(L to R) Michi Wiancko, YoYo Ma, Paul Wiancko and Hiroko Wiancko (mother).
All three of the Wianckos studied chamber music with Kay Pech in the 1990s. Michi performs worldwide with the Mark Morris Dance Group, as well as leads the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. In August 2009 Michi performed Schumann Piano Quintet for the Mark Morris Dance Group at the Mostly Mozart at Lincoln Center. Michi shared the stage (actually the orchestra pit with spotlights) with Yo Yo Ma, Emmanuel Ax, Colin Jacobsen, and Jessica Troy.

August 2017 update: Michi and her husband, composer Judd Greenstein, are busy with inaugural summer concerts on their Antenna Cloud Farm. Their two-year-old daughter, Aki, is already enjoying her musical life as Michi has composed a special afternoon performance of music written specifically for the occasion, for both acoustic 4-string and electric 5-string violins. Tickets and more information at, a music festival and artists' retreat in western Massachusetts.

In the meantime, you are invited to a special performance this coming August 12 at Shakespeare & Co. in Lenox, MA (right next to Tanglewood). Michi wil be taking on the roles of violinist and composer, and enjoying her first-ever co-director credit (!), kindly bestowed upon her by Allyn Burrows (celebrated actor and artistic director of Shakespeare & Co.) and Joan Ackermann (renowned playright and dramaturge), for a presentation where music and poetry are weaved together in a theatrical and inspiring celebration of the life and work of T.S. Eliot.

Michi will be performing a wide variety of musical styles and genres that will include fiddling, blues, renaissance, and fully improvised works. She will also premiere a new composition, Prufrock Eats a Peach, that she wrote specifically to accompany the beloved poem, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot. Allyn Burrows will be embodying T.S. himself, and Michi promises that you won't want to miss it.

Click here for tickets and more information.


Paul Wiancko (cellist) sends word that he now divides his time between composing and performing in New York City, that he has completed his first major work performed by the Parker Quartet. You can find more about Paul at his website: There you can read about Paul and hear the link to "A Sanguine Clockwork (2013) for Violin, Viola & Cello." He is shown here with his former Harlem Quartet. In 2012 he travelled to South Africa with his quartet where he spent 2 weeks working with music students and teachers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban. He then stayed an extra week to go on a safari in the Kruger National Park. A couple months later they flew to Anchorage for a performance with the Symphony and he hiked through the incredible Alaskan wilderness. As he says, "The music never stops around here!"
(On left: L to R) Juan-Miguel Hernandez, Paul Wiancko, Melissa White and Ilmar Gavilan
(On right: L to R) Peter Wiley, Judith Serkin and Paul Wiancko form a cello trio for a Vermont fundraiser


Chris Wybenga (cellist, Valley Christian High School) was married in June 2013 in Florida and has returned to California with his cellist wife. He is employed by the San Francisco Opera Company.

Julian Sharifi (cellist, Sarah Lawrence College '14) just graduated and we hope to hear more from him. He's a very creative person and we'll be eager to see what happens in his life.

sharzers Lynnie Sharzer (violinist and violist, Emory '14, Los Alamitos HS '10) is being congratulated by her brother, Charlie, at the ceremonies at Emory University in Atlanta, GA, in May 2014.
Charlie & Lynnie Sharzer  

Charlie Sharzer (violist, Yale University '12, Los Alamitos HS '08) was a Finalist in our Composition Contest (winning a recording of his quartet "Downtown F") now lives in New York City and is a computer consultant for businesses. We'll soon add a link to our recording of his quartet. Married just one year, our CMIsc trio played for his wedding to Chelsea Lee on July 3, 2016 in Anaheim Hills. He continues to perform with an orchestra in the city. He graduated at Yale University ('12), has completed his First Symphony and it was performed by the Yale Davenport Pops Symphony on April 15, 2011. You can hear three movements online... here's the link to the first mvt: Super Smash Bros. He also performed Scriabin's Prometheus: Poem of Fire at Yale in February 2010, a project by a PhD student to realize the light show to go with the music Scriabin had imagined 100 years ago and written into his score. The link to watch Yale's wonderfully edited performance (and preparation) runs about an hour..... but watch it and you'll even see Charlie in it several times.

Jonathan Sun (violinist, Sunny Hills HS '06) has a B.S. in Psychology with a Concentration in Neuroscience and Behavior from UC San Diego. He is currently working in northern California. He has played in CMIsc concerts for over a decade and recently performed with Kay Pech, Darrell Peries and Melissa Hasin in Schickele's "American Dreams" Quartet No. 1. He drove/flew here for four weekends of rehearsals to prepare the Debussy String Quartet for July 2015.


Dr. Marina Sharifi (violinist, PhD University of Chicago '13 (cancer biology), Masters degree at UC-Berkeley '09, homeschooled '02) started her third year of Medical School in June 2014. She married her partner. Hannah Eldridge, in Chicago on August 13, 2011. Both violinists, they share lots of chamber music together.


Judy Kang (cellist, Thornton School of Music, USC '11; La Mirada High School '07) is a gifted cellist and piano teacher, living in La Mirada and eager for more students. She joined the faculty for CMIsc and will be learning the Executive Director position here at CMIsc, doing much of the volunteer work provided by Ms. Pech in past years. In summer 2014 she began performing with Celine Dion in Las Vegas and will return to performances in August 2015.


Nathen Huang (violist, Columbia University '15, Los Alamitos HS ’11) has graduated at Columbia University in the City of New York, receiving both his Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Master’s degree in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences. Working in the Laboratory of Intergroup Relations and the Social Mind at Columbia, he researched prejudice against criminals reintegrating into society. He hopes to apply for PhD programs in Social Psychology post-graduation. In his first year of college, Nathen was the principal violist of the Columbia University Bach Society, an integrated choral and chamber music group.


David Lee

David Lee (violinist, Sunny Hills HS '98) was one of our FIRST students in CMI in 1997. He taught English in South Korea and is still playing. He recently returned to the Southern California area to start a new business here... and, yes, he's still playing his violin occasionally.


Alida Schat (violin, former student of Kay Pech in New Jersey in the 1970s) is the concertmaster of the Dutch Metropole Orchestra and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, and first violinist of the Amsterdam String Quartet. She appears on numerous recordings under the baton of Ton Koopman and others.
She's the blonde in front on this album cover:


Eleanor Dunbar (violinist, San Pedro HS '14) The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association has announced the winners of the Young Artists Competition. The April 7, 2012, competition finals were held onstage at Walt Disney Concert Hall, with violinist Eleanor Dunbar and pianist Alice Hyoung winning an opportunity to perform with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and conductor Thomas Wilkins. Dunbar, 15, of San Pedro, California, is concertmaster of the American Youth Symphony. She is a student of Gail Mellert. The Young Artists Competition was open to all public high school students in Los Angeles County. The Young Artists Finale concert, a private event, took place on June 26 at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Ellie was a terrific help to us, a last-minute sub for a group in CMIsc in July 2008.

wanted: more information about our former students . . . . . . be sure to keep us up to date. We want to share your information and successes!!!