Faculty

Headshot of Evan holding a violin
Evan Courtin
Associate Teacher

• Started violin through the Suzuki Method at age 5
• Is certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas in Suzuki Units 1 & 2
• Earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Buffalo State College in 2016, where he also served as Concertmaster for the BSC Philharmonia
• Is the violinist for Wooden Cities, a local contemporary chamber ensemble, and also an active composer and arranger
• Performs with several WNY bands, and in theatrical productions at venues including Lancaster Opera House, Theater of Youth and Zodiaque Dance Company

Laura Beth Wendelin
Assistant Teacher

• Started her violin studies through the Suzuki Method at age of 3
• She spent many years as a practice partner and mentor at SVWNY
• She has directed and assisted with many musical productions from High School to College
• Earned her Bachelor in Music Business from Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam where she is finishing her Master’s Degree in Music Education
• Currently student teaching in WNY area
• She enjoys perform and conduct choral ensembles

Marie Zak
Collaborative Pianist

Marie has her own piano studio and we are very fortunate to have her as the collaborative pianist for our Advanced Violin Ensemble, Presto! Marie:

• Received her Master of Fine Arts degree from SUNYAB in 1987, studying piano accompaniment with the late Carlo Pinto and voice with the late Heinz Rehfuss
• Is a member of The National Guild of Piano Teachers, Pi Kappa Lambda, and a women’s performing group, the Wednesday Morning Musicale
• Serves as organist and accompanist Alden Presbyterian Church

Marcella Wentland
Training Orchestra Director and Conductor

Marcella Wentland is the orchestra director at Orchard Park Middle School, conducting 7th and 8th grade orchestras. We are very happy to have her direct and conduct our Suzuki Training Orchestra. Marcella:

• Started playing the violin at age 4
• Received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy from Baldwin-Wallace College and her Master’s degree in Music Education from SUNY Fredonia
• Plays the erhu (a Chinese stringed instrument), performing this year at the U.B. Center for the Arts as part of the Chinese New Year celebration
• Has even played the National Anthem at a Cleveland Indians game!

Heather Asbach
New Family Liason

Heather Asbach is our New Family Liaison and also one of our collaborative pianists. She has her own piano studio and is passionate about music education and the joy it brings to families. Heather:

• Was a Suzuki parent for two of her four children for 13 years
• Has been actively involved in the local classical education community for over 20 years
• Began playing the piano at age 5
• Studied with Frina Archanska Boldt at the University of Buffalo
• Has been actively involved in the music ministry at her church
• Has accompanied choirs and soloists of all ages for as long as she can remember

Headshot of Sarah Asbach
Sarah Asbach
Administrative Assistant

Sarah is the Administrative Assistant to our director. She can also be seen assisting at group classes and concerts.

• Sarah has been playing the violin since she was 5 years old
• Is certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas in Suzuki Early Childhood Education
• Serves as a Practice Partner for our younger students
• Currently studies Fine Arts at the University of Buffalo