Currently, Dr. Jacqueline Skara serves as Assistant Professor of Viola and Music Education (Strings) at Oklahoma State University's Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music. A native of Southern California, Jacqueline is a driven and focused string instrument educator and performer. A valued teacher who connects personally with her students, she designs innovative curricula and infuses modern technology into the classroom. Committed to community engagement, Jacqueline has worked with organizations such as Cheerful Heart Mission located in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Kabarek University in Kenya, and the Fairview Violin Project in Indiana, to create and develop string programs locally and internationally. Her global teaching experience includes proficiency in distance teaching and a commitment to culturally responsive pedagogy.
Jacqueline is a member of the ASTA Conference Planning Committee, the Advisory Board for the Music Educators Journal, and she currently serves as the Student Advisory Committee Chair for the National ASTA. Jacqueline has presented at the ASTA National Conference, the NAfME National Research Conference, Big Ten Academic Alliance Music Education Research Conference, and Desert Skies Research Symposium. Her research interests include pedagogical and descriptive analyses of string shifting, and the intersections of parental involvement, parent attitudes towards music in school curricula, and parent social/cultural capital.
An avid chamber musician, Jacqueline was a founding member of the Allium String Quartet and has always enjoyed participating in local groups that perform music outside of the Western art tradition. During her time in Chicago, she was principal violist of the Civic Orchestra and frequently performed with many regional ensembles.
Jacqueline received bachelor's degrees in viola performance and French from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, a master's degree in viola performance and chamber/orchestral literature from the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, and a Ph.D. in music education with a minor in viola performance at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her primary viola teachers included Robert Becker, Pam Goldsmith, Roland Vamos, and Steve Wyrczynski. Dr. Brenda Brenner served as her dissertation chair and mentor throughout her Ph.D. studies.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Michele Contreras is the Orchestra Director at Classen School of Advanced Studies Middle School in Oklahoma City. Previously, Contreras taught at Stillwater Middle School where her students were recognized as the 2017 Middle Level Honor Orchestra for the State of Oklahoma by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association. Under her direction, students have consistently earned Outstanding Achievement Awards and Superior ratings at OSSAA contests and participate in the North Central Honor Orchestra. Contreras, an Oklahoma City University alum, graduated Magna Cum Laude and received OCU’s “Outstanding Student in Instrumental Music Education” award upon graduation. Contreras received her Master’s in Music Education degree at the University of North Texas School of Music. While at UNT, Contreras' studies allowed her to create compositional and improvisational activities for the Beginning Orchestra Classroom as part of a capstone project for teachers to use as a resource. Contreras’ desire to advocate for string programs, share the wealth of pedagogical knowledge that ASTA offers, and strengthen community among string teachers in the state of Oklahoma motivates her to serve on the board for The Oklahoma Chapter of the American String Teachers Association.