Valerie Arsenault, violin & viola
At the Bach Parley String Academy, Valerie Arsenault uses a synthesis of Suzuki and traditional pedagogy, tailored to suit the strengths and learning styles of each student. Her approach is positive and compassionate, but also demanding, and she enjoys helping her students find creative solutions to technical and musical challenges.
Dr. Arsenault has two favorite musical activities: teaching the violin and playing baroque music. She is the President and Music Director of the Tallahassee Bach Parley. As Visiting Assistant Professor at Florida State University she directs the Baroque Ensemble (on period instruments) and has taught violin and directed the Irish Ensemble. She is a member of the Tallahassee Symphony, a principal player and soloist with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, and has performed and recorded with the Apollo Ensemble (NY) and Apollo's Fire. She studied violin at the New England Conservatory (BM), violin pedagogy and baroque violin at the Indiana University School of Music (MM, Early Music), and earned her doctorate from the Florida State University College of Music.
Megan Sahely, violin & viola
Violinist Megan Sahely performs regularly as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestra member. She currently holds positions with the Tallahassee Symphony, the Pensacola Symphony, and Sinfonia Gulf Coast. From benefit recitals in the Jacksonville area, to performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, and a concert tour of China with the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Sahely has been heard around world. She has also performed at the Ameropa Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic. Recent engagements include solo recitals at Florida State University and at Ancient City Baptist Church in St. Augustine.
Ms. Sahely earned the Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music Performance degrees from the University of Kentucky, where she graduated summa cum laude. She earned the Master's and Doctorate in Violin Performance of Music from Florida State University. She maintains a private teaching studio in the Tallahassee area. A proponent for string education in public schools, she has taught orchestra and general music at the John F. Kennedy German-American School in Berlin, Germany, Edythe J. Hayes Middle School, and Bryan Station Middle School. She is currently the Orchestra Director at Raa Middle School, Tallahassee's Magnet school for the Arts.
Zlatina Staykova, cello
Zlatina Staykova is a native of Bulgaria. She holds a Master of Music and Doctor of Music in Cello Performance from Florida State University where she studied with Lubomir Georgiev, David Bjella, and Gregory Sauer. Ms. Staykova received her Bachelor's degree from the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria. An avid chamber musician, she has participated in various ensembles and has been awarded scholarships for playing in the Liberace and Eppes Piano Trios. Ms. Staykova is a co-founding member of the Torreya and Purple Martin String Quartets. Currently she performs with the Tallahassee, Pensacola, and Mobile Symphony Orchestras.
In her teaching studio, Ms. Staykova strives to achieve the perfect balance between encouraging the good habits of playing the instrument and inspiring the musical creativity of every student.