The Florida Chamber Music Project provides live classical music in an intimate chamber music setting for residents of St. Johns County, St. Augustine, Clay County and the surrounding areas of Jacksonville and Northeast Florida.
The primary purpose of the Florida Chamber Music Project is to foster and encourage the presentation of classical chamber music; to present and sponsor presentation of classical chamber music by highly qualified professional musicians; to increase awareness of classical chamber music in the State of Florida in general and in North Florida in particular and to provide educational institutions with opportunities to educate students of all kinds concerning the nature and value of classical chamber music and its performance.
Susan Pardue — Violist and Artistic Director
Susan Pardue is a member of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in Jacksonville, Florida. Prior to moving to Jacksonville, she played with the New World Symphony in Miami. A native of North Carolina, she earned a high school diploma and bachelor of music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts and a master of music degree from the Juilliard School. Her viola teachers have included Sally Peck in North Carolina, William Lincer at Juilliard and Piero Farulli, with whom she studied in Italy on a Fulbright scholarship.
Patrice Evans — Violinist and Director of Music Education
Jacksonville Symphony violinist Patrice Evans is originally from Cleveland Ohio. She began her violin studies in the fourth grade as part of a public school music program. Upon entering high school, she became a scholarship student of Cleveland Orchestra members Richard Roberts and Steven Majeske. She won a full tuition scholarship to Florida State University where she studied with Eliot Chapo. She joined the Jacksonville Symphony in 1989. Always eager to give back in honor of the people that taught her, Patrice is very dedicated to music education, teaching in the Jump Start Strings program at S.A. Hull and Pickett Elementary Schools.
Siyu Zhang Bio
Siyu Zhang is currently a violinist with the Jacksonville Symphony in Florida. Born in Changchun, China in 1993, she began her violin studies at age five with Liu Yi. Ms. Zhang attended the Middle School affiliated with the Central Conservatory in Beijing. She subsequently continued her studies as a full scholarship student at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, graduating with distinction in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music Degree. In 2017 Ms. Zhang continued her musical education at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where Ms. Zhang graduated in 2019 with a Master of Music Degree. In 2018 Ms. Zhang was selected as one of six Zubin Mehta Fellows eligible to participate in the New York Philharmonic Global Academy, where she performed with Philharmonic musicians in concerts at Lincoln Center under the baton of baton of Pittsburgh Symphony Music Director, Manfred Honeck, and in chamber music recitals at Manhattan’s Merkin Hall. Ms. Zhang was awarded fellowships to the Music Academy of the West, Spoleto, Aspen, Texas, and Pacific summer music festivals. As an orchestral player, Siyu Zhang was appointed Concertmaster and Principal Second Violin for several events at these festivals.
Ms. Zhang has been named a finalist in auditions with the National, Detroit, San Diego, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras. She is also active with numerous renown Symphony Orchestra’s within the United States in addition to her current position with the Jacksonville Symphony.
Laurie Casseday — Cellist
Cellist Laurie Casseday hails from Atlanta, Georgia where she began cello studies at age 8. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Performers’ Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY as well as a Masters Degree from Georgia State University. Laurie has played in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra cello section since 1986, and has also performed with the symphonies of San Antonio, Savannah, Charleston, Chattanooga, Austin, and with Atlanta Ballet and Opera, and Lake George Opera.
On the chamber music front Laurie has performed in venues across the First Coast with Synergy, St. Mark’s Bach Ensemble, Brandenburg Ensemble, and San Marco Chamber Music Society, to name a few. While on the faculty at University of North Florida for ten years she was in constant demand to concertized with fellow faculty members as well as with other JSO colleagues. Great joys also come from working as a private cello teacher to students ages 4 to 74, and from coaching young cello sections in the JSO Youth Orchestra Program.
Laurie is married to JSO double bassist Kevin Casseday, and they have two sons, Sam and Pete, who are both aspiring double bassists as well. They make their home in east Arlington.
Annie Hertler — Violinist
Annie Hertler has been a member of the Jacksonville Symphony since 1990. Ms Hertler is honored to be the recipient of “The George V. Grune Endowed Chair”, one of only three endowed chairs in the Jacksonville Symphony. She holds a bachelor of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Charles Castleman. Prior to coming to Jacksonville, she was a fellow in the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Annie performs regularly with the Coastal Symphony in Brunswick, GA. She is also passionately involved in a volunteer organization called Body and Soul, which brings live music into health care settings.