Staff and Faculty

Goran Berg playing violin
Göran Berg

Göran Berg – violin, viola, orchestra, chamber music, artistic director/owner

Göran Berg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Pedagogy from the Royal Swedish Music Academy at Stockholm University, and a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy in the String Development Program at the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.

He is strongly dedicated to the teachings of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and of his own teacher, Professor John Kendall. Mr. Berg has 50 years of music teaching experience, the last 35 years including the Suzuki Method. He conducts parent and teacher education training classes throughout the United States and Europe.

Mr. Berg teaches violin, and viola, both Suzuki and traditional methods. He conducts orchestra and coaches chamber music. Among other music styles, he likes to utilize fiddle tunes as part of his teaching as a complement to classical instrumental studies.

Mr. Berg has a long background in voice and singing. He is a trained baritone with many years of vocal studies in Stockholm. As a member of several choirs and choruses in Sweden his repertoire streched from medieval music to contemporary works. As a member of the Stockholm Motet Choir he can be heard on the BIS CD Scandinavian Choir Music. He also performs on the Erato recording of “Figure Humaine” by F. Polenc, with the Stockholm YMCA Chamber Chorus. Well-known chorus conductors of great importance for him are Dan Olof Stenlund, Professor at the Copenhagen Music Conservatory, and the late Eric Ericsson, Professor emeritus at the Royal Swedish Music Academy in Stockholm.

Göran Berg writes original arrangements of Scandinavian fiddle music, both for violins and orchestra/string quartet. His “Fiddle Heart” books are used by educators internationally.

He has also published string arrangements in the new Eclectic Strings Series, Book 1, at Alfred Publications; Violins Go Vivaldi / Eclectic Strings.

TELEPHONE: 510.303.0523
Christina Berg
Christina Berg

Christina Berg

Christina Berg, who died on Christmas Day in 2017, completed music studies at the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm. She was a music and elementary school teacher for fifteen years in Sweden and taught guitar in the Tri-Valley Area for over a decade. She was a certified Kindermusik Educator, Montessori instructor, and author of music education materials used to train other music educators. At SSA, she taught her own guitar program, called Guitar with Christina. It emphasized chord play as accompaniment to the student’s own singing. Her Kindermusik classes were organized under the auspices of the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District.

Göran Berg and the late Christina Berg are the parents of three adult children and have four grandchildren. All three children took Suzuki violin and cello throughout their childhood. Until the children moved on to college, the Berg family played as a quartet. The Berg Quartet performed at numerous weddings and church events at the Church of Sweden, San Francisco.

Fernanda van Atta
Fernanda Van Atta

Fernanda Van Atta – junior chamber orchestra director

Fernanda Van Atta joined the teaching staff of Sycamore Strings Academy, where she is the director of the Sycamore Junior Chamber Orchestra, in 2021. A former student of SSA, Fernanda holds a B.A. in viola performance and music education from Concordia University Irvine and has been heard on stages across several U.S. states, as well as Germany and Austria. She is a violist with the Livermore-Amador Symphony and the Valley Dance Theatre Orchestra and has coached the violists of the Livermore-Amador Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Fernanda is the organist and handbell choir director at Asbury United Methodist Church in Livermore. She has worked for the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival since 2016 as a violist and administrator.

Carol Vitcha
Carol Vitcha

Carol Vitcha – violin

Carol Vitcha grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and received undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education from Bowling Green State University and Miami University in Ohio. After teaching in a Suzuki program in the Cleveland Catholic Schools for two years, she studied the Suzuki Method in-depth with Suzuki pioneer John Kendall at Southern Illinois University. Carol has attended many Suzuki and traditional string training sessions in Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, New York, Illinois, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and New Mexico and also had the opportunity to study with Dr. Suzuki in Japan.

In the Bay Area, Carol has taught with the East Bay Suzuki Music Association in Berkeley, Salinas Junior College, Dominican University, and Holy Names Suzuki Prep programs and maintains a home violin studio. She also has played with many “freeway” symphonies and presently plays in a string quartet. Carol loves to help students work on reaching higher levels in playing and having fun with music.

Carol is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the Suzuki Association of Northern California and is a member and evaluator for the Music Teachers’ Association of California.

Carol lives in Richmond with her husband, Bob, and three cats: Jack, Lucy, and Ethel.

Andy Ly with cello
Andy Ly

Andy Ly – violin

Andy Ly is a classical cellist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Jean-Michel Fonteneau and San Francisco State University with Sandy Wilson. Other important teachers and mentors include Jim Aikin, Matthew Owens, the Alexander String Quartet, Nina Flyer, Erik Urbina, and Paul Rhodes.

Andy is excited to be at the start of his professional career, with performances taking him across the states and in venues such as Carnegie Hall and Davies Symphony Hall. An active musician in the Bay Area, he has performed in the cello sections of the Livermore-Amador Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, California Pops Orchestra, and UC Berkeley Symphony Orchestra and played under the baton of conductors David Ramadanoff, Gerard Schwarz, Michael Morgan, and Joana Carneiro.

In 2014, Andy received the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association’s Bill King Memorial Award for his contributions to school and community musical activities. Recently he won the SFSU Concerto Competition and performed Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo with the University Orchestra directed by Brad Hogarth.

Website: www.andylycello.com

Staff:
Judy Eckart, webmaster
judy@justjudy.com

%d bloggers like this: