The Tallahassee Homeschool String Orchestra (THSO) is a string education program dedicated to providing valuable ensemble experience to homeschool string students of varying playing levels. It is open to all homeschool students and other interested students as approved by the orchestra directors. All rehearsals begin with prayer and are taught with a Christian emphasis and worldview. THSO consists of six ensembles for students between the ages of 3 and 18, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups.
Originally established in August 2014, the Tallahassee Homeschool String Orchestra was originally founded by Jennifer Morgan Clyde and Joanna Pepple with approximately 25 students in the first year. The group has since grown to about 100 students within 6 ensembles and currently meets at Thomasville Road Baptist Church.
About The Faculty
Joanna Pepple is a co-founder of the Tallahassee Homeschool String Orchestra, currently directing the orchestras in their fifth year. She has a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from Florida State University and has served as a Musicology Teaching Assistant, teaching core music history classes to undergraduate music majors. She earned a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance at Appalachian State University and Mercer University, respectively. Her teachers include Dr. Nancy Bargerstock, Dr. Eric Koontz, Dr. Giselle Hillyer, Dr. Jo Nardolillo, Ms. Ginny Respess, and Mr. Benjamin Baxter. As an orchestral musician, she has served as a contract player with the Albany Symphony, Macon Symphony, and Western Piedmont Symphony. At Appalachian State University, Joanna completed her Master’s degree serving as a Graduate Assistant in the Hayes Graduate String Quartet, playing both violin and viola. Wanting to learn more about effective strategies in teaching young children, she completed the Long-Term Suzuki Pedagogy Training (Books 1-10) at East Carolina University under the tutelage of Joanne Bath while pursuing a second Master’s degree in Music Theory/Composition. There she was a teacher in an outreach after-school elementary Suzuki program in Bath, North Carolina, taught undergraduate music theory and fundamentals at the University, and created and managed a music theory lab for tutoring undergraduate music majors. Currently, Joanna teaches violin and viola at both Thomasville Road Academy of the Arts and independently in her home studio. Her dissertation research on the impact of the Leipzig Conservatory on American music education has brought her to study and research in Germany in 2014 and 2015, funded through DAAD grants (German Academic Exchange Service). Joanna loves working with students and sharing her passion for learning and music.
Lisa M. Foltz, holds a Master of Music Degree from Florida State University, and a BA in Music and a BS in Political Science from Jacksonville University, with minors in International Studies and Business Administration. An active leader and participant in Tallahassee’s music community, Lisa is Music Director and Conductor of Rose City Symphonic Band, Music Director and Conductor for the Tallahassee Music Guild’s 2017 Sing-Along Messiah, Associate Conductor for Capital City Band, featured vocalist for Thursday Night Music Club, and violinist in her church’s orchestra. In addition, Lisa has five years of experience teaching elementary strings. For three years, she served as Associate Conductor for a community orchestra. As a conductor, Lisa has participated in workshops in Romania, New York (Bard, Eastman, and String Orchestra of Brooklyn), Virginia (Richmond Symphony Orchestra), Rhode Island, and Florida. A fourteen-year veteran of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus, Lisa performed on sixteen ASO recordings, four of which are Grammy winners. With the chorus, she toured to Carnegie Hall five times, Ojai, Ravinia, Birmingham and London England, and to Berlin for performances with the Berlin Philharmonic in 2003, 2008, and 2009. In 2007 and 2009 she was selected by audition to participate in the Carnegie Hall Professional Choral Workshops under Helmuth Rilling. Locally, Lisa has been a soloist with the Tallahassee Community Chorus, the Tallahassee Bach Parley, the Sing-Along Messiah, the FSU Chamber Choir, and at her church. In 2016, Lisa premiered Robert Strobel’s song cycle, “Three Songs of the Librarian” a work written for her following a prior collaboration. Lisa enjoys traveling with her husband Mark.
Rebekah Franklin is a Ph.D. Candidate in Historical Musicology at Florida State University, where she teaches music history courses for undergraduates. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, where she graduated summa cum laude and sat principal chair in the Wheaton College Symphony Orchestra her senior year. There she also taught and assisted at the Wheaton Community School of the Arts on the Conservatory’s campus. She has performed in the cello section of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra and the Panama City Pops Orchestra, and she is an active Baroque cellist in the Florida State University Baroque Ensemble. For the past three years, she has served as the Fine Arts Camp Coordinator for First Baptist Church Tallahassee. She maintains a private cello studio in Tallahassee and also teaches for the Thomasville Road Academy of the Arts.
Joann Solari graduated from Florida State University where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music Therapy. Her primary instrument is viola and she also took secondary piano lessons. Joann was an Arts After School Director and Summer Camp Director for many years. Here she taught elementary-aged children everything from percussion, to dancing, piano, music history, and theory. She currently works as music therapist in nursing homes and pre-schools as well as teaching private violin, viola, and piano lessons in the Tallahassee area. Joann is looking forward to working with the children and developing in them a love for orchestra with THSO!