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 eighth 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.
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!
Fayth Williams is the founder of Fayth’s Music Studio where she teaches violin, viola, cello, and ukulele. She previously taught at the University of Alabama’s Community Music School and coached sectionals and chamber music at Interlochen Center for the Arts’ summer program in Michigan. A graduate of the University of Alabama with academic honors, Williams earned her Master's of Music Degree at the University of Memphis. In addition to teaching, Williams is an active symphony musician, performing throughout the southeast with the North Mississippi Symphony, Panama City Symphony, Tuscaloosa Symphony, and Starkville Symphony. She has studied and performed chamber, orchestral, opera, and solo repertoire at festivals in Italy, Hungary, and France, and went on tour with the Kodály Zoltán World Youth Orchestra.