The wonderful world of strings could be at your fingertips. These instruments are the heart of an orchestra and chamber ensembles alike. A natural progression from learning piano, learning any of the string instruments is a great addition to any musician's journey.
Blenda Lau, who grew up in Hong Kong (China), had been playing the piano and violin since the age of 7. In 2013, with the Berklee Entrance Scholarship, she began her study at Berklee College of Music, with Film Scoring and Contemporary Writing & Production as her dual majors, minoring in Recording and Production for Musicians. Her principal instrument is piano/keyboard, but she also performs as a violinist and pipa-ist.
In July 2013, half year after she moved to Boston, she joined the Rhythm of the Universe. Enlightened with the fusion music that they were doing, she performed and arranged a traditional Chinese tune with beatboxer, Gene Shinozaki, and didgeridoo player, Max Jackson.
In July 2014, she started the band, Jong Jazz, of her playing the pipa with Billy Yeung on Dizi/Saxophone/Ewi, Jason Lee on violin and Victor Gonzalez on double bass. Then they began performing around Boston area. In January 2015, they were invited to tour for 10 days in Guangzhou, China.
Graduated in May 2015, she now moves to Los Angeles, CA and has started her music career as a film composer.
KJ Bell is a writer, musician, and teacher based in Los Angeles. A native of Farmington, New Mexico he benefited from the town’s strong music programs, starting with the violin at the age of 8. He attended Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, graduating with a degree in Music Education in 2013. Specializing in both strings and voice he served as principal violist of the college chamber orchestra, and section leader of the choirs. After graduating he formed his own studio, teaching students in Colorado and New Mexico. His students frequently made regional and state honor ensembles and earned high ratings in solo competitions.
During his time in Durango KJ performed with ensembles throughout the southwest, including the San Juan Symphony, Durango Choral Society, Caliente Community Chorus, Vivace Mandolin Ensemble, and the Durango Chamber Singers. His expertise as a string player, vocalist, and conductor kept him in high demand in the region. He has performed with choruses at Lincoln Center and on several European tours. In June of 2015 he participated in the Rome Choral Festival under the direction of Z. Randall Stroope, where he was chosen as a soloist for performances in St. Peter’s Basilica and the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
KJ has written numerous works for chorus, performing several during his time as the Music and Choir Director at Durango’s Christ the King Lutheran Church. The April 2017 premiere of his setting of T. H. Bradshaw's poem "For You" earned him a standing ovation in his hometown when he conducted the work with the Durango Chamber Singers. He moved to Los Angeles in the summer of 2017, where he has been pursuing several writing projects in addition to his teaching work.