Erika Sloos, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received her Master of Music degree in 2015 from the Eastman School of Music where she attended as a recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation's Graduate Arts Award and studied under Juliana Athayde. Deciding to stay in Rochester after completing her degree, Erika spent the last three years as a freelance musician. She served as the violin and viola instructor at Our Lady of Mercy School for Young Women, substituted regularly with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and taught private lessons in both violin and piano. Prior to Eastman, Erika completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a student of Dr. Carolyn Huebl. While at Vanderbilt, she also completed her Suzuki teacher training certification through Book 4 with Carol Smith.
As a teacher, Erika has created a blend of styles using her Suzuki training knowledge and her own techniques developed over the years. She began teaching as a freshman in high school and has continued teaching ever since. In Nashville, Erika enjoyed volunteer teaching at the W. O. Smith Music School, a school that provides affordable music lessons to low-income families. During the past two summers, Erika has been involved in the Western Reserve Chamber Festival in Solon, Ohio, first as a fellow and then as faculty, where she coached chamber ensembles and worked with a Suzuki class of young violinists.
Erika’s musical career has taken a somewhat unusual path as it has involved an equal balance of violin, piano, and organ playing. She regularly accompanied soloists and choruses in the Rochester area and has enjoyed her last four years as the organist and choir director of Penfield United Methodist Church in Penfield, New York.
Erika is excited to begin her new role as Assistant Concertmaster of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra, and also looks forward to sharing her love of music with students through Sistema Kingston and Queen's Community Music.