November Teacher Spotlight: Ellen Stephens

For the November Teacher Spotlight, we are featuring Ellen Stephens. Ellen is originally from Nashville, TN, but moved to Cincinnati, OH in 1998 so she could attend the University of Cincinnati- College Conservatory of Music (CCM) for graduate school as a cello performance major. Following graduation, Ellen was offered a teaching position. Since then, she has discovered a love and passion for teaching and helping students grow. She is currently the orchestra director at Northern Kentucky School of Music of Immanuel. She looks forward to their tours and competitions every year, probably because they perform at such a high level and are recognized with many awards every year! Along with all of that, she has performed at the Luca Italy Opera Theatre for two summers and is currently a member of the Southbank Quartet. Ellen has an impressive musical history and we can't wait to see what her future holds as a teacher and performer.

Read More
Courtney Kappa
China Trip 2017

October was a busy month for the team at BVS. A few of our team members traveled to China for two weeks to meet with our current workshops and attend the world's largest music trade show. The reason we get our instruments from China makes us very unique. Instead of ordering instruments from large manufacturers, we partner with makers in China and work together to design and create the best instruments for our shop. This helps us sell the highest quality product at a more reasonable price. Plus, you won't be able to find our instruments anywhere else.

Read More
Courtney Kappa
October Teacher Spotlight: Anna Ballmer

This month we are focusing on Anna Ballmer. Anna graduated from Bowling Green State University as a K-12 Music Education major with a specialty in strings. Her primary instrument is the viola, and she has been teaching private violin and viola lessons for 15 years. She started her music career in Chalkida, Greece, where she taught at a music conservatory. Since then, she has started an orchestra program from scratch in 2015 and currently teaches applied violin lessons at Lorain County Community College. She also teaches beginning violin classes in collaboration with Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra at Oberlin Center for the arts; Lorain Arts Academy. And if all of that isn't impressive enough, Anna owns an arts administrative business, where the primary objective is coordinating and managing a city sponsored outdoor concert series in Perrysburg, OH and she will have an article published in OMEA's triad online magazine. Keep reading if you want to read my interview with Anna!

Read More
Stephen Heck
We're Back From China

My three sons and I just got back from our annual trip to China, and despite some serious jetlag, I am so excited about what we accomplished. We go for several reasons.  The first half of the trip, we visit our existing workshops (most of them are in Beijing) to make adjustments to our existing product lines, and make sure that they are meeting our standards.  We also work with them to develop new instruments, and hand pick completed instruments to add to our inventory.  The second half of our tip is spent in Shanghai, where we attend the world’s largest music tradeshow.  It’s a unique opportunity for us to find new makers to partner with.  We have found so many fabulous instruments and makers there over the past ten years.

Read More
Stephen Heck