Carmen Gorak Larson
Carmen Larson is the Home School Strings Orchestra’s inspiration, founder, director and conductor. She is the principal violist in the Bremerton Symphony and teaches private viola, violin and cello lessons. She has served as a coach in the Bremerton Symphony Youth Orchestra and was involved in the past with the Kitsap Youth Symphony.
Carmen began Home School Strings in about 1994, while homeschooling her own three young children. Eventually all three joined her in the Bremerton Symphony. Even though her children are now grown and accomplished musicians, she continues to volunteer her time in order to foster a love of string music in Kitsap County’s youth.
Elisha G. Rose
Elisha G. Rose completed a double major in Music Cello Proficiency and Performance Studies from Pensacola Christian College in 2015. By 2018, he earned a Masters in Music Education, also at Pensacola Christian College. He is the owner and primary teacher of Rose Music Studio in Bremerton WA, offering private lessons in violin, viola, cello, and bass.
While working on completing his masters degree, Elisha assisted in teaching the Jaffe Strings Method, providing group class students with individualized attention on the violin, viola, cello, and bass. This allowed him to develop an ability to analyze student playing technique for all four string instruments.
Outside of performing and teaching, Elisha also writes and arranges music. He has written ensemble pieces for Home School Strings, for both full string orchestra and violin ensembles. He writes music that challenges students to develop their music technique, while also making it fun to play.
Madison has been playing the violin for seven years and has also studied piano for eight years. He is an active musician in church and plays around the community for a wide variety of things; including senior living facilities, and pit orchestras. On piano, he can often be found as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and playing with ensembles of various sizes. Madison is primarily a classical musician, but also plays in the fiddle style and does hymn improvisation. As a musician, he believes that playing music well takes more than just playing the correct notes, and includes understanding the music theory, having good musicianship, and playing musically.
Besides teaching the Advanced Class, Madison is also the HSS website administrator. If you need to contact him, you can do so here.
Marciana Heemstra has been playing fiddle music for 10 years on guitar, banjo and bass. She is a member of the Washington Old Time Fiddle Organization. When she's not jamming she enjoys square dancing to fiddle music. Marciana and her children have been part of Home School Strings since 2012. She also serves as registrar.
Rhonda has a BME with K-12 endorsements in band, orchestral, and choral conducting, as well as general music. Her major instrument was flute, and her minors were harp and piano. She taught for several years at Christ the King Academy in Poulsbo before having 3 daughters. More recently, she taught band and general music at Sylvan Way Christian School for several years. She has also been teaching piano, harp, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet in her private studio for many years. Rhonda was a member of the Bremerton Symphony for over 25 years (flute, piccolo, and harp). She also enjoys performing for various venues including weddings, dinners, and background music for events.
Rupert trained at Cornish School of the Arts in Seattle and has a background in both improvisational Jazz and Rock and Roll. He has been teaching and performing music for over 35 years, most recently performing with ZERO at festivals in England and Germany. He lives in Kingston with his wife, two cats and five goats.
Rupert is a private music teacher in North and Central Kitsap County, teaching beginning through advanced guitar, lap steel guitar, bass, ukulele, beginning piano, music theory and band dynamics. He encourages a love of music; starting even the youngest players on full songs and praising strengths while working on weaknesses.
In addition to individual lessons, Rupert teaches summer camps that allow students the opportunity to learn how to play with other students in small band settings and to perform for others, as each camp culminates in a concert for the parents. Advanced students also have the opportunity to play at Farmer’s Markets, community theater and other public events with Mr. Rupert and other students.
Heidi is in her fourth year playing with Homeschool Strings. She has studied cello for 4 years, and piano and music theory since she was 6. Currently she is also enjoying playing cello with the Poulsbo Community Orchestra. She loves music and is excited to share that enthusiasm with her orchestra and private students. A college freshman, she is pursuing a degree in Communications.
Paige has been playing violin since the age of ﬁve. Along the way, she added viola (which, in her opinion, rocks!). The eldest of nine and a homeschool graduate, this is her third year teaching with Homeschool Strings. She is currently playing viola in the Poulsbo Community Orchestra, and loving it! While teaching, she is also studying for her degree in Sign Language Interpreting.
Whether playing solo, in a quartet with her siblings, or participating in larger groups, Paige enjoys playing music and hopes to share this same enthusiasm with her students.