An Innovative String Training Program
Progressions, a part of MYSO’s innovative Community Partnership Programs, is an immersive string training program, which provides private instruction and orchestral training in violin, viola, cello and bass to 3rd and 4th grade students who have limited musical experience and live in or attend a school in the City of Milwaukee.
One of the primary aims of Progressions is increased participation in MYSO by students from populations (e.g., racial, ethnic, socioeconomic) that face barriers of access and equity in music study. All (100%) of Progressions students come from low-to-moderate income families and 91% are students of color.
Progressions is heavily contribution-based, with all students receiving virtually full scholarships for instruments, private lessons, membership, and transportation as needed. Families, all of whom have limited financial resources, were asked to pay just $75 in 2021-22, though the actual cost is approximately $4,000/student.
Progressions accepts students only via nomination from school principals, teachers and music directors. Each school year, MYSO enrolls approximately 60 new Progressions students from schools throughout the City of Milwaukee.
At a Glance
- Students are required to report to MYSO three times per week between Monday-Thursday, for approximately 1-2 hours each day, in the late afternoon/early evening
- Most students are in grades 3-4
- Director: Tiffany Chang
- For more information, please call the office at (414) 267-2950 or email email@example.com
The Progressions Staff
Community Program Manager and Chamber Flute Ensemble and Flute Chorale Music Director Sabrina Raber is a performer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 2019, Sabrina was a fellow for the Global Leaders Program, where she earned an executive graduate certificate in social entrepreneurship, teaching artistry, and organizational management. Sabrina was the first to receive the Masters in Music and Community Partnership degree at the University of South Carolina. She did her undergraduate work at the Ohio State University. Her teachers include Jennifer Parker-Harley and Katherine Borst-Jones.
As a student at the University of South Carolina, Sabrina developed a program entitled, Find Your Beat, a recycled instrumental music education program for underserved children. She has performed with the Long Bay Symphony, Aiken Symphony, Columbia Choral Society, the Spark Chamber Ensemble, and the University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra where she performed as soloist. Additionally, Sabrina was a top finalist for the National Flute Association’s C.R.E.A.T.E. Entrepreneurship competition, a two-time Masterclass winner of the South Carolina Flute Society Competition, and a winner of the University of South Carolina Concerto Competition. Sabrina has led masterclasses in both the United States and in Chile, where she was a guest artist for the international Peñalolén Flute Festival. She has also presented research on the impact of music education on under-resourced children through the use of alternative music education techniques.
Outside of the music world, Sabrina is an avid photographer, a self-identified foodie, sports fan, and lover of all things wonderful.
While in high school, Sabrina was a flute player in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. She was part of a Senior Symphony Tour to Vienna and Prague, composed for several ensembles as part of the John Downey Creation Project, played in an interdisciplinary performance of Peter and the Wolf with First Stage and the Milwaukee Ballet, and performed with the Chamber Orchestra for the National Governors Association Annual Convention. She is thrilled to have returned to MYSO!
Ravenna Helson is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music and Yale University where she received an MM degree and the Ellen Battell Stoeckel Award for Excellence in Chamber Music.
She has performed with the Detroit Symphony, Michigan Opera Theater, New Jersey Symphony, Santa Fe Pro Musica, Chicago Baroque Ensemble, Her Majesty’s Clerks, and Comic Intermezzo.
In Milwaukee she has played with the Milwaukee Symphony, Skylight Opera Orchestra, Ensemble Musical Offering, Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra and is currently principal cello of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra. Theater work includes the Milwaukee Repertory Theater’s Twelfth Night and Anna Karenina.
As a faculty member of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Alverno College and Carroll University, she has taught cello and chamber music and performed concerts and educational workshops with the Carroll String Trio. As a student she was invited to participate in the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico with Alexander Schneider’s NY String Orchestra and additionally has been a fellow at the Oberlin Baroque Institute, the International Baroque Institute at Longy and the Bach Aria Festival in New York.
Studies in Baroque cello/viola da gamba have been with Anner Bylsma, Phoebe Carrai, Catharina Meints and Enid Sutherland.
MYSO alumna Sonora Brusubardis has been a coach for MYSO’s String Orchestra North for the last five years. In addition to her role as a MYSO coach, she is a violin instructor for MYSO’s Progressions Program. In 2018, Miss Sonora became certified to teach Suzuki violin and viola, and in 2020, she graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in violin and viola performance. She currently has a studio in the Summit area teaching violin, viola, and beginner piano to students of all ages.
Mr. Babbitt graduated in 1985 from the UWM with an MM degree in double bass performance. He has worked extensively throughout the Midwest as a professional bassist and educator.
As a performer he has worked with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, Festival City Symphony, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Philharmonic, Bel Canto Chorus and Orchestra, Skylight Opera, Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Florentine Opera and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. He is also active as a jazz performer, having worked with Chuck Hedges, David Hazeltine and Manty Ellis.
Mr. Babbitt served as Wisconsin Conservatory of Music faculty chair of the String Department from 1996 to 1999 and has also served as adjunct faculty at UWM, UW-Stevens Point, Concordia University, Cardinal Stitch University, Carroll College, Alverno College Community Arts Department, the String Academy of Wisconsin and the Oshkosh Summer String Program.
Mr. Babbitt has been an instructor with the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music since 1994 in bass, theory and music history.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Progressions Viola Instructor Evan Lane began viola in the fourth grade. His introduction to music was singing with his school choir at age six at a Starbucks for the holidays and learning about folk and bluegrass music from his family. He attended Milwaukee High School of the Arts, where he was a music major and had his first paid gig playing in a string quartet for the Milwaukee County Zoo. He reports he “couldn’t get enough of music, so I also joined MYSO in high school, and it changed everything.” He attended both Lawrence and Roosevelt University as a music major and learned what it took to be a true chamber musician. He is Music Director of Milwaukee Montessori School, and has sung for dozens of private and public organizations. He now has his first EP produced and streaming everywhere. “I’m excited about the opportunity to teach and work with MYSO. It truly was the best experience, and I can’t wait to impart the gift of music to others.”
Manuel Landin Lopez was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Violin Performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying under Dr. Bernard Zinck. At the age of 6, Manuel began his musical studies at the Latino Arts Strings Program based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There he received private instruction with the program’s director, Dinorah Marquez, learning both mariachi and classical music. Manuel continued his education at Marquette University High School studying violin with Jerome Franke, former Concertmaster Emeritus of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
A MYSO alum, he performed in Vienna and Budapest with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2015; and toured California with the Latino Arts Strings Program in 2016. As a high school musician, he participated in Sphinx Performance Academy in the summers of 2012 to 2015, and in the WSMA High School Honors Orchestra from 2013-2016.
As a soloist, Manuel was awarded First Place in the Menomonee Falls 2017 Young Artist Competition, performing the final movement of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto in A minor.
An active performer, Manuel is a member of a student-led mariachi group called Mariachi Monarcas de Milwaukee. He was featured on “Buenaventura,” a Grammy-nominated album by La Santa Cecilia. Manuel’s musical tastes are diverse, and he is passionate about continuing to explore various genres of Latin music, including Mariachi, Latin Jazz, Tango, and classical music written by Latin American composers as part of his future professional career. He takes pride in having developed over the years a distinctive and personal identity shaped by his musical and artistic exploration.
Progressions Director Tiffany Chang was most recently an orchestra teacher in the Wauwatosa School District, and prior to that, taught orchestra in the school district of Beloit, Wisconsin. Ms. Chang received her Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree at the UW-Madison and is certified to teach instrumental music. She has played in a variety of groups, including the Beloit-Janesville Symphony, Manitowoc Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, and was a founding member of the Turtle Creek Chamber Orchestra and has served as coordinator and violin coach for WSMA Honors Orchestra.