Cello Faculty

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Kayla Herrmann

Junior Session

BM, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

MM, Hartt School of Music

Suzuki Teacher Training, Hartt School of Music

Joined LMC Faculty in 2020

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

I live in New York City, where I am head of the chamber music program and cello department at Silver Music and am also faculty at the Diller Quaile School of Music. I began studying piano, but immediately fell in love with the sound of the cello. Since then, I have participated in many international chamber music festivals including Ravinia (USA), Ameropa (Prague), Lake Lugano (Switzerland), Dark Music Days (Iceland) and I have collaborated and studied with chamber musicians including members of the Vermeer, Martinu and Juilliard String Quartets. 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

I remember going to chamber music camp as a young teenager. The musicians and teachers I met there have become lifelong friends. I was so motivated coming home from camp and counting the days until I would return! I'm excited to be a part of that community again. The program at Luzerne includes everything needed to provide a rich, musical summer! 

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

I focus on giving students the tools needed to become confident in the practice room. I will help them learn to take apart difficult sections and choose ways to effectively work on it. Equally important, I will help them find ownership of the music by bringing their personal experiences and feelings into the piece! 

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Sarah Bish

Junior & Senior Session

BM, Cleveland Institute of Music

MM, University of Massachusetts Amherst

DMA, Rutgers University

Joined LMC Faculty in 2018

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

I am a cellist in New York City and I teach and perform around New York and Massachusetts. I am on faculty during the year at the Thurnauer School of Music in Tenafly, New Jersey, and have full Suzuki method certification. I made my solo debut in 2008 performing with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic after winning first prize in the Virtuoso-in-Progress Competition. Since then, I have attended festivals such as the Chautauqua Institute, the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, the June in Buffalo Performance Institute and the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop, where I collaborated with the Juilliard String Quartet, Kim Kashkashian and Itzhak Perlman. The past few years, I have worked closely with Itzhak and Toby Perlman during residencies and summer programs on Shelter Island, New York, Sarasota, Florida, and Tel Aviv, Israel. 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

The structure of the program is perfect for cultivating a strong musician with the great variety of ensembles and classes. As a teacher, looking at the students’ schedule and all the different ways of learning, whether it is in private lessons, chamber music or orchestra solidifies my suspicions that Luzerne is a nurturing place that only strengthens the love of music for everyone.

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

During lessons, we will work on making sure the skeleton of the cello technique is strong. Then we will work on how to use that technique to explore different ways of expression. For some students, we may also explore how to practice effectively and how to use time well while enjoying one's self!

So Headshot

So Sugiyama 

Senior Session

BA in Philosophy, Columbia University

MM, Manhattan School of Music & Stony Brook University

DMA, Stony Brook University

Joined LMC Faculty in 2022

Share with us some of your professional accomplishments.

As a founding member of the Deka String Quartet, I present innovative concert programs, mentor the next generation of musicians, and connect with audiences from around the world. Along with my quartet, I was the first-ever Artist-in-Residence at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, NY where I performed in surrounding cities and taught students from SUNY Schenectady and the Empire State Youth Orchestra. During my formal studies, I was the teaching assistant to the legendary Emerson String Quartet and David Finckel, the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. 


I’ve been invited to present masterclasses and workshops to a wide range of students at esteemed institutions such as the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, the Manhattan School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, and Gettysburg College. 


For nearly a decade, I’ve run a private studio, SO CELLO, composed of talented cellists from the NY Metropolitan area. I am deeply invested in my student's artistic development and have helped them gain admittance into pre-college programs and to regularly win title seats in a variety of orchestral programs. I count my students’ accomplishments as some of my proudest achievements! 

What excites you about Luzerne Music Center?

There’s an undeniably strong connection between nature and great music. From Beethoven to Brahms to Debussy, nature coaxes out the greatest forms of artistic expression. At Luzerne, you’ll not only be surrounded by the trees and open sky, removed from the busy distractions of modern life, but you’ll also be fully immersed in a program that has been carefully curated to nurture every aspect of your artistry. From chamber music, orchestra, private lessons, studio classes, and weekly performances, the Luzerne Music Center is an all-encompassing musical retreat that is as rewarding to me as it is to the students.

What can campers expect to learn while working with you this summer?

I notice the greatest strides being made when students begin to cultivate an independent mind. For the first few years of training, a lot of what students learn, both musically and technically, boils down to procedural learning (do this, do that!). But when students cultivate the ability to think conceptually, they begin to move away from predictable and repetitive routines. Instead, they start to view their time in the practice room as a laboratory, where the spirit of experimenting and problem-solving comes to the forefront and their individuality begins to take shape. 

So with my students I try to emphasize the cultivation of the mind above all else through lively, dialogue-driven lessons. I treat my students as artists-to-be who are members of an ancient tradition of creativity. We’ll cover the usual suspects – tension, intonation, phrasing, beauty of sound, rhythm –  but instead of merely telling you what to do, I will help you develop the ability to eventually tell yourself what to do, which in turn will pave the way to forging your own unique, musical voice.