Lakewood Legacies

Lakewood Legacies – Virginia Ashley

After graduating from Lakewood High School in 2014, I went on to receive my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in viola performance from Kent State University in 2018 and 2020, respectively. I served as KSU’s graduate assistant for viola, played in the Kent State University Orchestra, and performed as the principal violist in productions of Oklahoma!, Little Women, Cinderella, Into the Woods and Beauty and the Beast while working with the Kent State University School of Theatre and Dance and Porthouse Theatre. While at KSU, I was the principal violist for the Stow Symphony Orchestra and performed with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic, a group that I still frequently perform with. My masterclass performances include those at the Ohio Viola Society Day in 2010, 2012 and 2013, as well as with Jeffrey Irvine, faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music, in 2016. 

I am an active freelance musician and have performed and recorded in numerous locations around Ohio – most notably at the 2018 North American Saxophone Alliance alongside saxophonist Bobby Selvaggio, the Kent State University Stark campus in 2018, Severance Hall in Cleveland, and many more. Along with freelancing, I am a teacher and a current violin and viola instructor for Lakewood City Schools. I am grateful to my viola instructors Yu Jin, principal violist for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Joanna Patterson Zakany, Cleveland Orchestra violist and Lisa Whitfield. Special thanks to my high school orchestra director, Dr. Elizabeth Hankins, who helped me realize my passion for music and encouraged me to pursue a career that I am very grateful for. 

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