Stretto Youth Chamber Orchestra is an ensemble of young musicians who come together to tackle the challenge of playing great works of the chamber orchestra literature. The ensemble was founded in 1997 by Director Sherri Anderson to provide young string players the opportunity to develop the essential skills for refined chamber playing. Many of our original members were 5 and 6 years old when the ensemble was founded. These players have grown up learning to listen for the fine details of chamber music - balance, intonation, compositional structure and style. It is the hope that by the time students graduate, they will have an appreciation that all great art begins with the discipline of learning one’s craft. There is a leadership-training program built into the structure of Stretto to give older students a chance to teach the younger students and lead their peers. Stretto has performed in Chicago, Paris, Essen, Düsseldorf, Florence, Prague, Vienna, Baden, Montenegro, Croatia and as part of the Philadelphia Bach Festival.
Sherri Anderson, the founding director of "Stretto", received her Bachelor of Music degree from Wheaton College and her Master of Sacred Music degree from Westminster Choir College. Ms. Anderson completed additional graduate study in String Pedagogy and Choral Conducting at Temple University where she studied with Helen Kwalwasser and Alan Harler. Ms. Anderson maintains large private teaching studios in the Princeton and Philadelphia areas. She is on the Violin/Viola Faculty of the Lawrenceville School and the Trenton Community Music School, Director of Children’s Music at Snyder Ave Congregational Church in Philadelphia and the Executive Director of Blue Mountain Chamber Music Festival.
Amy Goodman Wulfman has had an international career as a concert violinist, performing with orchestras in Europe and in the U.S. She studied at the Vienna Academy with Günter Pichler and Michael Frischenschlager, performing and recording with the baroque ensemble Capella Academica under Eduard Melkus. In the U.S., Ms Wulfman received her B.A. from Yale University and her M.M. from the University of Wisconsin. Ms Wulfman has been an active performer, playing numerous chamber music concerts including performances at the Bach Aria Festival in Stonybrook, New York. In the Boston area she spent a decade on the faculty of the New England Conservatory, the Phillips Andover Academy and Music on the Hill. Ms. Wulfman was co-founder of the New Haven Summer Quartet Camp. Ms. Wulfman has a private violin studio in Princeton, New Jersey, and is on the faculty of The Lawrenceville School and Princeton Day School.
Stacey Jou is a senior at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. She began playing the viola in 4th grade. Stacey has been a member of Stretto for 5 years, and went on tour with the group to Austria and Croatia. She has been in the CJMEA Region II orchestra for 2 years now and was a member of the NJMEA All-State Orchestra in the fall of 2010. In school, Stacey is first chair of the viola section. She is also a member of the Formosa Youth Group which is a group of young musicians that visits and performs at local nursing homes. Stacey’s favorite music to listen to and play is Romantic music. Besides playing viola, Stacey also enjoys drawing and playing field hockey. She loves the wintery weather and playing with her dog. Stacey plans on studying neuroscience in college and hopes to study medicine and become a pediatrician in the future.
Susan Safford, a member of Stretto for 14 years, has been singing since she could first speak. Susan lived in Germany for two years and sang with the choir of Christ Church Dusseldorf. In the past she has sung in many choirs, including The Trenton Children’s Chorus, PMEA Festival Choir, Montco Festival Choir, Abington Junior High School Chorus and St John's Choir. She is a current member of Abington Choral Club and the Soprano Section Leader of the Abington High School Select Choir. She had been selected to participate in the PMEA District 11 Chorus for the past three years, and was ranked #1 for the last 2 years. She has been active in musical theater in both school productions and with private companies over the past including Oliver, Once On This Island, Les Miserables, Aida and A Schooling In Love, composed by Peter Hilliard, with whom she currently studies voice. This March she will be starring as Marguerite in her high schools production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Susan is interested in pursuing a career in vocal performance.
Deborah Ford, soprano - Since her professional debut at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1985, critical accolades have become the norm for Deborah Ford. She has received recognition as winner of the New Jersey State Opera Competition and as the first prizewinner of the prestigious American Institute of Musical Studies Competition in Graz, Austria. Deborah Ford has been a featured soloist with the St. Louis Opera Festival, the Los Angels Masterwork Chorale, the American Music Theater Festival, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, DC, the Mendelssohn Club and Singing City of Philadelphia, PA., The Greater Trenton Symphony, the Harrisburg Symphony, the Princeton Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Her diverse repertoire encompasses works by Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Verdi, Strauss and Ravel, as well as powerful statements from the African American and American experience.
Deborah Ford is currently the Associate Minister of Music at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Trenton, NJ, where she directs two choirs and two ensembles. In February 2009 Ford was given the distinction of honorary Canon of Trinity Cathedral in honor of her work in Music Ministry at Trinity. Ms Ford attended Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, NJ, completing degrees in Sacred Music and Performance.