Suzanne Brookes Rickman began formal study of the violin at the age of 10 in Phoenix, Arizona, where she grew up. There she studied with Roberta Chorlton and Frank Spinosa. Study at DePaul University brought her to Chicago in 1985, where she was a student of Mark Zinger, Hilel Kagan and Rami Solomonov, among others. She was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 1986-1992, where she had the honor and privilege of working under Chicago Symphony members and world-renowned conductors. It was at DePaul that Suzanne began her studies of Suzuki Pedagogy. She has received training through book 10 with Gilda Barston, Yuko Honda, Craig Timmerman, Alan Lieb, Judy Bossuat, Alice Joy Lewis, Edward Kreitman and Thomas Wermuth. Aside from directing and teaching with the HFSS, she is a frequent guest clinician in weekend workshops in the Chicago area, and has taught at the American Suzuki Institute, the Atlanta Suzuki Institute, the Memphis Suzuki Institute and the Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute in Utah. Suzanne was on the faculty of the Western Springs School of Talent Education for 13 years and has been a member of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra since 1995.
Al Joseph is a violinist, violin teacher, free-lancer and fiddler in Chicago's South Suburbs. Al's musical interest began at the age of 9 and has been inspired by the works of artists like Stephan Grapelli, the great gypsy violinist. By the time he attended the American Conservatory of Music, he was on his way to establishing his own versatile style. Al earned an associate degree in business and music from Prairie State College. Whether playing Bach or Mozart with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra or the Kankakee Symphony, where he has subbed in the past, creating soaring rock solos or burning up hard core bluegrass, Al has always placed himself in the wise position of student, constantly seeking to learn more. This attitude is why Al is so sought after in recording studios. He has recorded for several television programs. Al plays regularly in the Bernie Glim Country Roads Band. He has been teaching violin lessons locally for over 20 years. He has taken Suzuki training with the internationally recognized pedagogues, Edward Kreitman and Nancy Jackson.