Raised in a family of musicians and music teachers, Annissa began studying violin and piano at age 5. By age 13, she discovered her true passion—the viola. She received her Master’s degree in Viola Performance with an emphasis in Violin/Viola Suzuki Pedagogy at the University of Oregon in 2015, where she studied with Leslie Straka and Lillie Manis. Additionally, she completed a Music Education Master’s degree in June 2016 from the University of Oregon, with an Oregon teaching license in K-12 Music.
In her capacity as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at the UO, she taught a full studio of violin and viola students in the Suzuki Community Music Institute, violin group classes, Music Mind Games/Kodály (music theory and literacy methods), Music and Movement, coached chamber music in the Chamber Players program, taught violin/viola tech classes, and assistant taught in the UO viola studio. In 2015, she was awarded the UO Graduate Teaching Fellow Award of Excellence for Studio, Performance, and Ensemble Teaching. Annissa is a registered instructor in Suzuki violin/viola, Music Mind Games, Music Together, and Kodály.
Annissa is a dedicated music educator, and has held positions in multiple music organizations in Oregon. Currently, she serves as Executive Director for the Corvallis Youth Symphony Association (CYSA). Previously, she served as CYSA Orchestra Manager as well as Lead Teacher in their Elementary Strings program. From 2014-2017, she served as Director of the Douglas County Youth Orchestra in Roseburg. She has served on the faculty of many summer and institute programs, including the Northwest Suzuki Institute in Eugene, the ASTA-sponsored Arizona ViolAcademy at Arizona State University, and directs the Summer Strings Academy in Corvallis, OR. Annissa performs regularly with Oregon ensembles, including the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, the Eugene Ballet Symphony, and the Willamette Master Chorus Orchestra.
Before moving to Oregon, Annissa lived in Tempe, Arizona, where she received degrees in Viola Performance and French from Arizona State University, graduating summa cum laude from the Barrett Honor’s College. In Arizona, Annissa was in demand as a violist, violinist, and teacher, serving as the primary violist for the Desert Breeze Quartet, Sweetwater Strings Quartet, and sitting assistant principal viola for the Musica Nova Orchestra of Scottsdale. She also taught chamber music at Marcos de Niza High School and McKemy Middle School. Annissa has performed in master classes for renowned ensembles including the Brentano, St. Lawrence, Takács, and Orion String Quartets and for legendary violists including Doris Lederer, Geraldine Walther, and Helen Callus. She has been invited as a Guest Artist at music festivals around the world, including at the Ameropa Festival in Prague, Czech Republic (2011), the Astoria Music Festival in Astoria, Oregon (2012), the Mendocino Music Festival in Mendocino, California (2013), and the Vianden Music Festival in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (2014).
In her free time, Annissa enjoys cooking big meals for friends, speaking French (badly), and running, biking, and hiking in the lovely Oregon outdoors.