The Art of Collaboration Workshop
Cameron Fuhrman - piano
Cameron Fuhrman is a pianist, teacher, and musical academic. Born in rural Central Oregon, she began taking piano lessons at age five and teaching them at age eleven. She has given solo, collaborative, and concerto performances across the United States and has received numerous awards for her teaching and research.
Cameron earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Literature, with a minor in Vocal and Instrumental Chamber Music, from the Eastman School of Music. She also received her MM in Piano Performance and an MA in Theory Pedagogy from Eastman. Her primary solo piano instructors included Natalya Antonova, Albert Kim, and Omri Shimron. Her primary collaborative piano coaches included Jean Barr, Elinor Freer, and Russell Miller.
She performs across the country in a variety of venues, ranging from traditional concert halls to museums to school assemblies. Cameron champions bringing both intellect and instinct to bear in performance, advocating for deeper understanding of music’s construction, context, and performance. Her live recordings have been featured on Classic FM radio.
Active as a pedagogue, Cameron maintains a piano studio in the Savannah area. She has extensive university classroom and private teaching experience at the Eastman School of Music, Georgia Southern University, and Hillsdale College. Her scholarly research highlights a pedagogical emphasis on the relationship between performance and music theory and history. She regularly presents her research at conferences across the country.
She lives in Savannah, GA, with her husband, Jacob, who is Director of Music and organist at the Independent Presbyterian Church.
Yvonne Johnson - strings
Yvonne Johnson, originally from Sioux City, Iowa, was a member of the Savannah Symphony since 1997 and is assistant principal viola of the Savannah Philharmonic, helping to found the organization in 2008. She has a B.A in English from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and a M.M. in viola performance from Indiana University, Bloomington. Yvonne has performed with many orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toledo, Ohio Symphony, the Schleswig- Holstein Festival Orchestra, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, and has made recordings with Garrison Keillor of "The Prairie Home Companion,” the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Savannah Music Festival chamber orchestra. Her summer experiences include the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, Killington,Vermont Chamber Music Festival, Manchester, Vermont Music Festival and as the faculty string quartet violist at Blue Lake, Michigan Fine Arts Camp.
Yvonne taught string methods at Armstrong Atlantic State University from 1998-2020, was violist in the Magellan string quartet in residence at Georgia Southern University in 2008-2009, and was a member of the contemporary string quartet in residence at Cleveland State University in 1996-1997. She has performed viola concertos with the Savannah Symphony in their 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 Telfair series and the Hilton Head Symphony in their 2002-2003 season. Yvonne was a member of the Chamber Music Hilton Head string quartet for over ten years and continues to perform with the Coastal Symphony and the Jacksonville Symphony. Yvonne performs solo and chamber music concerts throughout the southeastern region and maintains a full private studio of violin/viola students in Savannah. Yvonne is married to violist, Lizhou Liu, and they have 3 children.
Kristen Spiridon - woodwinds
Clarinetist Kristen Spiridon is an active performer and teacher in the Southeast. Currently, she serves as Lecturer of Clarinet at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. She also holds the titles of Principal Clarinet of the Savannah Philharmonic; Principal Clarinet of the Coastal Symphony; Second Clarinet of the South Carolina Philharmonic and Second Clarinet of the Augusta Symphony. Prior to her present appointments, she held the position of Second Clarinet with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic.
Ms. Spiridon has performed with numerous orchestras, notably the Atlanta Ballet, Charlotte Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony, and numerous others. She has appeared in concert at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Strathmore.
A respected teacher and lecturer, Ms. Spiridon has been invited to give masterclasses at Boston University, Georgia Southern University, Miami University of Ohio, George Mason University and Coker University.
Ms. Spiridon holds a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in Woodwinds from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and a Bachelor of Music degree in both Performance and Education from the Peabody Conservatory at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Her primary teachers include Richie Hawley, Steven Barta, Carmine Campione, and Chris Pedersen.
Kristen is a Buffet Crampon Performing Artist, Chedeville Performing Artist, and RCW Performing Artist.
Russell Watkins - voice
Russell Watkins, currently the vocal instructor & choral director at the Savannah Arts Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, has over 20 years experience in opera and classical singing. Throughout college, Russell attended several summer apprentice programs, including Opera North, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera in the Ozarks, and the Austrian-American Mozart Academy, where he was able to sing over 15 main-stage roles and cultivate his voice. After graduating with a music degree, he sang roles with Waco Lyric Opera and the Nashville Opera before beginning a Master’s degree at Georgia Southern University. While at GSU, Mr. Watkins had the opportunity to sing the title role in Gianni Schicchi, and the role of Ralph McGill in Michael Braz’s world premiere opera production A Scholar Under Siege. He also made an appearance as Violetta’s doctor in the Savannah Choral Society’s production of La Traviata.
Since graduating with a Master of Music degree, Russell has made a career of teaching the art of classical and choral singing. He was an adjunct faculty member in Georgia College & State University’s music department where, for several years, he taught voice lessons, vocal methods, and vocal pedagogy. He is currently the Director of Vocal Studies at the Savannah Arts Academy and has served as the choral director there for the past 10 years. His choirs have consistently received superior ratings at adjudicated performances and have placed in many regional competitions. The SAA choirs have been featured on stage at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Harpa Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland, and more.
Douglas Winks - brass
Doug Winks spent 23 years as a trombonist in the Army Band, performing in 27 countries for their people, as well as for kings, queens, presidents (and a president’s mother), ambassadors, and other dignitaries, in public affairs missions for the United States. He also performed as second trombonist with the Virginia Beach Pops and as an extra with the Syracuse Symphony, in addition to regular opportunities at churches throughout the United States, Mexico, and Bolivia. His specialization is in chamber music, specifically brass quintets.
For the last six years of his army career, he taught trombone at the Armed Forces School of Music for the Army, Navy, and Marine Corp. Doug also served as an Adjunct Professor at Hampton University.
He attended Mannes College, Onondaga Community College, Houghton College, and graduated Excelsior College (BS). His primary teachers include Per Brevig of the Metropolitan Opera, Bill Harris and Kevin Ladd of the Syracuse Symphony, Dr. Harold McNeil at Houghton University, and Mr. G Richard Patri. He attributes his musical success to his mom for making him practice and paying for his lessons!
After his army band career, Doug worked as a government contractor for the Army Transportation Corps and Homeland Security, and as Training and Doctrine Command schools liaison for the 3rd Infantry Division at Ft. Stewart. He is currently a crane and heavy equipment operator for TIC Marine and Heavy Civil Construction Company here in Savannah.