Meet the 2017 Project Inclusion String Quartet

Find out more about this year's Project Inclusion String Quartet Fellows Teddy Wiggins, Robert Switala, Danielle Taylor, and Denielle Wilson! (Photo from left to right: Teddy, Robert, Danielle, Denielle)

Teddy Wiggins, violin

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, violinist Teddy Wiggins appears regularly in some of the world’s finest stages. His principal teachers and mentors have included Paul Kantor, Felicia Moye, Winifred Crock and Barry Shiffman. An avid orchestral and chamber musician, Teddy performs regularly with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and is also a former member of the prestigious Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. During his time in Toronto, he was a founding member of the Annex Quartet which led to an invitation to work with the Kronos Quartet in New York and perform in Carnegie Hall as well as numerous venues around Canada.

Currently, Teddy is a co-concertmaster of Civic Orchestra of Chicago and preparing to begin a fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami fall 2017. When time allows it, he loves to cook all types of foods and pair them with wine as well as explore the many vibrant neighborhoods and festivals of Chicago.

Robert Switala, violin

24-year-old Robert Alvarado Switala began his musical studies at age 6 on violin and began playing viola at 14. In 2006, he appeared on the NPR radio show “From the Top”, as well as the PBS television show, “From the Top: Live at Carnegie Hall”. Robert was awarded 1st prize at the 2007 National SPHINX Competition and has soloed with the SMU, TCU, Florida, New World, Hartford, Colorado, Nashville and Fort Worth Symphony orchestras. He is a recipient of the 2008 Texas Young Masters Grant and the 2009 Bayard H. Friedman Scholarship. He has studied with Itzhak Perlman, Paul Kantor, and Jan Sloman and has had master classes with Ani Kavafian, Stephanie Chase, Elmar Oliveira, Rudolf Koelman, Shlomo Mintz, Donald Weilerstein, Michael Tree, James Dunham, Joel Krosnick, Ronald Copes, Robert Macdonald, Robert Vernon, Barbara Westphal and Midori Goto. He is a member of the SPHINX Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and has attended numerous chamber festivals, including Perlman, Chautauqua, Keshet Eilon, Mimir, Sarasota and Kneisel Hall festivals. Robert is currently on sabbatical as a member of the El Paso and Las Cruces symphony orchestras while studying under Almita and Roland Vamos at Roosevelt University.

Danielle Taylor, viola

Danielle Taylor is a violinist and violist from Oakland, CA. She began formal music study through a public school music program in fourth grade, with informal music training from a young age through singing in church. Danielle graduated from Oberlin College and Conservatory with a BM in Violin Performance and a BA in African American Studies. She is currently working towards her MM in Violin Performance at Northwestern University.

Danielle is currently the violist for the Chicago Sinfonietta's Project Inclusion Ensemble, a program which is shared in partnership with Grant Park Music Festival, and appreciates the opportunity for her to continue her growth as a chamber music and orchestral musician. After completing her MM, Danielle plans to pursue her PhD in Music Education. Her many research interests include Classical music performers and composers from the African Diaspora as well as investigating issues of race, place, and power in Classical music performance and education in the US. Danielle is currently a content researcher and writer for the Music By Black Composers project.

Denielle Wilson, cello

Denielle Wilson (age 21) is from Lithonia, Georgia. She is currently a senior at Northwestern University, studying instrumental music education and cello performance with Hans Jørgen Jensen. She began playing the cello at age 9, taking lessons with Nan Kimberling at the Georgia Academy of Music. In 2008, she was accepted into the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program and studied with Joel Dallow. Since then, she has attended summer music programs including the Interlochen Arts Camp, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Franklin Pond Chamber Music, Meadowmount School of Music, and Aspen Music Festival and School, studying with David Ying, Melissa Kraut, Jeffrey Lastrapes, Michael Mermagen, and Richard Aaron.

Currently at NU, she plays in the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra and Northwestern University Cello Ensemble, as well as participates in chamber music groups coached by the Dover Quartet. She and her two siblings have played in a piano trio called the Wilson Trio, and they present free and open concerts throughout the year. Ms. Wilson’s interest in music education has kept her active in music ministries at the 1st Evanston SDA Church and the Winnetka Congregational Church. She hopes to continue reaching young people with music, through educational performance experiences and affordable music lessons.