featuring soloists Beth Youngblood & Jeffrey Norman
Violinist Beth Youngblood is Concertmaster of the Symphony of the Southwest, Assistant Concertmaster of the West Valley Symphony, and a versatile performer throughout the Phoenix area as a classical violinist and fiddler proficient in Bluegrass, Celtic, and Old-Time fiddling. She has also performed locally and internationally with Urban Electra, a string ensemble that plays Pop and Rock hits on wireless electric instruments.
Beth grew up in rural Oregon and began taking violin and fiddle lessons when she was six years old. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, where she studied with Charles Gray. During her time at St. Olaf she toured the U.S. and Norway with the St. Olaf Orchestra, and played in the annual “Christmas at St. Olaf” production, broadcast yearly on PBS. Beth earned a Masters of Music degree from Arizona State University under violin Professor Danwen Jiang. In 2016, she completed a Doctorate in Musical Arts at ASU. Her dissertation research focused on the groundbreaking stylistic elements of The Fiddle Concerto, a three-movement piece for solo fiddle and orchestra by renowned fiddler/composer Mark O’Connor. Prior to moving to Arizona, Beth taught and freelanced in Central Illinois and played with the Quad Cities Symphony, the Illinois Symphony, the Peoria Symphony, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony.
When she’s not practicing or performing, Beth is the string instrument specialist at Milano Music. She lives in Mesa with her family.
Dr. Jeffrey Norman has been a member of the Symphony of the Southwest since 2012 and has served as principle violist since 2013. He is also currently a violist with the Arizona Opera.
A native of southern New Mexico, he received his bachelor’s degree in music education from New Mexico State University studying violin, viola, and cello. He is a former member of the El Paso Symphony and El Paso Opera.
Dr. Norman later moved to Arizona to study viola under the guidance of the esteemed Dr. William Magers. He earned both a Master and Doctorate degrees from Arizona State University.
He enjoys being active both as a performer and as a private music teacher in the Valley.