2017 Faculty: Strings

Sue Temple, Founder

Sue Temple

Sue Temple is the Founder and Artistic Director of Just Chamber Music and violist with the String Quartet Con Brio - http://quartetconbrio.com/.  Performing in the Front Range area since 1976, she has played extensively with the Ft. Collins Symphony and Greeley Philharmonic Orchestras and continues to perform as a freelance musician throughout Colorado.  As an advocate for the viola, Mrs. Temple has maintained an active private viola studio for over 40 years. Her students have won top prizes in various Concerto Competitions and have been selected to perform in the master classes of violists and acclaimed chamber musicians including Victoria Chiang, Roger Chase, Jesse Levine, Simon Rowland-Jones, Carol Rodland, Dr. Juliet White-Smith, James Holland, Felicia Moye and the Borromeo, Cavani, Alexander and Miami String Quartets.

Outside of private teaching, Mrs. Temple is a sought after clinician and coach for middle schools, high schools, Solo and Ensemble Competitions and various Viola Day Events (most recently at Ohio State University).

Originally from the New England area, Sue received her bachelor’s degree in Music with an emphasis in Performance from Bennington College in Vermont and a second Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Therapy from Colorado State University.

"Participation in Chamber Music provides an opportunity to bring out the very best in all of us as musicians and enriches our lives."
Jean Farley, Co-Founder

Jean Farley

Jean Farley earned her B.M. in Violin Performance from New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida where she had the opportunity to study with Ida Haendel, Cathy Meng-Robinson, and Rafael Druian. She has spent multiple summers in attendance at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, and spent a summer studying violin in Stuttgart, Germany. 

Jean has a special interest in chamber music. She has received chamber music training from the Miami String Quartet, Felix Galimir, Yo Yo Ma, and the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio. She has performed and coached extensively throughout her musical training and her professional career.

Jean spent many years in the southern United States performing in orchestras, playing chamber music and teaching violin throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and North Carolina. She held the position of Artist-in-Residence at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she directed the middle-school orchestra program.  She has also been an instructor with Suzuki Talent Education Program in Atlanta, Georgia.

Currently, Jean performs with the Fort Collins Symphony and the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestras.  Jean has held a private violin studio for over 20-years, helping nurture and inspire young violinists to excel in music.

Jean resides in Fort Collins with her husband, Rob, and their four wonderful children.  She delights in volunteering in her children’s schools, cheering them on in hockey or baseball, and watching them dance. In their free time, Jean and her family enjoy camping.


Heidi Mausbach, cello

Heidi Mausbach

Cellist Heidi Mausbach, a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, has enjoyed a fulfilling and diverse orchestral career throughout the US.  She has played with the Naples Philharmonic, the Florida Orchestra, the Minnesota Opera and was principal cellist of the Greeley Philharmonic from 2000-2008. Currently, she is assistant principal of the Cheyenne Symphony, a busy freelance musician and private teacher.  

Heidi has performed in master classes for Janos Starker, Aldo Parisot, and Yo-Yo Ma.  She is enthusiastic about chamber music and looks forward to every chance she gets to play and teach quartets!


Ben Tomkins, violin

Ben Tomkins

Benjamin Tomkins has distinguished himself as violinist, composer, writer and educator. He received his M.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Music in violin performance, and subsequently won a position with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He has performed with numerous other orchestras, and has coached extensively as a chamber musician with members of the Cleveland, Miami, Penderecki, Tokyo, Miro,
and Arditti quartets.

As a composer, Mr. Tomkins has had his music performed in recitals and concerts across the country. Most recently, his String Quartet was performed as part of the Breckenridge Music Festival winter series, and he is currently engaged this fall for the premier of his piano trio at CU Boulder and a piece for string orchestra for the Denver School of the Arts.

Mr. Tomkins currently serves as Director and principle violin instructor for Strings Attached, a non-profit string music initiative in Englewood and Sheridan, CO to provide string education to communities without means or availability. Under his tenure the program has expanded dramatically, and his skills as an arranger have allowed Strings Attached to present diverse programming including Carnival of the Animals, Rodeo, the Nutcracker, Peer Gynt, units on French Impressionism and the Russian Five, and a staged version of Bizet’s Carmen. Future programming includes Dvorak, the Magic Flute, and American in Paris.

Finally, this year Mr. Tomkins was appointed director of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra Philharmonia Orchestra.

Benjamin currently lives in Denver with his wife Robyn, their cat Molly, and their dog Wallace. When not involved in music, he occupies himself writing a column for the Dayton City Paper and his blog, running, and cooking.


Margaret Miller, viola

Margaret Miller

Margaret Miller is Special Assistant Professor of Viola and coordinator of the Graduate Quartet Program at CSU. She teaches viola, chamber music literature and coaches both undergraduate and graduate ensembles. Ms. Miller is also on the faculty of the LEAP Institute for the Arts at CSU, a multi-disciplinary program that gives students tools to be successful musicians after they graduate.

Prior to joining the CSU faculty in 2004, Ms. Miller was the violist of the da Vinci Quartet for eighteen years. Based in Colorado, the Quartet was in residence at the University of Denver and Colorado College. Known for its innovative programming and outreach, the quartet toured throughout the US and was a prizewinner in both the Naumberg and Shostakovich competitions. The da Vinci Quartet recorded the complete works of American composers Arthur Foote and Charles Martin Loeffler for the Naxos American Classics label.

A dedicated teacher and performer, Ms. Miller has given recitals and master classes throughout the West, recently visiting the University of Missouri, Kansas State University, the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. She has given clinics on viola playing and career opportunities at the Primrose Festival, the Michigan Music Conference, and the Colorado Music Educators conference. She has been recognized for her teaching by the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association and the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony.

Margaret returns to JCM this summer as a coach for both the student festival and adult weekend workshop.


Margaret Gutierrez

Margaret Gutierrez

Violinist Margaret Soper Gutierrez has enjoyed a multi-faceted musical career. After receiving performance degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music, she moved to the Washington, D.C. area and performed and toured extensively with both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Margaret was a member of the Maia Quartet, the faculty Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Iowa. 

Prior to her family’s move to Denver, Margaret was Artistic Director of the University of Memphis Suzuki String Program and on the faculty of the UM School of Music. Margaret taught violin for two years at the University of Colorado in Boulder and is currently adjunct faculty at both the University of Northern Colorado and CU Boulder. Her major teachers include Donald Weilerstein, Charles Castleman, David Updegraff and Doris Preucil. 

In addition to her university and private teaching, Margaret is concertmaster of the Opera Colorado orchestra and the Colorado Bach Ensemble, and performs on concert series across the state as a member of the Colorado Chamber Players. 


Michael Allerheiligen

Michael is a graduate of the university of northern Colorado in violin performance and enjoys an active career of performing in various orchestras in the norther Colorado area. 
Mike began his study of the violin at the age of 11 and has studied extensively with the former assistant concertmaster of the Cleveland orchestra.  Among busy orchestral commitments, Mike enjoys performing chamber music, teaching private violin and viola lessons and has participated in a number of masterclasses with high ranking musicians such as Rachel Barton-Pine and The Borromeo String Quartet. 
In his spare time, Mike enjoys studying, hiking, disc-golf and traveling. He also has a Cat named Sox who also enjoys listening to Mozart. One of Mike's favorite composers is Osvaldo Goliov. 


Beth Wells

Beth Wells has been a member of the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra cello section for the past 27 seasons. As well, she is a member of the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra and has held positions in the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, the String Quartet Con Brio, and the String Quartet Fantastique.

Since retiring from Poudre School District in 2012 where she taught orchestra in several secondary schools, Beth is now director of the Northern Colorado Cello Choir.  She has been the chairperson for the Colorado Chapter of American String Teacher Orchestra Festival, organized the Fort Collins High School Orchestra Festival, and was on the founding committee as well as conductor for the first annual Fort Collins All City High School Honor Orchestra in 2016.  As a member of the Colorado Music Adjudication Association, Beth enjoys the opportunity to clinic and adjudicate middle and high orchestra festivals around the state of Colorado.  Beth has an active cello studio teaching private lessons to elementary through high school students.

In 2012 she began volunteer work for the Fort Collins Symphony Education Committee where she helps the public schools host guest artists of the FCSO for educational outreach programs.  Past volunteer committees include the Fort Collins Symphony Musicians’ Committee and Artistic Committee.

Beth is married to Tom Bittinger, principal bassoonist of the Fort Collins Symphony and Cheyenne Symphony. They enjoy attending the annual Telluride Film Festival, international travel, and attending performances of the finest orchestras in the country.  Spending time with their five children and two grandchildren are a special joy.


 "Of course all my music teachers helped and inspired me with my clarinet, but they also taught me the nobility of working together honestly and sincerely on something greater then myself in order to share and nurture the potential for goodness and beauty inside us all."
- Richard Stolzman, clarinetist

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