Violinist and violist Chauntee Ross is the youngest of 5 children and began studying violin at the age of 4 at the String Academy of Wisconsin. At 17, Chauntee began studying with Almita Vamos at the Music Institute of Chicago. She graduated and received her Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance at The University of Michigan (U of M) School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.
Music has always been a major component in Chauntee’s life. All of her siblings were musicians and they formed a string quartet. This ensemble was called Sisters of PraiZe and the young ladies performed in venues all over the Midwest, including opening for Grammy award winning artist Fred Hammond.
Chauntee began competing when she was 10 and won both the Junior and Senior Division Concerto competitions at the String Academy. In 2008, Chauntee won the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Stars of tomorrow competition which led to her making her solo debut with the MSO. That same year she placed in the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto competition and soloed with Madison Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Chauntee was a semi-finalist in the Sphinx competition which led to the opportunity to join on the inaugural Sphinx Tour.
Upon graduating, Chauntee began her violin studies with Aaron Berofsky at U of M and studied viola with Yizhak Schotten. In the inaugural chamber music competition at the University of Michigan, Chauntee’s quartet placed first. In 2011, she attended the New York String Seminar. It was there that she began to think about combining the various bits of her background and how she could bring all of that diversity into her music.
SistaStrings, a violin/cello duo Chauntee started with her cellist sister, was born after some time as a result of that. The ladies have opened for legends like The Roots, performed with Grammy winning artist Malik Yusef, Lupe Fiasco, Bone Thugs’N Harmony. Chauntee has also performed with Michael Buble. SistaStrings collaborates with local artists and performs in schools and churches as well and concert halls and local performance venues.
Music is part of Chauntee’s way of expressing herself and she loves to inspire and educate about the arts. Her interests are mostly arts related, but within that realm, there is no limit. She strives to make a difference in her community through performances. Being a part of the MYSO family and having the opportunity to help young people reach their potential is a dream come true.
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