“I know that the most joy in my life has come to me through my violin”

-Albert Einstein


Violinist Shelby Dems has just been appointed the newest member of the Violin Faculty at the Bermuda School of Music. She performs with the Bermuda Philharmonic and frequently substitutes in New York State with the Binghamton Philharmonic, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, is a free-lancing violinist in Bermuda and NYS, and is the Artistic Coordinator for her Duetting Business Twins Duet Better with her twin sister and business coordinator, Hallie Dems. In 2018, she finished her graduate studies with a Master of Music in Suzuki Pedagogy and Violin Performance at Ithaca College with Calvin Wiersma in Violin, and Carrie Reuning-Hummel in the Suzuki Method. During those years, she was the first violinist of the Graduate String Quartet, Quintet, and Trio from 2016 - 2018, along with holding a Graduate Assistantship at the Whalen School of Music, Ithaca College. As an active performer, her recent performances include Boulez Anthemes, Brahms G Major Sonata, Sarasate Zigeunerweisen, all major standard orchestral excerpts, the Sibelius Concerto, Mozart’s 5th Concerto, and her dear friends Emmanuel Berrido’s Miserere and Dallas J. Howard’s Drifting Eclipse.

Her repertoire is uniquely well-rounded for the classically trained violinist including Baroque, Romantic, Contemporary, Rock N, Roll, and Improvisational genres. Ms. Dems has been a recording artist on 2 albums with Mark Doyle, and Syracuse University’s Brazilian Ensemble Samba Laranja, which also won a Syracuse Sammy for the album in 2015. Shelby made her solo debut appearance as the winner of the Syracuse University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition in April 2013 and again in April 2015. She also had the beautiful opportunity of studying abroad in 2012 at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg in Strasbourg, France, as well as being a member of the Conservatory Orchestra. Shelby has studied Violin Performance with Calvin Wiersma, Harumi Rhodes, Peter Rovit, and Jim Krehbiel.

Teaching since 18 years old, Shelby strives for great potential with her students through Suzuki and Traditional teaching methods. Before her appointment in Bermuda, she has taught through her private violin studio DemsStudios as well as Cornell University, the Community School of Music and Arts and the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts in Ithaca, NY, Music and Arts in Syracuse, along as been a practicum teacher and group teaching aid at the Ithaca Talent Education School. Shelby has taken Suzuki teacher training under Suzuki Pedagogues Carrie Reuning-Hummel (long-term trainer), Ed Kreitman, Kimberly Meier-Sims, and James Hutchins.

Shelby plays on a 2011 Shan Jiang, a contemporary violin carved by Shan Jiang Violins in New York City, New York. She is now living in Bermuda teaching at BSM and actively pursuing a career as a free-lancing violinist, and orchestral/chamber musician.


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