Quartessence String Quartet
Quartessence String Quartet was founded in 1999 and plays frequently for receptions, parties, and weddings. In addition to performing the standard classical quartet literature, they have developed a specialty niche playing music of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and other jazz standards.
Laura Burns - Violin 1
Laura Burns, violin, is a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, where she also performs with the Rhapsodie String Quartet, part of the Madison Symphony’s Heartstrings initiative that brings live interactive music programs to adults and children with disabilities. Laura Burns has performed at the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival and with many local groups including the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Oakwood Chamber Players and Con Vivo. Laura received a double bachelors degree, with honors, in music education and violin performance from UW Madison, and, as a student of David Perry, she completed the master of music degree in violin performance in 2007.
Michelle Kaebisch - Violin 2
Michelle A. Kaebisch brings more than eleven years of expertise as a public school music educator and professional musician to her position as Director of Education and Community Engagement for the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO). She holds a BS degree in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, taught high school orchestra in the Stoughton Area School District from 1995 to 2006, and has played the violin in the MSO since 1993. Since joining the MSO's administrative team in 2006, her vision has significantly elevated the Symphony's Education and Community Engagement Programs, and under her direction they have received national recognition and accolades from the League of American Orchestras (LAO) with MetLife Award for Excellence in Community Engagement, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Society for the Arts in Healthcare with Johnson & Johnson. Ms. Kaebisch is co-chair of the LAO’s national Education and Community Engagement Committee, and a mentor to education directors who are new to the field of arts administration. She recently published her first book, "HeartStrings: A Guide to Music Therapy-Informed Community Engagement for Symphony Orchestras." She remains active with the Wisconsin School Music Association and is a sought after clinician and conductor for various camps, festivals and honors orchestras. Another notable achievement for Ms. Kaebisch was being a nominee for the Disney Hand Teacher of the Year Award for classroom creativity in 2006.
Marie Pauls - Viola
Marie Pauls earned both the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Music degrees in viola performance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied with Professor Sally Chisholm. As an undergraduate, she received a full scholarship to attend UW School of Music. In addition, Marie has worked with William Preucil, Lewis Rosove, and members of the Pro Arte String Quartet. She currently serves as principal violist in the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra, and has performed with Oakwood Chamber Players and the Madison Symphony Orchestra. She is also trained in the Suzuki method and teaches private violin and viola lessons in the Madison area. Marie has been a member of Quartessence since 2002.
Sarah Schaffer - Cello
Sarah Schaffer studied cello at Indiana University, where she received advanced degrees in musicology and music theory, and with Uri Vardi at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work in arts administration includes managing the Token Creek Chamber Music Festival, serving as assistant to composer John Harbison and, at the UW-Madison School of Music, overseeing a new series of faculty recordings and managing the Pro Arte Quartet.