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Westport Violist Headlines String Ensemble's Holiday Concert

Sarah Smale
Sarah Smale Photo Credit: Facebook

WESTPORT, Conn. — The Pizzazz Strings Ensemble, featuring Westport violist Sarah Smale, will perform a holiday concert Sunday in the Westport Library's McManus Room.

The ensemble will perform holiday selections that include Baroque master Vivaldi, Strauss waltzes and jazzy and pop Christmas and Hanukkah favorites. The program is free and open to the public.

In addition to Smale, the quintet includes Pizzazz director and cellist Andrea Mills, violinists Andrew Smith and Jeanine Wynton, and harpist Jane Zopf.

Members of Pizzazz have made recordings and performed concerts at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Royal Albert Hall, playing with stars like Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, Bernadette Peters and Diana Krall.

Smale received her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the Birmingham Conservatoire, UK, where she won the Herbert Lumby Viola Prize and was awarded a place in the City of Birmingham Symphony apprenticeship program, working with Sir Simon Rattle.

She completed her postgraduate studies at the Guildhall School of Music in London and at the Hartt School, where she was an assistant to the Emerson String Quartet. It was at Hartt that she acquired her Suzuki training with Linda Fiore and Teri Einfeldt. Smale is assistant director of the Suzuki Music Schools of Westport and Orange.

Mills received her Bachelor of Music degree from Hartt School and earned her Master of Music from Cleveland Institute. She currently teaches and performs each summer as artist faculty at the Stamford International Music Festival in England.

Smith studied at the Royal Academy of Music, UK, where his teachers included Erich Gruenberg and Emanuel Hurwitz. He moved to the United States in 1996 as assistant to the Emerson String Quartet, getting his doctorate in Performance from the Hartt School.

Wynton has performed as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician across Europe, Russia, the United States, South America, New Zealand and Israel.

Zopff earned her Bachelor of Music Education degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Ky.,, and continued harp studies during graduate school at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Ohio University, and at the Salzedo Harp Colony in Camden, Maine.

She has been using the Suzuki Method for Harp for more than 25 years in Ohio, Tennessee and the Utah Suzuki Harp Institute before moving to New York.

The concert will be from 2 to 3 p.m. For additional  information, call 203-291-4800  or visit

The library is at 20 Jesup Road, Westport.

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