A Night of Folk Songs & Dances

Victoria Moreira, violin
Joel Becktell, cello
Renee Keller, marimba & percussion

Featured musicians' bios

Victoria Moreira, violin
The Dyann & E. Joel Wesp Chair

Violinist Victoria Moreira, founding member of the Kaia String Quartet (WFMT 2017 Ensemble-in-Residence) has performed extensively throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia and South America. First Prizewinner of Viva El Tango Agustin Carlevaro Competition and Music Director of the American Tango Institute, Moreira’s diverse musical background keeps her involved internationally in the Tango scene.

Her latest recording projects include Quartango, an album of tango for string quartet; Latinoamerica, a CD of all Latin-American works and a co-production with Mark Sonksen Vicisitudes with Tangata Ensemble. Previous projects include Sonksen’s Postales del Sur and Argentina Tango on Stage, with Carlos Marzan and his ensemble in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Moreira has been involved as a solo, chamber and orchestral musician in Chicago as concertmistress of Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Concertmaster of Northbrook Symphony. She has also performed in the Chicago Latino Music Festival since 2007 and at the Chicago Tango Festival since 2006. She performs as a soloist with West Suburban Symphony in Illinois yearly.

In addition to her membership with the Kaia String Quartet, she has also collaborated with Rush Hour Concerts, Ondas Ensemble, Intersection from Nashville, the MAVerik Ensemble and the national Chamber Ensemble of Uruguay. She was also winner of the 2010 DePaul Concerto Competition.

Moreira is a faculty member at DePaul University Community Music Division and has a private studio in the Chicago area. She is a passionate Suzuki teacher and devoted educator through her string quartet, including KAIA KIDS, an initiative through WFMT and PBS Kids. Other projects include Tango workshops for violinists at Old Town School of Folk Music, outreach concerts through Ravinia, Evanston in School Music Association, and Promotora de las Bellas Artes in Mexico.

Moreira studied at Escuela Universitaria de Musica, Montevideo Uruguay under Jorge Risi, received her Bachelor of Music at Roosevelt University under Vadim Gluzman and her Master of Music and Artist Certificate at DePaul University under Ilya Kaler. She also did a residency at Northern Illinois University with the KAIA String Quartet under the tutelage of the Avalon String Quartet.

Joel Becktell, cello
The Donna K. Laidlaw Chair

Cellist Joel Becktell has performed, taught, and lectured throughout North and Central America and Europe. He has been a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Nichols Quartet, the Harrington String Quartet, and the Moveable Feast chamber ensemble. He has served as Principal Cellist of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Pro Musica and is Assistant Principal cellist of the Santa Fe Symphony. Joel appears frequently on Baroque and modern cello and violoncello piccolo as soloist and with ensembles throughout North America. He is a founding member of Movable Sol and the baroque ensemble BWV, both of which perform a popular, intimate concert series in New Mexico. Joel has appeared as soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Santa Fe Symphony. He has recorded for Marquis Classics, Revel Records, Parma, and Blue Griffin Records labels. His latest CD, Bach’s Solo Cello Suites, Volume I, featuring two complete recordings of the first three Bach Suites (one on modern cello, one on a period baroque cello) was released in 2014.

Joel is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees with honors. His teachers include Anne Cole, Alan Harris, and Stephen Geber. A dedicated teacher and coach, Joel teaches privately and at various festivals and master classes. He has also written on pedagogical and luthiery topics for Strings Magazine.

Joel is also a studio artist, and his paintings, photographs, and ceramics are in private collections around the world. Performance videos and photos of his artwork can be seen at joelbecktell.com.

Renee Keller, marimba & percussion
The Michael & Jody Croley Jones Chair

Renee Keller is the Principal Timpanist/Percussionist of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus. She has previously held positions as Principal Percussionist of the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Percussionist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Percussionist with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and Percussionist with the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, MN. She has performed regularly with a number of orchestras around the country including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, and the Toledo Symphony. Renee’s percussion duo, Duoma, has a focus of bringing relatable and accessible classically-oriented music to all audiences with a focus on performing original works and arrangements, including works focused on introducing students to chamber music and extended techniques. Duoma has performed at conferences and festivals including the 2018 Music By Women Festival in Mississippi, the 2018 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy in Arkansas, the 2020 National Association of College Winds and Percussion Instructors, and high school percussion festivals in Ohio.

In addition to being a player, Renee is Marketing and Education Coordinator at the Lima Symphony Orchestra in Lima, OH, where she is responsible for developing original educational content and programs for the Symphony. Renee is also lecturer of music at The Ohio State University at Lima where she regularly teaches courses on music cultures and music history. Renee has previously taught courses on percussion and music at a number of universities including Bowling Green State University, Ohio Wesleyan University, Northwestern University, Northeast Illinois University, Bluffton University, Ohio Northern University, and Ivy Tech Community College. Renee also has an interest in percussion scholarship and research, with a focus on diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. She has been published numerous times in Percussive Notes and has vibraphone arrangements published by Pocket Publications, LLC.

Renee holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Michigan, Master of Music degree from Temple University, and Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University. Renee’s principal teachers include Ruth Cahn, Michael Udow, Alan Abel, Chris Deviney, Frederic Macarez, Jim Ross, and She-e Wu.