Christopher Sajadi is a sophomore at Salisbury University seeking a dual major in Violin Performance and Biology (Pre-Med). He has been a recipient of numerous scholarships such as the Salisbury Wicomico Arts Council Community Service Awards, the Douglas I. Smith and Paul S. Hyde scholarships and the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra Student Awards. Christopher has studied violin with Dr. Sachiho Murasugi for the past eight years, played guitar as a student of the Academy of Music Performance (AMP Studios) under the direction of Susan and Gino Bailey and has studied piano with Dr. Linda Cockey. He was recently featured as a violin soloist in the SSO winter concert (2018) and has enjoyed performing in numerous recitals, community events, benefits and festivals and now teaches violin at the PRESTO Academy as well as guitar at AMP Studios. Other activities include a musician in the SU Department of Theatre’s 2018 production of “One Man, Two Guvnors,” a participant in the SSO Connections Concert, a member of the Chamber Music Ensemble, and a previous member of the Salisbury Youth Orchestra.
Courtney Bennett is an orchestra director in Wicomico County where she shares her passion for music with students in grades 6-12. She started playing the violin in 5th grade and continued through high school until she volunteered to play viola for a local pit orchestra. After picking up the viola she fell in love with the richness of its lower register and she has never put it down since! Throughout high school she continued her musical studies and she decided to pursue a music education degree at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2017.
At Kutztown University, Courtney performed with the KU Chamber Players, various small ensembles, and was the principal violist in the University Orchestra. She also learned the saxophone and joined the KU Symphonic Band and the KU Marching Unit. During her time at KU she was coached by New York Ballet concert master Kurt Nikkanen, and violinist Dr. Timothy Schwarz and performed with esteemed artists such as David Kim, Charles Abramovic, the Ahn Trio, and Sandra Rivers.
After graduating she moved from her hometown in Hillsborough, New Jersey to Maryland with her fiance’ when she was hired in Wicomico County. Now that she is settled into the area she has found some new places and people to play with! Currently Courtney enjoys playing with the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra, Community Players of Salisbury, and a variety of church ensembles. She also teaches private lessons to young violin and viola students.