Meet the Performers


Quartet 005

 The Haase Quartet is a string quartet based out of Northern Virginia that has performed for weddings, receptions and special events.  Please meet the performers of this wedding string quartet.

Thomas Gardner, violinist The Haase Quartet

Thomas Gardner, violinist The Haase Quartet

Thomas Gardner began playing the violin in the fifth grade in the Manassas City Public School System.  He very quickly decided that playing the violin and music were what he wanted to do with his life and began taking private lessons that same year with Donald Brubaker.    During his middle and high school years, Mr. Gardner was a player in the Northern Virginia Youth Symphony (now known as the American Youth Symphonic Orchestra)  and was invited under scholarship to take part in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Fellowship Program.  Under this program Mr. Gardner was able to study with National Symphony Orchestra violinist Bryan Johnson. Upon graduation from Brentsville District High School Mr. Gardner attended the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, Texas at Southern Methodist University.  In Dallas, Mr. Gardner studied with Ron Neal, concertmaster and founder of the Dallas Chamber Orchestra.  While in Texas Mr. Gardner performed in the Irving Symphony Orchestra, the Meadows Symphony Orchestra, and the North Arlington Symphony Orchestra.  Returning from SMU, Mr. Gardner attended Liberty University where he recieved a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion.  Following this, Mr. Gardner finished his Bachelor of Arts in Music Education at George Mason University where he studied violin with National Symphony Orchestra violinist Peter Haase.  Currently Mr. Gardner is a strings instructor with Loudoun County Public Schools and operates a private violin studio out of his home.  He is the first violinist in the Haase Quartet and a member of the first violin section of the McLean Orchestra.

Julia Sun, violinist The Haase Quartet

Julia Sun, violinist of the Haase Quartet

Julia Sun graduated from George Mason University with a Master degree in Music Education. While at GMU, she studied violin with National Symphony Orchestra violinist, Peter Haase. She has always had a passion for chamber music; therefore, with the help of Mr. Haase, she founded the Haase Quartet in 1999. In additional to her involvement with the quartet, Ms. Sun has performed with the National Symphony Chamber Players, the NOVA Choir, and the Friends and Family Chamber Orchestra. She has collaborated with recording artist, Patrick Mulhern and award-winning Peter McCory also known as the One-Man Band. Ms. Sun continues to pursue scholastic and performance achievements while committed to her individual students. She runs a successful private studio out of her home. She has taught numerous students of different playing abilities, from pre-school through university level. She has built a solid reputation as a leader in teaching modern, progressive violin techniques to her students. Her students have been accepted into the Virginia All-State Orchestra, Senior Regional Orchestra, All-District Senior and Junior Orchestras, American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Youth Orchestra of Fairfax and George Mason Symphony. In additional to her teaching career, Ms. Sun served as sectional coach for the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra from 2005-2008. Then later take on the strings coordinator position for the American Youth Concert Orchestra where she worked closely with the conductor on a weekly basis to enhance the strings section. She has worked with the American String Teacher Association to plan programs that would encourage string teachers and students in the area to become more active in the string community. She served as instructor for the Potomac Arts Academy at George Mason University. She continues to teach every summer with the Vienna Summer Strings Program in Oakton, Virginia. Ms. Sun resides in Fairfax with her husband and three children.

Karen Chisholm, cellist the Haase Quartet

Karen Chisholm, cellist of the Haase Quartet

Karen Chisholm began playing the cello in the fourth grade in the Fairfax County public school system. Her teachers have included: Mrs. Duck Hee O’Donnell, Ms. Evelyn Elsing from the University of Maryland, and Mr. Loren Stephenson from the National Symphony Orchestra. She performed in various solo and chamber music competitions through the Maryland State Music Teachers Association. Ms. Chisholm has participated in many summer camps and workshops throughout the years, including the NYU String Quartet Workshop, Brandeis University String Quartet Workshop, FAME Summer Music Camp, Shenandoah Summer Music Camp, and the Point CounterPoint Chamber Music program.  Throughout her middle and high school years Ms. Chisholm performed with the local youth orchestra organization, the American Youth Phillharmonic Orchestras (formerly Northern Virginia Youth Orchestra Association). Through those ensembles she was able to get a solid foundation in the standard orchestral repertoire. She graduated from George Mason University with a bachelors of arts in music education and a minor in psychology. Ms. Chisholm was able to work with many notable musicians during her time at GMU- members of the National Symphony Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Zuill Bailey, Brentano String Quartet, Ying String Quartet,  and Borromeo String Quartet.

Ms. Chisholm currently teaches in Fairfax County where she teaches middle school orchestra classes. She plays with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and freelances in the D.C. metropolitan area. She enjoys playing and rehearsing with the members of the Hasse Quartet, spending time with her family, watching movies, and going out to eat.

Holly Taylor, violist the Haase Quartet

Holly Taylor, violist of the Haase Quartet

Holly Taylor is a violinist and violist.  She received her undergraduate degree in Music Education from George Mason University and Masters in Performance from GMU under the direction of National Symphony violinist, Peter Haase.  In addition to performing with the Haase String Quartet for over 12 years, Mrs. Taylor performs in the Friends and Family Chamber Orchestra directed by F. Wayne Taylor and in the American Festival Pops Orchestra directed by Anthony Maiello.  She performed the Bach Double Violin Concerto with National Symphony Violinist Peter Haase and the Friends and Family Chamber Orchestra in 2007 and played the viola in the Mozart Violin and Viola Concerto in 2010 with the same group.  She also performed the Mozart Violin Concerto in G Major with the George Mason University Chamber Ensemble in 2000.  She is a Strings teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools and coaches violin and viola sectionals with the American Youth Philharmonic and the Prince William Youth Philharmonic.  She served as a summer counselor with the Kennedy Center Summer Music Institute in 2000-2001 and performed on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.  Holly continues to advocate and work with young musicians in the Metropolitan area through the language of music.    

Claire Allen, Violinist of the Haase Quartet

Claire Allen is a performing violinist and violin teacher in the Washington, DC area.
She was in the first violin section of the Tysons-McLean Orchestra from 2015-2020,
and has also performed in the Faculty Quartet at Mason Community Arts Academy.
In addition to performing as an ensemble musician, she has also performed as a
soloist featured in recitals at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

As a teacher, Claire has a private studio of violinists ages 5 to adult at Mason
Community Arts Academy in Fairfax, Virginia, where she also serves as String
Coordinator and directs Violin Bootcamp. In 2019, Claire was named the
Outstanding String Teacher of the Year by the Virginia American String Teachers
Association. She has received recognition from the MusicLink Foundation and the
American Protege Competition for her work with students in their programs. Her
students’ successes include winners in the American Protege Piano & Strings
Competition 2019, the Feder Memorial String Competition 2020, the Mason
Community Arts Academy Music Competition, Honorable Mention in the Asian
American Society competition, successful auditions for District and Regional
Orchestras, passing ASTACAP exams with high marks, and routine superior scores in
Solo & Ensemble Festivals.

In addition to performing and teaching, Claire is a writer and advisory board
member for, and most recently completed a series covering the
Violympics. She has also served as an adjudicator at Mason Community Arts
Academy for honors recitals and the music competition, and as an examiner for the
ASTACAP (American String Teachers Association Certificate Advancement Program)
exams in Virginia as well as nationally.

Claire holds a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory and a Bachelor of
Music degree, summa cum laude, from Baldwin-Wallace College. Her primary
teachers include Rebecca Henry, Keng-Yuen Tseng, Burton Kaplan, Julian Ross, Lisa
Cridge, Gene Pohl, and Estelle Roth. She performs on a modern violin made by
Tetsuo Matsuda and a bow made by Egidius Dörfler.

Mark Taylor, Cellist of the Haase Quartet
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