Heather Straley
Concertmaster

Heather Straley (Steffes) was raised in Villa Park, IL, and has been playing both violin and piano since the age of 10. She actively participated in a variety of music events and programs throughout her school-aged years and went on to study Music Composition at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, IL. At IWU, Heather studied violin with Professor Vadim Mazo and piano with Joy Doran. As part of her studies, she traveled abroad to England and Ireland and had the unique opportunity to fiddle in the pubs with the locals in rural Ireland, learning the importance of folk music in everyday European life. Following the completion of her Bachelor degree, Heather continued her education at VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, where she earned Master of Music Education with Certification.

Concertmaster for the MSO since 2010, Heather was recently appointed the concertmaster position with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra as well. Heather holds a private violin and viola studio and teaches locally at Muscatine Community College as well as holds an adjunct string faculty position with Pleasant Valley Schools. Heather currently resides in Geneseo, Illinois and is enjoying raising her two children, Gage (6) and Noralyn (3), while maintaining an active playing and teaching career.

Return to Musician Page