The Musicians

Joan Stewart

Joan began her studies in Iowa at the age of 5 as a Suzuki violin student. She received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Northern Iowa and was an eight year member of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Iowa. She received her Master’s Degree in Music Performance from Southen Illinois University where she studied with John Kendall. In 1991, Joan moved to Bermuda and joined the faculty of the Bermuda Conservatory of Music. While there, Joan performed on many faculty recitals as soloist and in ensemble groups. She was also a member of the Pembroke Players String Quartet, the Dayelsford Sinfonia, and performed under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin. Since moving to Naples in 2003, Joan had developed a thriving Suzuki violin teaching studio. She plays with the Voices of Naples, the Bach Ensemble and Opera Naples. Joan also performs as a strolling violinist.

Susan Sikuta

Following studies at the San Francisco Conservatory Preparatory Department, Susan received a Bachelor’s Degree from Harvard University, where she studied violin with Roman Totenberg. After a year as Graduate Fellow at Indiana University, she continued her studies in Germany where she graduated with a performance degree from the Freiburg Conservatory of Music. As first violinist of the Fandango Quintet, she won first prize in the Schweinfurt International Music Competition in 1990. She also performed regularly as soloist with the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra throughout Europe. Susan then took a position as first violinist with the State Orchestra in Darmstadt, Germany for 8 years. During that time she performed with the German Chamber Orchestra in concert tours throughout Europe and Japan. She moved to Naples in July, 1999.

Brandis Godwin

Brandis Godwin, a native of Naples, began playing violin at the age of 11. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Performance from Stetson University (2012) and a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance with an emphasis in Orchestral Performing from Kent State University (2014). In addition to performing with Seaside Strings, Brandis performs with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and Opera Naples. Brandis is Suzuki certified and maintains a private violin studio. She also enjoys doing music therapy sessions at the Naples Botanical Garden with children with special needs and Alzheimer patients. Brandis is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Florida Gulf Coast University and hopes to combine both her music and business skills.

Vivian Aiello

A native of Ohio, Vivian graduated with a degree in Music Education from Ohio University. Moving to Atlanta in 1979, in addition to teaching strings, Vivian performed with the Macon Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Atlanta Pops Orchestra and the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. As a freelance musician, she has performed with many artists such as Natalie Cole, Ray Charles, The Moody Blues, and Yanni. As a faculty member at Dekalb Community College, Vivian served as principal violist with the Dekalb Symphony. Performing with the Metropolitan String Quartet and the Festival String Quartet, Vivian has extensive experience performing for weddings and church services. Since moving to Naples in 2003, Vivian has performed with the Bach Ensemble, The Naples Players, Opera Naples, Classic Chamber Concerts, CAPA artist series and the Southwest Florida Symphony. Vivian is the contact person for Seaside Strings.

Diane Coffman

Diane Coffman is a well-versed cellist in many genres of music. For over 20 years, she worked with the major musical entities in the San Francisco Bay area and was a member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra. Diane’s biggest passions are performing classical chamber music and playing for services at her synagogue. Diane finished her Master’s Degree in Music Performance under the tutelage of Lazlo Varga at San Francisco State University. While earning her Bachelor’s Degree at Bowling Green State University, Diane was a student of Peter Howard. In high school, Diane was accepted as a student of Fritz Magg of Indiana University. All of her college education, Diane was the recipient of full scholarships and she was chosen to receive the Orion Award for Music and Academic Achievement.