About The Directors

Deborah Moench
began teaching the violin when she was in the 5th grade, one year after beginning lessons!  This began a love of sharing music with children that has never ceased.  In 1978 Hiroko Primrose introduced Debbie to the Suzuki Method of teaching violin.  This was a great gift to Debbie and all her subsequent students.  Currently Debbie maintains a large violin studio in Salt Lake city.  She is co-director with Ramona Stirling of Rocky Mountain Strings, a performance group for their advanced students.  Debbie is a past president of the Suzuki Association of Utah and the coordinator of the 2012 Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.






Based in Los Angeles, California, composer and violinist Michael McLean is an internationally noted composer, violinist, and pedagogue. On the faculty of the Colburn, he teaches violin, composition, and conducts various ensembles throughout the school while maintaining a lively career as a composer of orchestral, chamber, and film music. He received his B.M. in Violin Performance from Northwestern University where he studied violin, composition, counterpoint, and orchestration extensively and has recently completed the prestigious program at the University of Southern California, "Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television". He is founder and president of Oak Cliff Publishing, which features more than 100 of his compositions and four CD’s. His three concertos for Violin and Viola have been recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios. These works have been performed many times domestically and internationally to rave reviews. His film music for an award winning documentary on Louis Sullivan has been haled as “innovative and exquisitely distinct…”

Currently, Mr. McLean has been studying the solo violin music of J. S. Bach and has been asked to Lecture on this topic for the SAA conference and for the Delay-Starling Symposium for Teaching Excellence at the Juilliard School. His studies about this important music will soon be published in a forthcoming book, along with recordings by various artists. He is also arranging the great preludes and fugues of Bach for string quartet and will have more than 50 of these masterworks published in the near future. When not overworking, Michael enjoys long backpacking trips in the Sierras. He knits his own wool hiking socks.

Ramona Stirling has been the director of the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, for twenty three years. She has been teaching the Suzuki violin method for 30 years. Mrs. Stirling maintains a violin studio of 40 students. Ramona Stirling and Deborah Moench are co-directors of the Rocky Mountain Strings, an advanced violin performing group that has toured Europe twice and recently returned from Argentina. The group performed at the SAA International Teacher Convention in 1998 and 2006. Her other great loves besides the violin are downhill skiing, hiking, traveling, and knitting. She is the Suzuki mother of four grown children. She has a degree in Humanities from Brigham Young University. From 1980-83 she had three years of long term Suzuki training with Hiroko Primrose, and has taken many short term courses over the last 30 years.