About The Directors

Ruth Godfrey

Ruth Ann Godfrey received her Bachelors of Music in violin performance from San Francisco State and her Masters of Music from the University of Arizona. Her career has taken her from California where she was a member of the Santa Rosa and Sacramento Symphony orchestras to the Tucson Symphony and then Rome, Italy where she played for the Teatro dell'Opera for nine years. In Michigan in the early 90's she did extensive orchestral work, performing in the Ann Arbor, Flint, Saginaw, Lansing, and Toledo symphony orchestras and the Michigan Opera Theatre. She began her Suzuki training at Stevens Point, Wisconsin the summer of 1995, followed by continued training in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ithaca, New York, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Since 1996 Ruth has made her home in Salt Lake City where she played in the Ballet West Orchestra for 22 seasons, maintains a full Suzuki studio, and participates in the Suzuki Association of Utah. Recently she completed a successful three-year term as President of the Suzuki Association of Utah (SAU). In the summer she teaches at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute (ISSI) in Draper, Utah. In 2018 Ms. Godfrey and her students joined the advanced violin performing group, Rocky Mountain Strings.

Her interests include skiing, hiking, biking and scuba diving as well as reading and family history. Ruth has five stepchildren with her husband Kevin, and seven adorable grandchildren.

Leslie Henrie

Dr. Leslie Henrie is a native to Utah, and she has chosen to return and pursue her career as a professional violinist, violist, and teacher. She received her Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance at the University of Utah in 2001 and her Masters of Music degree in Violin Performance at the University of Kansas in 2006. She completed her Artist’s Diploma in 2008 at Park University’s International Center for Music. While living in Kansas City she was also the associate concertmaster and principle second violin for the St. Joseph Symphony. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in violin and viola performance and pedagogy at the University of Utah in 2013, where she was a teaching assistant to Dr. Hasse Borup. Her lecture recital and dissertation emphasis was on the literary imagery and elements found in the Violin Sonatas Op. 105 and 121 of Robert Schumann. During her doctoral studies she also served as concertmaster of the Utah Philharmonia and was one of the first recipients of the University of Utah Graduate String Quartet Fellowship. As a member of the quartet, amongst her vigorous performing schedule and teaching responsibilities, she enjoyed most of all touring to local high schools throughout the Salt Lake and Utah Valleys, presenting outreach and educational chamber music concerts to young music students.

Dr. Henrie performs and records extensively with many local professional organizations and labels, including the Utah Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Vivaldi Virtuosi, Utah Chamber Artists, Telarc, Covenant, and the LDS Church. She currently serves as concertmaster for Sinfonia Salt Lake, a newly formed professional chamber orchestra, of which she is also a founding member. She was most recently featured as a soloist on Covenant Communications’ album release, “This Is The Christ,” where she premiered a new solo work written by local LDS composer and artist Marshall McDonald. She has performed in masterclasses given by Joseph Silverstein, Cho-Liang Lin, and Eric Rosenblith among others, and past teachers include Hasse Borup, Gerald Elias, Mikhail Boguslavsky, Ben Sayevich, Kanako Ito, Martin Storey, and Eric Rosenblith. Collegiate teaching experience includes her current position as Adjunct Professor of Violin and Viola at Westminster College, as well as previously serving on the faculties of Salt Lake Community College, Utah Valley University, and the University of Utah String Preparatory School, where she taught violin, viola, and various other music courses. She teaches and coaches chamber music annually at the University of Utah Summer Chamber Music Workshops and the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute. She currently maintains her own private studio of around forty students in Draper, Utah.

Dr. Henrie plays a 1929 violin by the Swiss maker, Fritz Baumgartner, and a 1986 David Wilson (Liverpool) viola. She resides in Draper, UT with her husband Chad Medeiros, son Connor (who is currently a percussion performance major at the University of Kansas!), and daughter Georgia. In her spare time she enjoys reading, mountain biking, shopping, cooking, traveling, singing, and spending time with her family.

Amy Oswald

Amy Oswald’s musical journey began in Utah as a young Suzuki violin student. Little did she know then how the Suzuki philosophy would positively shape her life. With the love and care of dedicated parents and teachers, she earned her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Utah and her Master of Music degree from the North Carolina School of the Arts. Influential teachers include Deborah Moench, Hiroko Primrose, Jack Ashton, Gerald Elias, and Nicholas Mann. Amy continued her Suzuki Talent Education with skilled and inspirational teachers Ronda Cole, David Strom, and Linda Fiore, to whom she is forever grateful! Amy has played professionally with orchestras across the United States including the Utah Symphony, Ballet West Orchestra, Greensboro Symphony, San Bernardino Symphony, Redlands Symphony, Maryland Symphony, and as concertmaster of the Frederick Symphony Orchestra. She has also served as violin co-chair for the Suzuki Celebration X Concert and is currently a violin committee member for the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute. Some of her fondest memories are of her experiences as a student in Rocky Mountain Strings where she built many lifetime friendships and had opportunities to share music around the globe. She is excited to return to her roots of making music with this world-class performing ensemble! She is thankful for her husband Kyle and three children, who support her by encouraging her to keep learning. Amy resides in Holladay, Utah where she grows an active Suzuki studio and enjoys the curiosity and joy her students share. When outside the studio, Amy can be found hiking and stargazing in Utah’s magnificent mountains, or recharging her soul through attending performing arts events.

Michael McLean


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.

Shelley Astle


Shelley Astle studied piano at the University of Utah while also playing violin in the orchestra. She studied organ as well. Shelley performs regularly at recitals, auditions, and music festivals, as well as at her local church services. She has performed with the Rocky Mountain Strings in Poland, Belgium, France, Russia, and Austria, as well as locally. Her greatest joy is time spent rehearsing with her grandchildren who study violin, cello and piano. She is the widow of Dennis Astle and together they have 19 grandchildren.

Founding Directors of Rocky Mountain Strings

Deborah Moench

Ramona Stirling