John Sant’Ambrogio has enjoyed an illustrious career as a cellist in top orchestras, chamber music ensembles and as a pedagogue for over five decades. Appointed Principal Cello of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra (SLSO) in 1968 after being a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for nine years, Mr. Sant’Ambrogio has served as Principal Cello of such orchestras as the Casals Festival (Puerto Rico), Grand Teton Music Festival (WY), Lancaster Festival (OH) and the Seventh Army Symphony (Europe).
In 1987, he founded and was the first Artistic Director of Strings in the Mountains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. His discography includes chamber music and orchestral recordings on the TELARC, RCA, IMG and VOX labels. Mr. Sant’Ambrogio studied with Leonard Rose, Paul Olevsky and Diran Alexanian and has passed on these pedagogies while on the faculties of Washington University, the St. Louis Conservatory and Boston University. His students have won jobs in major symphony orchestras including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Retiring from the SLSO in 2005, he moved to Steamboat Springs, CO to pursue his love of skiing, hiking, cycling and photography. Still a very active chamber musician and teacher, he founded the Generations Piano Trio in 2005 with violinist Dmitri Pogorelov and pianist Judith Lynn Stillman.
Elissa Greene, cello, has been a member of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra since 2008. She is a Suzuki cello teacher and maintains a small studio. She also participates often in SSO’s education programs. She began cello at age four and piano at age nine. She graduated from Colorado College in 2004 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music.
Elissa joined the year-round staff of Strings Music Festival in 2007 after working in the Strings Box Office for several summers. At Strings, she works closely with the Music Director to create classical and cross-genre programming, and began the successful Strings School Days program. She became the Executive Director of Strings in 2015.
Mary Beth Norris is the founder of the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra and SSO’s past executive director. She began playing music in early elementary school on a little plastic SongFlute, by age 10 had discovered the flute and began her studies. In High School, Mary Beth traveled Europe performing with the School Band of America. With a Bachelors of Music Education from Fort Hays State University, she taught public school music until she moved to Steamboat Spring in 1977.
Mary Beth Norris taught music appreciation at Colorado Mountain College for 10 years, studied under flutist Geoffrey Gilbert (1983-1886). She studied the Suzuki Flute Method with Tatsumi Shiojima and Kenichi Ueda and is recognized internationally for her creation of the Penny Whistle School, an innovative pre-flute pedagogy method. Over the past 35 years, she has taught flute to hundreds of Steamboat children, and teaches every summer at music institutes and workshops. Mary Beth and her students’ performances include the ’98 Winter Olympics International Gala Concerts, National Flute Association, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Denver Young Artist Orchestra, All state Band and Orchestra, Strings Music Festival and of course, the Steamboat Symphony Orchestra.