Assistant Principal Viola Evelina Chao joined The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in 1980. Chao began violin studies at age eight and later graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree as a student and teaching fellow of Dorothy DeLay. She received her master's degree in chamber music from SUNY Binghamton in the Guarneri Quartet program. Evelina has appeared as a soloist with the SPCO as well as the National, Arlington and Fairfax Symphonies. She has performed in recital at the Phillips Gallery in Washington, D.C. and as a chamber musician with the Chopin Society, Bakken Trio, Musical Offering, and Sommerfest. As a violinist she has served as acting concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony and first violinist of the Amici Quartet. Chao has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains, Cactus Pear Festival and the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Festival. She has served on the faculty of the String Academy at Indiana University, and in 2008 was named music director of Madeline Island Music Camp, where students from all over the world gather to study and perform chamber music under the guidance of professional quartets and faculty from the top music schools and departments in the country. Chao has recorded Schulhoff’s Concertino and Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence on the Russian Disc label. Beyond her musical activities, she is a published author. Chao’s first novel, Gates of Grace, was published by Warner Books in 1987. Her memoir, Yeh Yeh’s House, was published by St. Martin’s Press in December 2004. In 2000 Evelina was certified as a professional life coach by Coaches Institute in San Raphael, California and established her practice, Commit to Change. She works with clients around the world (Geneva, Bangkok, Hong Kong, as well as the U.S.) to establish and attain life-changing goals. An avid equestrian, Evelina rides trails on her Tennessee Walker horse, Brio, and trains dressage on her Dutch Warmblood, Rocker. Evelina also enjoys tennis, gardening and travel.