UVMC Welcomes Two New Faculty Members
UVMC is excited to welcome two new talented faculty members to our community! Brenda Chien plays collaborative piano for Juneberry and individual lesson students. Nils Fredland will be teaching ukulele lessons and classes. If you are interested in signing up for ukulele lessons please complete our lesson inquiry form.
Nils Fredland has been active as a professional musician, dance caller, and choral director for over 20 years. Nils completed his training as a classical trombonist at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN under M. Dee Stewart in 1996. Since then his musical journey has taken many unexpected turns…including being given his first ukulele by a friend on his 40th birthday, which opened up the possibility of accompanying himself singing (not easily done as a trombone player!). Nils quickly added the ukulele to his varied range of musical skills, accompanying choirs, teaching workshops, using the ukulele to brush up on his music theory skills, and keeping his friends entertained on long drives to gigs. Nils views the ukulele as the ultimate community music-making instrument, and is delighted to join the Upper Valley Music Center faculty to share in the joy of playing uke to all ages and all levels of ability.
Brenda Chien was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to her Taiwanese immigrant parents. She then moved to San Diego, California, where she was raised until moving on to college. She studied piano with Rinna Livshin in her youth and with Roberto Plano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Music Education. Brenda has played piano for Indiana University’s Wind Ensemble and was featured as a soloist in Indiana University’s Symphonic Band. She has won several regional Bach competitions in California and placed top in the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) Panel Competition in 2014.
Brenda’s decision to become a music educator was due to her experiences in middle school band class. She not only had fun through group music making, but she also learned many skills specific to music making that would apply benefit her in real world situations, like listening to others, working towards a goal as a group, and working through making mistakes. With these impressions left on her, she was inspired to have a hand in fostering these skills for students to use in their futures. Now, Brenda is the music teacher at Plainfield Elementary School teaching K-8 General Music, Chorus and Band.