Shana Sear Gaskill - Cellist and Suzuki String Instructor


  • 1975: The High School of Music and Art
  • 1980: The Mannes College of Music
  • 1981: The School for Strings (Two years Suzuki teacher training with Louise Behrend, Channing Robbins, Katherine Brainard and Nellis DeLay. Private Cello studies with Channing Robbins, Jonathan Apramowitz, William Stokking, Paul Tobias, Jean Goberman, George Ricci)


  • Faculty- Performing Arts of Summit, New Jersey
  •  The Music Institute of Staten Island

Former Faculty

  • 1984-1987: The Bloomingdale House of Music
  • 1983-1986: The Huntington Long Island Suzuki School
  • 1982-1986: The Midtown Emanu-el YMHA of New York
  • 1982-1984: The Day School, N.Y.

Solo and Chamber Music Experience:

  • 1984, 1986, 1988: Recitals at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, N.Y.
  • 1987: Recitals at The Jewish Community Center, Staten Island and The Bloomingdale House of Music, N.Y.

Orchestral, Opera and Theater:

  • 1987-1989: Cellist with The Greater Trentom Symphony Orchestra, the Garden State Symphonic Ensemble and The Delaware Valley Philharmonic (Pennsylvania)
  • 1986-1987: Sumnmer of Music on the Hudson
  • 1982-1984: The Queens Philharmonic
  • 1981: The Waterloo Festival
  • 1979-1980: The Bronx Opera
  • 1976: The Long Island Youth Orchestra
  • 1972-1973: The Aspen Music Festival
  • 1972-1974: Cosmopolitan Yourh Orchestra


James and Shana were founding members, mentors and soloists with the new Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, founded by Lorraine Marks:

James L. Gaskill- Violin and Viola Virtuoso

Early Years

James L. Gaskill grew up in Kansas City, Missouri where he began studying violin at the age of 8. He served as Concertmaster of the All-City Elementary, All-City High School Orchestras and the Kansas City Youth Symphony. He was also Assistant Concertmaster of the Missouri All State Orchestra.


He attended the University of Missouri where he was Concertmaster of the University Orchestra. He received 13 scholarships and a 1705 Seraphino violin from as anonymous donor. He appeared as soloist with the Kansas City Philharmonic in the Mendlessohn violin concerto at the age of 19. He continued advanced study with Gorgio Ciompi at Duke University and Ivan Galamian of the Julliard School. Mr. Galamian's other students have included Itzhak Pearlman.

New York City

Mr. Gaskill freelanced in NYC for 15 years. During this time, he appeared as Concertmaster in every major hall in the city. He played with the Joffrey Ballet and Musica Sacre at Lincoln Center for 10 years. He also presented numerous recitals throughout the area including the Lincoln Center Library. The NY Times has said, "String playing of a caliber seldom heard". He played on Broadway with "West Side Story", "Annie", "Nine", "Timbuktu" and  Radio City with the rock group "Yes". In the popular field, he was Concertmaster of the Concord Hotel Orchestra appearing with most of the top Las Vegas acts of the time. He toured with Andy Williams, Henry Mancini, the Osmonds, Peter Nero, and Richard Harris (Camelot). He can be heard as soloist in "the Blues Traveler" recording of "Straight on till Morning" where he also arranged some of the music. Mr. Gaskill also recorded the first digital recording of the "Messiah" with Musica Sacre for RCA.

Mr. Gaskill played with the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Quebec Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony and the Casal's Festival Orchestra in Puerto Rico.

Mr. Gaskill has taught violin and viola for over 40 years. His students have included, Concertmasters of the NYC All-City High School orchestra, the NJ Youth Orchestra and the Newark, NJ Youth Orchestra. His main focus in teaching is to impart a love of music to his students.

Mr. Gaskill currently lives in Marathon, Florida with his wife cellist Shana Gaskill and his youngest son, Christopher. He has recently been teaching via computer on Skype.



Read the article about Jim in the Westfield Leader newspaper.

View the Carnegie Hall Program and Sunday New York Times article about Concertmaster James L. Gaskill and the American Philharmonic Orchestra.


James L. and Shana were founding members, mentors and soloists with the new Jersey Intergenerational Orchestra, founded by Lorraine Marks -

Performance Photos