We strongly encourage all VHHS orchestra students to take private lessons, whether here at the high school with one of our private string teaching staff, or outside the school at a local music academy or private studio.  Lessons at VHHS may be scheduled before school, after school, during lunch/study, or during orchestra class. Feel free to contact Mr. Green @ dana.green@d128.org with any questions regarding private lessons.

Why Take Private Lessons?

  • Students that participate in private lessons excel at a higher level and are very motivated. 
  • Obvious benefits: “to get better,” “to do well on my next playing test,” “to receive a scholarship,” “to become first chair,” “to get into youth orchestra,” “to make it into ILMEA”. 
  • Less obvious benefits: “learning to solve problems independently,” “learning to work within timelines to complete projects,” “learning to cope with stress,” “learning how to get back on the horse after we fall off,” “learning how to take pride in an accomplishment,” and “learning how to work as a member of a team”.
  • Allows students a chance to work individually and directly with a teacher, at their own rate of progress, with the process of learning. 
  • Private teachers act as a guide to the process of self-discovery through music.


VHHS Private String Teaching Faculty

Richard Yeo, Cello


Richard Yeo was born into a musical family. He began playing the piano at the age of six, and took up the cello at age nine. He attended Indiana University where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree while studying with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Fritz Magg.  He later received his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University studying with Hans Jorgen Jensen.   Mr. Yeo was Assistant Principal Cellist with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for ten seasons, and during that time he made his solo orchestral debut playing the Second Cello Concerto of Victor Herbert.

Since 1993 he has been a member of the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, and he currently maintains an active schedule as a free-lance cellist in the Chicago area. Some of the orchestras he performs with include the Grant Park Symphony, the Chicago Philharmonic, and the Lake Forest Symphony.


Jess Hudson Cello


From the Chicago area, Jessica Hudson began her cello studies at the age of 9 through the
Music Institute of Chicago with Gilda Barston and Horacio Contreras, continuing her education
at DePaul University with Brant Taylor. She was also a part of the Midwest Young Artists
Conservatory, and competed in various competitions as a soloist and chamber musician,
winning prizes and honorable mentions in the Society of American Musicians, MYAC Walgreens
National Concerto Competition, and the Barnett Chamber Music Competition. She later became
the Assistant Director of Bach to Rock, in Northbrook, IL. After her time there, she felt
compelled to return to her Suzuki roots, completing her first unit in Suzuki teacher training with
Sally Gross at the Chicago Suzuki Institute in July 2023. Jessica has been teaching private lessons
at Solo Classic Music School in Buffalo Grove, and additionally teaches private lessons at Vernon
Hills High School. Today, she is an active performer in the Chicago area, performing in
community orchestras, musical productions, and collaborating with musicians of various
genres. Jessica credits her musical journey to the teachers and colleagues who have strongly
influenced and supported her perpetual love of sharing the joy of playing the cello.


Adam Adamovich, Viola



Renee Henley, Violin


Renee Henley is a graduate of Northwestern University with her Bachelor’s Degree (2011) and Masters’ Degree (2013) in Music Performance.  She teaches and performs in the Chicago area on both the violin and viola.  She held the position of Concertmaster with the Lakeview Orchestra for three years, and had the opportunity to perform solos with the orchestra while in that position.  She also plays in the orchestra pit for non-equity musicals around Chicago, most recently with Next to Normal, with the Boho Theater Company.  She has performed as a section violinist in a few regional orchestras, including Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and Orchestra Iowa.  Renee is currently a member of the violin section with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra.


Scott Bakshis, Bass