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Dr. Lisa McNiven's music career is a unique blend of teaching and performance. A native of Rexburg, Idaho, Lisa studied violin throughout her younger years, changing her focus to viola upon entering her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a degree in music education.
While at BYU-Idaho, Lisa was the winner of several competitions, including the BYU-Idaho Concerto Competition and the Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition. She also served as principal violist of the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Baroque Ensemble. Upon graduation, Lisa attended the prestigious University of Cincinnati - College Conservatory of Music on full scholarship, studying with Masao Kawasaki and Catharine Carroll. While there, she served as principal violist of the CCM Philharmonia. Lisa received her Master of Music in Viola Performance. Lisa also studied for four summers as a full scholarship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School, performing with the top orchestras and winning the International Gee Viola Competition in 2004. Lisa holds a Doctor of Education degree from Idaho State University, with her dissertation focusing on the role of string faculty performances in undergraduate music programs.
In Fall of 2006, Dr. McNiven began her employment at BYU-Idaho, and currently assists with the viola studio, music history, and theory areas. She regularly performs solo recitals and chamber music as part of the Serenata Strings consisting of BYU-Idaho string faculty members. She also performs regularly with the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and is serving as the principal violist of the Idaho Falls Symphony.
In addition to her performing career, Dr. McNiven maintains an active violin and viola studio in Rexburg, and is a Suzuki certified instructor. Lisa and her husband, Tyler, currently reside in Rexburg, and love being a part of the Southeast Idaho community.