Winds & Brass

Josh Baker

  • The principal bassoonist of the CSO since September 2015. Attended the New England Conservatory of Music and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. 

  • Student Level: Beginner to Advanced

  • Accepting new students: yes

  • Contact Info:

Kathy St. John

  • Core member of CSO for 24 years, including five as Acting Principal Bassoon

  • Student level taught:  All levels

  • Accepting new students:  1 or 2 more

  • Contact Info: (843) 693-0740


Charles Messersmith

  • Principal clarinet of the CSO with extensive teaching experience of all levels. On faculty of Charleston Southern University, College of Charleston, and Wintergreen Academy in Wintergreen, Virginia.

  • Student level taught - all

  • Accepting new students:  yes

  • Contact info: (843) 377-5671 or

​Gretchen Roper (also Bass Clarinet)

  • Second Clarinet of CSO since 2006, B.M. Performance from Duquesne University; Principal teachers include: Burt Hara, Ron Samuels, Michael Rusinek, and David Weber. 

  • Level taught:  Beginner - advanced levels

  • Accepting new students:  yes

  • Contact info:  (412) 606-8669 or

Flute & Piccolo
Jessica Hull-Dambaugh

  • Principal Flute of CSO since 2004.  Holds degrees in Flute Performance and Music Education.

  • All levels - beginner, intermediate, advanced

  • Accepting new students: yes
  • Contact Info:, 843-469-4840,

Regina Helcher Yost

  • Second Flute/Piccolo of the CSO, Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo of the Colorado Music Festival, core member of Chamber Music Charleston, Adjunct Professor of Flute at Charleston Southern University and certified Suzuki Instructor.
  • Currently accepting students: yes
  • Contact:, (cell) 843-860-2037, website:


Brandon Nichols

  • Principal Horn of the CSO
  • ​Accepting new students: yes
  • Contact Info: (843) 819-1618 or

Anne Holmi

  • ​Second horn in the Charleston Symphony and 4th horn in the Hilton Head Symphony.  Teaching students also at Wando High, Moultrie Middle, and Laing Middle schools.
  • Student level taught:  All levels
  • Accepting new students: yes
  • ​Contact Info: (843) 814-1197 cell or (843) 971-6188


Zachary Hammond

  • Principal oboe of CSO and with professional groups throughout the country.  Maintains a dedicated private oboe studio of students of all levels for almost 10 years.

  • Levels taught: beginner through advanced (elementary to college levels)

  • Accepting new students: yes

  • Contact info: (630) 779-7416 or

Private Instruction

Are you looking for a private teacher?  Here are some of the tremendous professional musicians of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

Viola & Violin

Alex Agrest

  • Core member of CSO for 25 years.  Masters in violin and viola from St Petersburg Conservatory in Russia.

  • Levels taught:  All levels

  • Accepting new students:  yes;  also excepting students for summer course to improve shifting, vibrato and bow technique

  • Contact Info: (843) 324-7721 or

Micah Gangwer

  • Assistant Concertmaster of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra

  • Levels taught:  Intermediate - Advanced

  • Accepting new students:  yes

  • Contact Info:  405-408-7598,,


Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra