Sophie Chang bridges the worlds of the concert hall and the dance hall in her active career as a performer, collaborator, songwriter, and teacher. Both a classically trained cellist and an avid improviser, Sophie specializes in American folk music and has played contra dances and English country dances throughout the mid-atlantic region. She is a founding member of bands Petrichord and Tea and Honey, which have fast become local favorites for their blend of Old Time, French Canadian, and Scottish fiddling. Sophie’s creative skills can also be heard in her more recent work as a songwriter. Drawing inspiration from American fiddle tunes, pop songs, and church hymns, Sophie’s original solo compositions reflect a sincere desire to build connection and community while speaking out about current political realities. Her original works span a variety of genres from new grass solo cello pieces to children’s songs intended for community singing.
An enthusiastic music educator dedicated to practicing anti-oppression, Sophie provides accessible cello lessons to her local community in Silver Spring and Takoma Park at a sliding scale. In addition to running a private studio, Sophie is the director and founder of the Silver Spring Cello Choir, a multi-generational, multi-level ensemble, which accepts all members regardless of financial need. With over nine years of teaching experience, Sophie has extensive Suzuki Method and Music Mind Games training, and has presented at the American String Teachers Association National Conference and the Suzuki Association of the Americas Biennial Conference. She previously taught at the Joy of Music School in Knoxville, BSO Orchkids in Baltimore, and the Daraja Music Initiative in northern Tanzania. In addition, Sophie has intentionally provided free cello lessons at local public schools in Tennessee, Maryland, and Virginia to further combat classism in music education. Faculty positions include the Levine School of Music, The Harmonia School of Music, and a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at the University of Tennessee.
Sophie holds a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Ithaca College where she studied with Elizabeth Simkin, and a master’s degree in music performance from the University of Tennessee where she studied with Wesley Baldwin. She has attended the Brevard Music Center Summer Institute, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Nief Norf Summer Festival. In the DC area, she plays with the Apollo Orchestra, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, and the Tysons McLean Orchestra.