The mission of the Shoals Symphony Orchestra is to enhance the cultural life of all residents of the Shoals area through musical performances and educational programs.
With six to eight concerts per year, an honors orchestra festival, school concerts, and the string project, The Shoals deeply feels the impact of our organization. Each year, the Symphony hosts the UNA Honor Orchestra Festival, where high school students from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and Missouri experience a weekend of masterclasses and clinics, and have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with the professional musicians of the Shoals Symphony Orchestra. Once a year, the Symphony performs a free concert for local area school children to teach the importance of exposure of classical music at a young age. The Shoals Symphony Orchestra’s String Project offers group and individual string instruction to school children throughout the Shoals.
Concertmaster, String Project Director
Christina Volz-Stomackin is a faculty member at the University of North Alabama, where she serves as concertmaster of the Shoals Symphony at UNA. She also serves as the Master Teacher of the UNA String Project, a local organization in the Shoals Area providing instruction for both group and private lessons to students of all ages. As a performer, Christina has appeared as a soloist with orchestras in Alabama and Georgia, is currently a member of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and frequently performs with many orchestras in Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. As an educator, Professor Volz-Stomackin has served as a judge for MTNA chamber music and solo competitions in Alabama and as a coach and judge for Alabama All State Orchestras and has assisted in concert preparation for ASTA as a representative of UNA. . She is a recent Master’s graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and received her Bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University.
Assistant Director of Operations
A native of South Florida, Gwen Schajatovic received her degree in Music Performance and Music Entrepreneurial Studies at Florida State University. For the Symphony, Gwen serves as grant writer, development director, and marketing director. While in the FSU College of Music, she worked directly with the College of Music Assistant Dean to create new opportunities for FSU students to explore and develop an innovative mindset through the Office of Music Entrepreneurship. She also served as an intern at the Council on Culture and Arts (COCA) in Tallahassee, FL, to promote arts and culture throughout the region. In addition to her administrative leadership, she had served as principal bass clarinet for the FSU University Wind Orchestra, principal clarinet for the FSU Philharmonic Orchestra, and various other ensembles. She recently traveled to Ostend, Belgium to attend the Belgian Clarinet Academy, where she was a featured soloist.
Connie Johnson is a retired band director/music teacher. She plays flute and piccolo in the Shoals Symphony at UNA. She also teaches private flute lessons, substitute teaches for band directors and music teachers, and is a volunteer leader for Boy Scouts of America. She has been Personnel Manager for the Shoals Symphony at UNA for 10 years.