Erica Jacobs-Perkins, violin

Erica Jacobs-Perkins, a Montreal-area violinist, challenges diverse audiences to form enduring relationships with classical music. As a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Cygnus Trio, and the former TARDIS quartet, she has interacted with audiences in high schools, cafes, community centers, hospitals, metro stations, and shelters. She has also had the privilege of performing in more well-known and conventional venues, such as the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Symphony Center, Kodak Hall in Rochester, El Teatro Nacional de El Salvador, and in Smetana Hall as part of the Prague Proms Festival. Diversity of performance location is a cornerstone in her mission to deepen the socially transformative possibilities of classical music. Also integral to this mission is her enthusiasm for new music; she participated in the 2016 Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago with world premieres of Eliza Brown’s A Soundwalk with Resi and Drew Baker’s Nox. As a member of the Cygnus Trio, she was involved in commissioning Charles Zoll to write AMALGAM and premiered pieces by composers Patrick Walker and Karalyn Schubring in the 2017 fresh, inc. festival. 

Erica’s passion for sharing music does not stop at performance. She has been teaching privately since 2006, and has also taught through Stewart Hall (Pointe-Claire, QC), the McGill Conservatory, the Montreal Academy of Music, the Kanack School (Rochester, NY) and Music for Kids (Chicago). She visited El Sistema El Salvador for two weeks in 2015 as a teaching fellow with the MusAid organization, a fascinating and mostly successful exercise in non-verbal communication since she speaks English and French, but not Spanish! Erica has training in the Suzuki method of violin teaching and the Kodaly-based Kaleidoscopes method, and uses aspects of this training in every violin lesson she teaches, although she understands the importance of tailoring lessons and methods to the needs of individual students. In addition to teaching violin lessons, she taught in the Sunday school program at St. James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago and discovered that most of the same teaching principles apply, regardless of age or subject material. 

Erica began her violin studies at the Hochstein School of Music (Rochester, NY) with Julie Stout and continued with Virginia Wensel, Denise Lupien, Felicia Moye, and Janet Sung. Erica holds a B.Mus. and a B.A. in English literature from McGill University and a M.Mus. from DePaul University. 

Erica plays on an 1830 Didier Nicolas violin.

Images by Snostudios Photography