Meet the Cello Discovery Team!
Carolyn Hagler, director & principal instructor
Carolyn Hagler is the director & primary instructor for Cello Discovery. She is a tenured member of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and holds Master of Music degree in performance from the University of Texas at Austin. She also holds a K-12 teaching certificate in the state of TX.
While attending UT Austin, Carolyn was awarded a position as an instructor in the world-renowned teacher training program, The UT String Project. It was at the UTSP where Carolyn honed her skills as a string teacher under the guidance of the legendary pedagogue, Phyllis Young. Carolyn spent many years teaching in the public schools, and her orchestras consistently won top honors in contests and festivals throughout the state.
Carolyn has performed all over the globe and garnered international acclaim with her “soulful stirrings” as a cellist – both in the US and abroad. She has performed on many recordings and movie soundtracks as well as on stage with Harry Connick Jr, Steve Wariner, Andrea Bocelli, Christopher Cross, Kat Edmonson, Joshua Bell and a host of others.
Carolyn was also one of the earliest members of the New World Symphony in Miami FL where she studied under the baton of Michael Tilson-Thomas and briefly with Leonard Bernstein.
Carolyn is also co-director of the Austin Cello Choir where she rehearses 25-30 budding cellists each week.
Matthew Armbruster, cello instructor
Matthew Armbruster is an avid performer, educator and concert producer in Austin, TX. He is a tenured member of the Austin Symphony, and performs regularly with many Austin concert series and festivals, including Texas Performing Arts, SXSW, The Butler School of Music, Austin Camerata, and Density 512, among others.
As an educator, Matthew has worked as a teaching artist with the Austin Symphony, and has developed multiple curricula that integrates composition and concert curation with analysis and close listening of music relating to oppression and overcoming adversity. He has also served as a performance mentor to young composers, working with Golden Hornet’s Young Composers Program and high school age students. Matthew maintains a small private studio in central Austin, and has taught cello students ranging from age 4-65.
Matthew holds degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. His previous cello teachers have included Bion Tsang, Amos Yang, Anthony Elliott, Janos Starker, and John Kaboff, and he has studied chamber music extensively with the Miro Quartet, Anton Nel, and Christoper Harding.
In his free time, Matthew enjoys distance running and discovering new breweries. He hopes to run his first marathon in 2025.
Anne Mitchelson, web developer
Anne is the designer-developer who supports our website. She enjoys the process of tinkering with code and playing with color. She spent many years working for a large corporate entity, but much prefers her current role helping small businesses grow their online prescence.
In her free time, Anne enjoys hiking, gardening, and spending time with her two sons when they’re home from college.
Hey-Eun Grace Kim, pianist
Grace records the beautiful piano accompaniments heard throughout Cello Discovery.
Hey-Eun Grace Kim began piano lessons at the age of 4, serving as an accompanist since the 5th grade. She is the current accompanist for the Austin Korean Presbyterian Church and various other musical groups.
Grace earned a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Baylor University and a Master of Divinity, cum laude, from Truett Seminary at Baylor University where she was granted a Presidential Merit Scholarship. Grace was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate Performer of the Year in Piano by the Piano faculty and elected a member of the Society of Pi Kappa Lambda.
After many years of performing in various concerts, she now enjoys raising two sons, teaching private lessons and working hard on her doctorate.