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San Diego

Lauren Mindoro


Ms. Mindoro’s passion for the music started at the age of 10 when she was chosen to be part of the Emmy-Award winning Disney’s Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. She was one of 72 children chosen among 800 children auditioning across the United States and Canada. She held the position with the orchestra for 3 years and subsequently became the principal violist of this orchestra when she was 12. She pursued her love for the violin until she earned the opportunity to attend top ranking music conservatories in college. Among the conservatories she attended were the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York where she was the recipient of the Howard Hansen Scholarship and later graduated with her Bachelor’s degree from New York City, an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music where she was principal second violinist of the Manhattan School Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Mindoro graduated with honors from her Master’s Degree in Violin Performance from the Thornton School of Music at University of Southern California where for the past two years she was the recipient of a Merit Scholarship.


Ms. Mindoro has performed in Copley Symphony Hall, the California Center for the Arts, the Eastman Theater, Hollywood Bowl and the Walt Disney Hall and has shared the stage with world class musicians. She has been a featured soloist for the following orchestras: The San Diego Young Artists Symphony Orchestra, the International Philharmonia of Tijuana, Mexico and the La Jolla Symphony Orchestra. 

Nikolai Mndoian


Nikolai Mndoian began his cello studies at the age of seven with his mother Gaiana Mndoian, a graduate of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Russia. He has taken top prizes in several San Diego competitions, such as the VOCE and the MTAC and has played with the Orchestra de Baja California, in Tijuana, Mexico, as well as having performed in cello duos with his mother Gaiana throughout the San Diego/Northern Baja California area. Nikolai was also faculty coach at the California Institute of Music and currently devotes time to private teaching, freelancing, and continuing his musical studies - particularly in the Baroque style. 

Lorie Kirkell


Lorie Kirkell is an acclaimed American cellist, who has developed a glowing
career on the West Coast as soloist, recitalist, and chamber music player. After
her studies on the East Coast with distinguished cellists Raya Garbousova and
Bernard Greenhouse, she earned a Master of Arts degree in Music at the
University of California San Diego. She has appeared as principal cellist with
orchestras for the Bolshoi Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Ms. Kirkell has
performed at the Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Broadway San Diego for
National Touring Musical Theater productions, Civic Theater and with many other
music organizations such as the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera.
She is the Director of the Novellus Ensemble and performs with Caprice Strings
and Innocenti Strings.

Ms. Kirkell has also performed with Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett, Johnny
Mathis, Natalie Cole, Peter Cetera, Luis Miguel, the Moody Blues, Donna
Summer, Dionne Warwick, and others.
Ms. Kirkell has been a member of the Grossmont College Music Department
Faculty since 2002.

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