Ellen Hacker is an active freelance musician and educator in the Twin Cities Metro area. She performs regularly on violin and viola with Twin Cities theater companies and is a founding member of the Linden String Quartet and the Watercress Trio. She also currently serves as Organist/Accompanist at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul.
Ellen is an experienced educator committed to developing students’ confidence and leadership through musical expression. She maintains a violin and viola studio across the Twin Cities, including at MacPhail Center for Music. Her students participate in Minnesota Youth Symphonies (MYS), Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies (GTCYS), Cannon Valley Youth Orchestras (CVYO), and summer workshops and string camps. She also previously served as the Music Director & Conductor of the Cannon Valley Youth Orchestras.
Ellen holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Instrumental Music Education from St. Olaf College and a Master’s of Music degree in String Pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While studying at UWM, Ellen was Darcy Drexler’s Graduate Assistant and worked as a faculty member at the String Academy of Wisconsin. She has a rich understanding of violin technique that draws influence from the Suzuki method and other violin pedagogues, including Dorothy Delay, Ivan Galamian, and Mimi Zweig.
Aside from music, Ellen enjoys cooking and baking with her husband, Jonah. She is also an animal lover and enjoys bringing her dog, Leo, to the Minnehaha Dog Park.