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BASIS D.C. sophomores Sitara Mazumdar (left) and Daniella Choi hold their trophy after being named co-champions at the Georgetown Day Invitational on October 1. The young debaters defeated several top debate programs in the D.C. area to win the tournament and earn a bid for the Tournament of Champions.

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Jared Adams is a young violinist with an extensive and diverse background of solo, chamber, and orchestral performance, currently studying a Bachelor of Music Performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He began studying violin through the Suzuki Method under Stephanie Flack.

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Charlotte Chan began her musical journey at the age of five with Stephanie Flack. Charlotte has attended several Strings and Orchestra programs at the Greater Washington Suzuki institute as well as currently participating in Strings Ensemble at Immanuel Christian School. At age 8, Charlotte won 3rd place for the Strings Category at 2023 American Music Talent Competition.

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They’ve performed on tour in Germany, conducted at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and have been members of some of the most prestigious orchestra groups in the United States. Founders say the nonprofit is unlike other orchestra organizations. “We are stretching the idea of what an orchestra can be,” said Stephanie Sims Flack, violinist, teacher, and president of Paragon’s board of directors.

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Claire Oviedo is a violin student from Rockville, Md., who just turned five this week. Claire began violin lessons almost 11 months ago, at the age of four, with Stephanie Sims Flack. She has practiced every day since, creating an impressive practice streak of 342 consecutive days!

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Five-year-old Hannah Mei Steury started violin lessons two months ago. Children can learn to play an instrument before they even start school. That's the philosophy of the Suzuki method of teaching music. The child first learns to play music by hearing it, rather than reading musical notes.

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Rising Stars: Meet Stephanie Flack

In my teaching, I am most proud of the connections I have with my students and families. Every student has their own challenges, and I love being able to create a program and approach for each student and every lesson.

As a performer, I enjoy playing all styles of music, and whether performing classical, rock, tango, or the latest pop tune, connecting with the audience is incredibly rewarding.