Isabel Fairbanks


Isabel Fairbanks, Strings Department Advisor

Describe what you do in your current position: I work on all things strings, including organizing the string concerts, scheduling violin, viola, and cello lessons, working with faculty to create fun and exciting programs for string students, and meeting with students and parents who are already in the string program at TBMS or entering into the program.

How long have you worked for Turtle Bay? How long in your current position? I’ve taught at Turtle Bay since 2010 and have held the Strings Advisor position since 2013.

Describe other work experience or education: I have degrees from Boston University (B.M.) and Manhattan School of Music (M.M.) in cello performance. Besides working at Turtle Bay, I’m also a performing cellist and have a private cello studio in NYC.

Have you previously or do you now hold other positions at TBMS? Yes, I’m a cello teacher at TBMS! I also teach in the Saturday Music Project.

What is your favorite thing about Turtle Bay Music School? I love the feeling of community and all the wonderful music-making that happens at Turtle Bay.

What is your favorite Turtle Bay memory and/or event? There are so many, but probably the Spielstücke concert with Patti Onorato and other faculty members. We played pieces from Orff and Keetman’s Musica Poetica, and it was a very special experience to play pieces so different from what I normally play.

Do you play any instruments? Describe any musical background you may want to share! I’ve played the cello for almost twenty years! I also play the piano a little bit, which is the instrument I started on.

What is your favorite song and/or piece of music? Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto (the “Emperor” concerto).

Who is your favorite composer/songwriter? My favorite composer is Brahms – he’s so passionate and has the most beautiful melodies. Everyone should learn to play an instrument just so they can experience playing Brahms.

Where are you from? A tiny town in Connecticut called Coventry.

Favorite color: Turquoise

Favorite food: It’s always changing, but I love fresh fruit and vegetables. And of course cheese and chocolate.