A native of Abilene, Texas, Mr. Maxwell is currently Principal Cellist with the Dallas Opera Orchestra. A long-time student of the late Lev Aronson, Mr. Maxwell is an active chamber music performer in the Dallas area and is one of the founding members of the Trinity Chamber Players. Mr. Maxwell was a faculty member and the Assistant Principal Cellist in the Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra at North Carolina's Eastern Music Festival. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Texas and a Master of Music degree from Southern Methodist University.
Assistant Principal Cello
Shawna Hamilton has received her bachelor and master degrees in music performance at the University of North Texas where she studied with cello professor Eugene Osadchy. While working towards her degrees, she sat as principal of the UNT Symphony from 2002 to 2005, won the concerto competition in 2001 playing the Beethoven Triple Concerto, and in 2005 performing the Dvorak Cello Concerto. She has played in music festivals including the National Repertory Orchestra, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, and the Des Moines Metro Opera. Ms. Hamilton has worked with the Dallas Opera since 2007 and was appointed assistant principal in 2013. She has also been principal of the East Texas Symphony since 2006 and has participated with a number of other orchestras and ensembles in the metroplex.
Oklahoma City native Eric Forman came to Dallas in 1989 to study the cello at Southern Methodist University. Upon receiving Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music performance, he began playing in many of the local orchestras, including those of Carrollton, Plano, Richardson, and Tyler. Since joining the Dallas Opera Orchestra in 1999, Eric has also enjoyed an active and varied career as a free-lancer, including frequent engagements as an extra with the Fort Worth Symphony. On the side, Eric is also an accomplished guitarist, and enjoys playing the bass guitar alongside Dallas Opera colleagues Norman Stone and Drew Lang in the rock band Scarlet Vermillion. He also tends a small freshwater aquarium of several nameless but fascinating fish.
Originally from the Dominican Republic, Vilma Peguero has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician and is also a respected teacher and mentor in the Dallas community. Ms. Peguero has performed as a soloist with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Dominican National Symphony, as well as in a chamber performance in the Texas Musical Outreach concert series featuring the Beethoven string quartets. A beloved teacher, Ms. Peguero has served on the faculty of Baylor University, Richland College, and Greenhill School, teaching cello and coaching chamber music groups. She co-directs the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Young Strings Cello Camp every summer and is a Certified Suzuki Cello Teacher. Ms. Peguero studied cello under Martha Gershefsky at Columbus State University and earned a Masters in Music from Southern Methodist University under the tutelage of Chris Adkins. She later pursued post-masters studies with Eugene Osadchy. Ms. Peguero is currently a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and teaches at Brookhaven College and The Hockaday School, where she serves as Cello teacher and Assistant to the Orchestra Program. She lives in Dallas and enjoys riding her trike around White Rock Lake.
Native Dallasite Philip Taggart studied with Lev Aronson, Michael Coren and Adolpho Odnopossof. He was a Meadows Scholarship graduate of SMU and has been a member of the Dallas Opera Orchestra since 1989. He has a large studio of private students, and has given multiple cello master classes and educators seminars about beginning cello technique. He enjoys biking with his wife, and is big fan of cats.