Alexa Schmitz received her first real violin as a gift for her third birthday. Two decades later she received her bachelor in music from Oberlin Conservatory where she studied violin performance with Marilyn McDonald. Alexa has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the Delaware County Symphony in Pennsylvania, Mansfield Symphony in Ohio, and Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de las Américas in Puerto Rico. Currently a member of Ithaca’s Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Alexa has also played with the Boston Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, the Orquesta Nacional de Panamá, and as concertmaster for the Mansfield Symphony. Alexa greatly enjoys playing chamber music, and in 2003 her string quartet won the opportunity to perform an educational tour in Washington D.C., including a final concert at the Smithsonian Institute on Stradivarius instruments. As a graduate student at Cornell, Alexa is pursuing a PhD in Plant-Microbe Biology.