Nathan La Huis • Myka Spoelma • Marine Avequin • Aidan Lancaster

Members

Nathan La Huis

Nathan Daniel La Huis was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on March 23, 2002. He began to play the violin at the age of 10 and took lessons through a small music program located in a local church chapel. From there he joined the St. Cecilia Sinfonia and began studying under a violinist from the Grand Rapids Symphony, Haijin Choi. Nathan remained concertmaster of the orchestra at Forest Hills Eastern through his eighth and ninth grades. He was accepted into St. Cecilia Philharmonic at the age of 14. Nathan is a member of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony under the direction of John Varineau. He and three classmates formed the Presto String Quartet in 2015 which began as a small ensemble, but has now grown into an MSBOA Division I rated group that performs at events ranging from weddings to private gatherings and frequently competes in competitions across the state of Michigan. He has won 6 MSBOA Division I awards in Junior-High School Solo and Ensemble competitions, 4 MSBOA Division I awards in High School Solo and Ensemble district competitions, and 2 MSBOA Division I awards in High School Solo and Ensemble state competitions. He owns a František Boček violin (as seen in the picture above) crafted in 1937 in the city of Schönbach (now known as Luby), in the Bohemian state of former Czechoslovakia. His violin's scroll is carved in the likeness of the famous Czech composer, Bedřich Smetana. Nathan is the first violinist in the Presto String Quartet, he currently studies under the Grand Rapids Symphony violinist and Ford Musician Award winner, Diane McElfish-Helle, and is an active member of the Forest Hills Eastern Symphony as well as the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.

Myka Spoelma

Myka Lauren Spoelma was born on November 19, 2001, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She began to study violin when she was 10 years old and has been taught by violinist Leslie Hulst. Myka has been a member of the Saint Cecilia Sinfonia, and Saint Cecilia Concert Orchestra, as well as the Forest Hills Eastern Middle School Orchestra and the Forest Hills Eastern Concert and Symphony Orchestra. Myka has maintained her principal seat as Concertmaster, Assistant Concertmaster, and Principal 2nd Violin in the Forest Hills Eastern Middle School Orchestra as well as the Forest Hills Eastern Concert Orchestra. She is a founding member of the Presto String Quartet and has remained as the second violinist for the full two years since its inception. She has participated in the MSBOA Solo and Ensemble and has earned 4 Division I awards from the junior-high School competition, as well as a Division I and Division II award from the high school district competition. Myka is looking forward to moving up to the symphony at Forest Hills Eastern High School and the new challenges that come with it and the quartet.

Marine Avequin

Marine Avequin was born in Normandy, France, on October 24, 2002. She immigrated to the United States in 2015 and began her musical career. Her inspiration came from her grandfather, a French violinist. Marine chose to play the viola and began to rehearse with the orchestra at Forest Hills Eastern High School while taking studying with her mother, a fellow violist. She currently sits as the assistant-principal violist of the Forest Hills Eastern Symphony. Marine became the violist of the Presto String Quartet in the beginning of 2018 succeeding the founding violist, Hope Donovan, as well as the quartet's interim violist, Pablo Covarrubias. Marine is looking forward to continuing forward with the quartet and grow as a musician. 

Aidan Lancaster

Aidan Malone Lancaster was born on April 21, 2002, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He began studying cello at the age of 10 and has been a member of the Saint Cecilia Sinfonia, the principal cellist of the Saint Cecilia Concert Orchestra, the principal cellist of the Grand Rapids Youth Classical Orchestra, and a member of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony. Aidan was the principal cellist in the orchestra at Forest Hills Eastern Middle School, as well as the Forest Hills Eastern Concert Orchestra, and is currently the principal cellist of the Forest Hills Eastern Symphony. Aidan is an original member of the Presto String Quartet and helped form it with violinists Nathan La Huis and Myka Spoelma in 2015. He has earned 6 Division I awards from the MSBOA Junior-High School Solo and Ensemble competition and 3 Division I awards from the MSBOA High School Solo and Ensemble district competition. This coming year, Aidan will be participating in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and will continue to study under Alicia Eppinga, the principal cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony. Aidan is looking forward to working hard in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony, Forest Hills Eastern Symphony, and the Presto String Quartet. 

Recognition

Anne Thompson

Director of orchestras for Forest Hills Eastern 

Koreen Ludovico

Photographer of the Presto String Quartet

John Verineau

Director of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra

Dianne McElfish-Helle

Violinist in the Grand Rapids Symphony, instructor of Nathan La Huis

Alicia Eppinga

Principal cellist of the Grand Rapids Symphony, instructor of Aidan Lancaster

Former Members

Hope Donovan

Founding violist of the Presto String Quartet (2015-2017)

Pablo Covarrubias

Intrim violist of the Presto String Quartet (2017-2017)