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Judy Divis, viola

Judy Divis graduated cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Music Performance. In 1986, she moved to Nebraska and joined the Omaha Symphony’s viola section. Since then, Judy has performed with Opera Omaha, Des Moines Opera, Lincoln’s Symphony, and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, and recorded with several artists, including Mannheim Steamroller, First Aid Kit, and Bright Eyes. She is a founding member of the Nova String Quartet, established in 1990, and performs regularly with the Omaha Chamber Music Society.

A dedicated teacher, she has served on the faculties of the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Omaha Conservatory of Music, Brownell-Talbot School, and Midland Lutheran College. Judy was also a string specialist for Omaha Public Schools for many years and consultant for the Education Department of the Omaha Symphony’s Community Partnerships program. Judy was appointed Vice President of Education for the Omaha Chamber Music Society in 2017. Under her direction, OCMS sends professional musicians to mentor student orchestras around the city and create learning experiences tailored to the unique needs of each classroom.

As an advocate for connecting children and music-making, Judy turned a dream into reality the following year when she founded Good Vibrations. This program, which she directs, is dedicated to professionally repairing and restoring student-owned stringed instruments in Title I Omaha Public Schools. Performing on refurbished instruments gives young string players more confidence and instills in them a sense of responsibility and pride. Good Vibrations is the only program of its kind in the United States, and Judy continues to be amazed and gratified by the outpouring of encouragement and financial support from the community for this visionary initiative. Music teachers, parents, and—most importantly—the students have uniformly expressed enthusiasm and gratitude for Good Vibrations.