Chelle and Frank Hawkey opened the Bravura Music Academy, to realize Chelle's vision to serve the Knoxville community with a school of music for children of all ages who would like to learn music. The range of instruments encompass the keyboards, strings, woodwinds, guitar and voice. The school like environment, also has a “ family” feel with its group lesson format. Picture young musicians working together and serving the community with concerts for many different venues. Bravura is also intended to be a “niche” where chamber music will flourish and offer an alternative to the many orchestral groups found in the area. This year, we are happy to be on the ground breaking edge of Knoxville's Suzuki Area Co-op Chamber Group. Where we've teamed up with other local Suzuki studios to create a wider Suzuki base for Play-Ins and Chamber Music!! The Academy has a curriculum where each student receives a well rounded music education that includes private and group lessons, repertoire and theory classes for all instruments, and exposure to and plenty of performance opportunity for students of every level. Finally, the vision includes a high standard of education whereby, throughout the “process,” students who wish to continue a career in music, would be amply prepared for college auditions and competitions to set them on their pathway to a life filled with music.
Chelle Hawkey, grew up in a very musical family. Her mother is a professional pianist, organist and singer. Her father is a band and orchestra director who can play and teach all of the instruments. Chelle and her sisters learned the keyboards, strings and woodwind instruments. Her parents directed their own music Center in which all three children eventually had their start in teaching. The 5 toured and performed “family shows” all over Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
The Suzuki method was the vehicle that brought Chelle and her sisters into the performance and teaching circles. They studied with Nationally acclaimed Suzuki teacher/trainer, Linda Wear Fiore. They travelled every year to take part in Suzuki clinics and Institutes all over the country and in Canada. In addition to their extensive Suzuki violin / viola training, the girls studied Suzuki piano, traditional flute, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, oboe and voice. The eldest sister, ended up studying with Shinichi Suzuki in Japan after completing her undergraduate degree in music. She now directs the Academy of Strings, with her husband in Johnson City, TN. Chelle has been certified with the SAA as a Suzuki Violin Teacher from the ECC through Volume 10. He younger sister, is presently a professional teacher and performer in the Philadelphia, PA chamber orchestra and does free lance work in the Atlantic City, Main Line, Greater Philly and New York circuit, playing for greats like Andre Bocelli, Wayne Newton, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Peter Cetera etc…
Chelle’s violin, viola and flute never left her side during her undergraduate degree and graduate degree, however, she majored in Vocal Performance. Her college operatic career was quite successful, winning many awards, competitions and scholarships. She attended the University of TN for her Masters degree in Vocal Performance where she held leading roles in The Postmance Always Rings Twice, The Magic Flute, The Coronation of Poppea, The Face on the Barroom Floor and La Traviata. In 2000, she debuted at Carnegie Hall where she was honored as the first place winner of the “Voices of the New Milllenium” Competition. She studied in Italy for a summer with the Metropolitan Opera Outreach program and has performed for such opera greats as Mignon Dunn and Sherill Milnes. She has held the post as soloist for Knoxville's First Church of Christ Scientists for nearly 21 years.
After graduating from UT, she continued her private studio while also teaching on the music faculty at Pellissippi State Community College. A year later, she was asked to join the Vocal faculty at UT where she taught and performed for 8 years.
In addition, to directing her Academy and guest teaching in clinics and workshops, she homeschools her two girls and traveling where their music, ice skating and school work takes them.