Holly Blackwelder Carpenter

1977 -

Holly Blackwelder, violinist and an active supporter and participant in Japan-Seattle Suzuki activities, maintains a private Suzuki studio in Seattle, Washington. An award-winning performer in the Allied Arts Festival in Spokane from her earliest years, she frequently performs as a soloist and in ensembles.

Holly was born in Jamestown, North Dakota, the younger of two children of Timothy and Lois Smith Blackwelder. Both parents are avid supporters of music and provided their children with unlimited opportunities to develop their talents.

Holly began violin lessons at age five, while still in kindergarten, in a Suzuki program directed by Kathleen Spring in Walla Walla, Washington. She continued study in that program all through grade school and by the time she entered college twelve years later, was assisting Spring as a student teacher. Following graduation from Walla Walla Valley Academy in 1995, she enrolled as a music major at Walla Walla College, now University, as a WWC Scholarship Audition winner.

In 1993 Blackwelder had started violin lessons with Susan Pickett, concertmaster of the Walla Walla Symphony and professor at nearby Whitman College. She studied with both Pickett and Glenn Spring, music professor at WWC, during her college years. While serving as a student missionary in Peru during the 1997-1998 school year, she started a Suzuki program at the Peruvian Union University, the Adventist college in Lima.

Blackwelder had became a member of the Walla Walla Symphony in 1992 and by the time of her graduation from college eight years later, was serving as principal chair of the second violin section. During that time, from 1995 to 1999, she was also concertmaster of and a soloist with Cantabile, a select string orchestra of students drawn from the Walla Walla area that toured nationally and internationally.

In 2000 she graduated from WWC, having completed a BA degree with majors in both music and theology. She married Schuan Carpenter immediately following graduation and joined with him in working as pastors in the Oregon Conference.

In the following year, the Carpenters enrolled at the seminary at Andrews University, where they completed master's degrees, he completing an M.A. in Missiology and she an M.A. in Old Testament. They were then employed by the Texas conference to serve as pastors in Austin. While there, Holly also ran a Suzuki violin studio and completed a master's in Hebrew language and literature at the University of Texas at Austin in 2006.

They returned to the Northwest in 2006, to reside in Seattle. At that time Holly established what has become a highly successful Suzuki violin studio with about forty students. Through the years, she has completed certifications in the different levels of Suzuki teaching, her most recent being in Book Seven. She served as director of the 2010 Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute, which was be held on the campus of Seattle Pacific University.


Sources: Interview with Holly Blackwelder Carpenter on 5 April 2010; Articles in Opus, Walla Walla College music department newsletter, summer 1998 and 2000.