Amanda Gates, Assistant Concertmaster
Violinist Amanda Gates joined the VSO in 1996, and was appointed Assistant Concertmaster in 2002. She was awarded a first violin position with the Chautauqua Symphony in upstate New York in 2001.
A native of Reston, Virginia, she graduated summa cum laude from Catholic University in 1996, where she studied with Robert Gerle.
She has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Catholic University Orchestra, and the Chautauqua Symphony Chamber Players. She has also performed as soloist in Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Vaughn Williams’ The Lark Ascending, and John Adams’ Violin Concerto, all with the Virginia Symphony.
A versatile musician, she is proficient on guitar, mandolin, viola, cello, hammered dulcimer, and well versed in many styles of music. She has performed for the VSO on electric violin on several occasions, covering Eric Clapton's "Crossroads,” and accompanying a beatbox track, featuring her own arrangement. She has also performed solo electric violin in Windborne Music's "The Music of Led Zeppelin" with the Phoenix, Minnesota, and Louisiana symphonies. She was commissioned to compose, arrange, perform and direct string arrangements for Portland-based punk band emberghost's album, "Not Long for this Earth," released in 2012. More recently, she arranged and performed Bill Monroe’s “Scotland” for the Virginia Stage Company’s production of Honky Tonk Angels. In addition, she has been featured as Celtic fiddle soloist in the Virginia Arts Festival's International Tattoo on three separate occasions.
Ms. Armstrong performs on a violin by Pietro Giacomo Rogeri, Brescia, 1699, and a six-string fretted electric violin, "Viper" model by Mark Wood.