Kentucky native Carey Skinner began her musical studies at the age of two on the violin. Falling in love with its sonorous sounds, she switched to viola at age eleven. Throughout her middle and high school years, she traveled along with her siblings to attend the pre-college program on a scholarship at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University. There she studied privately with Kathryn Plummer and also worked with Karen Clarke, John Kokonowski, Amy Dorfman, and many more.
Carey completed her bachelor’s degree at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University. In the studio of Ivo-Jan van der Werff, she extensively studied his book and methodology, ultimately allowing her to be the teaching assistant at his exclusive viola program “Lakes Viola Retreat” in England. In addition, she had the privilege of chamber coachings with such renowned musicians as James Dunham, Desmond Hoebig, Kenneth Goldsmith, Brian Connelly, and Norman Fischer, among others. She developed a passion for orchestral playing under the direction of Maestro Larry Rachelff as part of the Shepherd Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.
As founding members of the flute, viola, piano ensemble “Meraki Trio,” Carey and her colleagues were awarded scholarships to commission seven new works for this unique group. Their close work with student composers and Shepherd composition faculty culminated in a very successful premiering recital. Her rigorous academic work and special projects earned Carey the honor of the Distinction in Research and Creative Works Award upon graduation from Rice University.
She is now pursuing her master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the studio of Lynne Ramsey. Along with her private studies, Carey is a part of the Intensive Quartet Seminar and gets weekly masterclasses from Peter Salaff and the Cavani String Quartet.