Our Staff

We are proud to work with some great educators.

Benjamin Weir Violin

Benjamin Weir is a Violinist who plays with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. Growing up in the local school system, Ben had the chance to join the orchestra program.  He has enjoyed playing and performing ever since. His musical upbringing includes the Suzuki method and performances in the Arkansas Public Theater pit orchestra. Aside from performing locally, he works with the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra as an instructor and conductors assistant. Ben strives to share his appreciation of music and support our growing community through teaching technical skill, expression, musicianship, and theory.  

Hannah Cheney Cello 

Hannah Cheney is a passionate cellist and student at Rogers Heritage High School. Growing up in Rogers, she attended Oakdale Middle School, where she first began to learn the cello. After two years of playing, she was accepted into the ParkNa Conservatory of Violin and Cello. She currently learns cello at the University of Arkansas and participates in the sinfonia orchestra at Heritage High School. She has participated in All Region Orchestra and All State Orchestra throughout her music career. Playing music is Hannah's biggest passion in life. She adores performing and getting to share her music with other people. She hopes to attend college for music performance and music education after she graduates high school in 2025. 

Landon Barker Violin

Landon is currently at the University of Arkansas completing his Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance. Landon has been immersed in the arts community around NWA for years. He was a member of the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Ozark Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, All State Winner/All-Region winner, and traveled to compete in competitions in NYC and Chicago with the elite BHS Chamber Orchestra. He graduated from Bentonville High School under the direction of Jesse Collett. Landon currently performs with the University Chamber Orchestra and the University Symphony Orchestra and studies under the direction of Dr. Er-Gene Kahng. Landon enjoys performing contemporary/modern music and recently had the opportunity to perform the score of a movie at the Walmart AMP! He loves to cultivate the love of ALL music in students and looks forward to working with you!

PXL_20231031_154055466.jpgRonald Juzeler Cello

Ronald Juzeler (pronounced you-slur) is a professional cellist and orchestra director. A product of Bentonville Public Schools, he began his cello journey at Old High Middle School in 2005. After receiving his Bachelor's degree in Music Education, he and his wife moved to Kansas City, where he was the middle school orchestra director for Spring Hill USD 230 and performed with the Northland Symphony Orchestra. It was during this time where he was also a contributing author for the text A Music Pedagogy for Our Time, published by GIA Publications. When he returned to Northwest Arkansas, he became the orchestra director at Washington Junior High School and now regularly performs with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, and the Fort Smith Symphony.

Lisa Fried Violin, Viola, Cello

Lisa Fried was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. She began playing violin at age twelve when she enrolled in school and requested guitar lessons. As the school did not offer guitar instruction, her music teacher suggested violin instead. This proved to be a decision that enriched her life. Lisa then attended Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree.

Upon graduating from Drake, Lisa began her career as an orchestra director in an urban school district in central Iowa. She took pleasure in helping young students discover the joys of studying music and witnessed the positive impact it had on their lives for 30 years. In addition to her work in the public schools, Lisa maintained a private string studio, teaching individual students and ensembles. She also founded and directed the Christian Youth Orchestra. In 2021, Lisa Fried was selected as the Des Moines Rotary Foundation's educator of the year. This honor is typically bestowed upon a traditional classroom teacher. She received this recognition due to her strong orchestra programs and the exceptional students who she brought into the community through performances.

 Lisa is married with four children. She and her husband recently relocated to Northwest Arkansas to be near their two granddaughters. When not engaged in teaching or musical performances, Lisa enjoys spending time with her family, crocheting, reading, and relaxing by the backyard campfire. She also loves cooking and  playing with her grandchildren. Music and family remain the focal points of Lisa's life, and she feels fortunate to have found a career that has allowed her to share her passion for both.

Rachel Felt Viola

Rachel Felt is a violist from Rexburg, Idaho. She received her Bachelors of Music Education from Brigham Young University-Idaho, and currently teaches at Creekside Middle School in the Bentonville District. She has played with community and pit orchestras in Rexburg, as well as the Idaho Falls Symphony. Locally, she has performed with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra. She has taught private lessons for several years, and enjoys helping students develop their musical skills.

J Fennell Viola, Violin

J Fennell (they/them) has been a longtime resident of Northwest Arkansas and a part of the orchestral world for over 10 years. Primarily a violist and violinist, they’ve experienced the magic of music in a range of settings, including: performing professionally with the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas; participating in a range of chamber groups and musical ensembles, including All State and All Region orchestras; spending two summers at Luzerne Music Center, a music festival in New York’s Adirondack Mountains; and helping create Viola Power Hour at LMC, an annual celebration of all things viola (#violapride)!  

Most recently, after earning a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Science from Saint Louis University, J has enjoyed being back in NWA while teaching violin/viola lessons virtually, working as a Teaching Apprentice with the Arkansas Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and performing with the local symphonies.  

As a teacher, J strives to uplift students and help them realize that they can do anything they put their minds to! Music is one of the most beautiful and special things in life, and there are numerous ways to learn and enjoy it. By employing themes of self-empowerment, critical thinking and problem-solving, goal-setting, play, and positive habit building, J makes lessons not only educational and impactful but also FUN!

They’re excited to be teaching lessons at Palmer’s String Studio and look forward to meeting you! If you have any questions about J’s teaching style or want to chat with them about the many possibilities of how lessons could be, please reach out to jvfennell02@gmail.com. 

Kimberly Oehlert Manager / Lesson Coordinator / Instrument Repair Tech. / Bow Repair / Violin, Viola

Kimberly Oehlert is a Bentonville native who has grown with the area and has seen how much this tiny town has changed. When she entered middle school she took an interest in the brand new orchestra program that her school had recently started. After playing the viola in orchestra throughout her middle, junior and high school years she discovered that music was a passion and a potential career.

With a goal set in mind she decided to attend the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville where she graduated with a Bachelors in music education. After teaching private lessons at a local music conservatory for six plus years she took an interest in violin repair. She now assists Raymond Palmer with basic repairs and set up work. She also went to a bow workshop in Ohio where she became certified in bow rehairing. With a lot of love towards Bentonville she enjoys talking to the local teachers and students and seeing new growth in the music programs in the area.