Julie Hughes has over 14 years of teaching experience and performed for over 20 yrs as a musician, dancer, and vocalist. Violin, Viola, and all Serbo-Croatian Tambura instrumentation is her specialty. She is the Music Director of the Waukegan Tamburitzans who have performed in the United States, Canada, and Europe under her direction since 1997. She studied viola under Stanley Ackerman, Marilyn Shonfeld and Vadim Mazo of Illinois Wesleyan. Julie is an avid supporter of chamber music and a founding member of the Silver Strings Quartet since its inception in 1988. She also formed Do Zore “Until Dawn” Orchestra in 2007 promoting International Folk Music and Dance throughout the United States. She was chosen as Guest Conductor in 2008 for the 42nd Annual CFU Festival in Philadelphia, being the youngest director to receive the honor. In addition to these leadership roles, Julie arranges and composes music for all ensembles and currently performs with the Granicari Tamburasi Orchestra of Milwaukee, the Kolovodje Dancers, and previously performed with the Racine Symphony Orchestra and was a former principal Violist in the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra.