After hearing her cousin play the viola, Serena begged her parents for a violin and gratefully received one for Christmas when she was eight. Growing up in the small town of Basin, WY, Serena’s family drove the one hour away every week for music lessons, including violin and piano and orchestra rehearsal where Serena played as the youngest member of the Northwest Civic Community Orchestra. In high school Serena continued violin lessons with Joanna Freeman and later Yeagi Broadwell after her family relocated to Orem, Utah. She participated in many masterclasses with world renowned violinists Igor and Vesna Gruppman who have ties to the Russian violin school including being the pupils of Jascha Heifetz, David Oistrakh, and Yuri Yankelevich. She played as a soloist several times in youth orchestras and was a finalist for the Utah Baroque Scholarship competition.
In college Serena became a major influence for leadership and excellence as she organized and led sectionals as the principal second violinist of the Utah Valley Symphony orchestra. Before graduating Summa Cum Laude from Utah Valley University with a Bachelors in Music performance, Serena decided to pursue the instrument that originally sparked her interest in stringed instruments and purchased a viola from Facebook marketplace. In college she performed as violist in several small ensembles as well as in a vocalist’s recital playing Vaughan Williams Four Hymns for tenor, viola, and piano. Since graduating in 2019 she has updated her instrument from the $500 viola she started with and been hired as a violist for professional performances and been a finalist in the 2021 American String Association chamber competition.