Members of the Southwest String Quartet are (from left) Wynne Wong-Rife, Mary Beth Tyndall, Ilona Vukovvic-Gay, and David Rife.
Members of the Southwest String Quartet are (from left) Wynne Wong-Rife, Mary Beth Tyndall, Ilona Vukovvic-Gay, and David Rife.

The talented members of the Southwest String Quartet are preparing a concert for the ASA to be given at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 6)  in the ASA Great Room. All the personnel have distinguished careers playing in chamber groups, inspiring their students, and as members of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

They will be playing the Mendelssohn Quartet opus 13, a passionate work  written in 1827 when he was 18 and a few months after Beethoven’s death. The audience may hear an echo of the setting for the recent Olympics in a short piece called Cumbia y Congo by William Grant Still, the prolific African American composer, and in a tango. The program will also include a piece called Kaleidoscope by TSO young composer Clair Thai.

The Southwest String Quartet members are:

David Rife, violin, has been a symphony member since 1983 in both the first violin and second violin sections as well as receiving an outstanding teaching award and being inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum.

Wynne Wong-Rife, violin, also has been on the Rocky Ridge Music Center faculty and teaches large classes of violin students.

Ilona Vukovvic-Gay, besides her role as a violist in the Tucson Symphony, has led the Symphony’s Young Composers Project for the past eight years. The Project is unique and well recognized and now funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Mary Beth Tyndall, cello, has been a symphony member since 1980 and is a member of the Rocky Ridge Music Center faculty. She holds the current (2016-2017) outstanding studio teacher award for the state of Arizona by the American String Teacher’s Association.

Many ASA regulars will recognize these musicians for their past ASA appearances, including presenting some of their finest students in concert.

Written by Wayne McGee, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

Southwest String Quartet to Play Mendelssohn: September 2016