Playing an essential role in helping children develop their musical knowledge and skills, aiding in their creative growth, self–esteem, and sense of self.

The Director

David Reimer

Dr. David Reimer, Music Director

Dr. David Reimer has been the director of the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program since 2017, having moved to Charlevoix from Grand Rapids, where he was Professor of Violin and the director of the strings program at Calvin College. David has studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Ohio State University. His doctorate was earned in violin performance and he has also studied music education with Robert Gillespie at Ohio State and Suzuki pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

In addition to his position at Calvin College, he also taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Program, the University of Connecticut Community Music School, and the College of DuPage. As a performer, David has performed with many orchestras, including the Virginia Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Traverse Symphony Orchestra. He has also performed as a soloist with the Baroque on Beaver Island Orchestra, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra, and the Mansfield Symphony. In 2017, Dr. Reimer established The Cummings Quartet to be the professional ensemble representing the Dorothy Gerber Strings Program. The Quartet has performed in Charlevoix, Boyne City, Pellston, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Petoskey, Elk Rapids, and on Beaver Island.

Dr. David Reimer
Music Director


Peter Tolias

Elk Rapids Classroom Instructor

  • ​Primary Instrument: Cello
  • Training:
    • Wayne State University, B.A. in Classical Guitar and Cello
    • Wayne State University, M.M. in Classical Guitar Performance
  • Experience:
    • Taught at Wayne State University, Marygrove College, and Macomb Community College
    • Conductor Emeritus of the Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra of which he was Founder, Music Director, and Conductor

Beth Deininger

Boyne Falls & East Jordan Classroom Instructor

  • Primary Instrument: Violin
  • Training:
    • Hope College, B.M. in Violin Performance
    • University of Colorado, M.M. in Violin Performance and M.M. in Music Theory
  • Experience:
    • Teacher at The Lesson Studio and Arizona Music Academy
    • Performed with the West Michigan Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony, and the Traverse Symphony

Elizabeth Bert

Private Lesson Instructor

  • Primary Instrument: Cello
  • Training: Toledo University, B.M.E. in Instrumental Music Education
  • Experience:
    • Principal Cellist of Traverse Symphony and the Great Lakes
    • Chamber Orchestra
    • Music Teacher in the Traverse City Public Schools and North Central Michigan College

Becky Palmiter

Classroom Teacher

  • Primary Instrument: Violin
  • Training:
    • B.M.E. from Eastern Michigan University
    • ​M.M.E. from Emporia State University
  • Experience:
    • Director of the Boyne City Band Program
    • ​Director of Jordan Valley Community Band

Maggie Stewart

Private Lesson Instructor

  • Primary Instrument: Violin
  • Training: Wayne State University, Undergraduate Studies
  • Experience: Member of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra

Karen Jervey

Assistant Classroom Teacher

  • Primary Instrument: Violin
  • Training:
    • B.S. from Michigan State University
    • ​M.A. in Elementary Education from Spring Arbor University
  • Experience: Long-time Assistant Teacher with the DGSP