About the Honors String Quartet

    Students are selected for honors ensembles based on audition scores from a successful Symphony audition and often possess character traits such as: leadership qualities, dependability, and perseverance.

    Placement for these ensembles occurs twice a year: following GYSO’s initial auditions in May, and then a second round of auditions follows in December. Students in honors ensembles are not guaranteed a spot for the entire year.

    Honors ensembles allow students to work closely with coaches to perform artistically challenging works and develop precise rehearsal and performance techniques in a small group setting.

    • Honors String Quartet performs 2-4 concerts per season.


    Dr. Vera Ilyushina was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. Growing up in a very musical family she started her first music lessons at the age of 2. At the age of 7 she was accepted to a prestigious Special Music School under St.-Petersburg Conservatory, where she studied with V. Dobrynina, and later on with S. Shalman.

    Shortly after her graduation from the acclaimed St. Petersburg Conservatory with a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy (class of Prof. A. Shustin) she moved to the United States to continue her education at the SUNY at Stony Brook, where she was awarded a full ride scholarship and teaching assistantship. There she studied with the renowned violinist Lazar Gosman and received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Violin Performance in 2001.

    After graduating Dr. Ilyushina she moved to Atlanta, where she performed with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Opera and Atlanta Ballet. In 2009 she founded Lark Chamber Music, a chamber music group that performs recitals and classical music for private functions. Recently, Dr. Ilyushina was invited to become a board member for the Atlanta Music Club, a non-profit organization created in 1904 to promote classical music in Atlanta. Currently she serves as a VP of Education overseeing the Young Performers Series and the Scholarship Competition. She also is a string judge for the International Youth Music Competition.

    Dr. Vera Ilyushina was always very passionate about teaching violin, and has 25 years of teaching experience.  She maintains a thriving violin studios in East Cobb and in Smyrna. She successfully prepared students for college auditions and competitions. Her students were selected into  GYSO, EYSO, ASYO,  and All State Orchestra. Dr. Ilyushina is very excited to coach Honors String Quartet and String Symposium and help the students improve as instrumentalists, musicians, and performers.