Musician Biographies 

​Longview String Quartet 

Renee Ward~

Renee ​began playing violin in fifth grade in the Kilgore schools.   She has played with the Everett Youth Orchestra, and Western Washington State Orchestra.   She is the assistant concertmaster of the Longview Symphony Orchestra, of which she has been a member since 1987.  She has been the conductor of the Longview Preparatory Strings since 2002. 

Renee is the wife of Scott Ward and the mother of four beautiful daughters.​​  In her free time, Renee enjoys gardening and preparing culinary delights using fresh herbs and vegetables from her garden.

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Shane Almendarez~
Shane learned to play the viola in Marshall ISD.  He is a graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University, where he earned his Master's Degree in Viola Performance.  He has been the Director of Orchestras in Marshall, Texas, Moore Middle School in Tyler, Texas, and Kilgore ISD, Kilgore, Texas. He is currently the Director of Orchestra at Cumberland School in Tyler. In addition to teaching strings, he also plays in Longview, Texarkana, Shreveport, and Marshall Symphony Orchestras.  

​He and his wife, Jessica, are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter.   In Shane's leisure time he enjoys playing with his daughter, training his new puppy Bella, trying out the latest sushi bar, and traveling to see live Opera performances.​​
~Pam Martin
Pam began playing cello in Longview ISD and as a senior made the top All-State Orchestra in Texas.  She also attended Stephen F. Austin State University. 

After 40 years in banking and being the secretary at New Diana Middle School in Diana, Texas, she loves being retired.   Her love of chamber music keeps her playing in her spare time.  She has been a member of Longview Symphony Orchestra since 1976​​.  Pam is the Personnel Manager of the Longview Symphony.  In addition, she plays with the Marshall, Texarkana, and South Arkansas Orchestras.  

She and her husband, Charlie, have two sons.  They enjoy going camping with their two rescue dogs Red Girl and Sammie.
~Sherry Paetznick

Sherry ​is a native of Kilgore, Texas, where she began playing the viola in sixth grade.  By age sixteen, she started playing with the Longview Symphony. After graduating high school, Sherry first went to Kilgore College where she studied violin and then Stephen F. Austin State University, where she studied viola and early childhood education, graduating summa cum laude with a BSIS degree.

For fifteen years, Sherry balanced her two loves, teaching kindergarten during the day and   playing her viola nights and weekends in various ensembles and orchestras, including the Longview String Quartet, Longview Symphony, and Marshall Symphony. Now she has merged the two loves as she is the Director of Orchestra at Kilgore High School.  In her free time, she geeks out over Doctor Who, plays with her adorable dog Juliet, and spends time with family and friends.
~Julia Hector


At age thirteen, Julia Hector​ was the youngest member of the Longvew

​Symphony Orchestra to be accepted by audition.  She has studied violin

​with the brilliant Dr.Isador Saslav at Stephen F. University.  She has played

​in several additional symphonies throughout the years including East

Texas Symphony Orchestra, Texarkana Symphony Orchestra, SFA

​Orchestra of the Pines, North East Texas Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport

​Symphony Orchestra, South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Houston Civic

​Symphony, and the Houston Sinfonietta.  Her education includes a doctorate

​of pharmacy from the University of Houston College of Pharmacy and she 

is certified in secondary education from LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas. She started

her teaching career as the orchestra director for Foster Middle School and Hudson PEP

Elementary School in Longview, Tx. Later she was an assistant violin instructor for the Tyler

Youth Orchestra and for Robert E. Lee High School with Tyler ISD. ​​​​​​​​​​