Who we are

KristenA native to Greenville, SC, Kristen began violin studies at age 9. She attended the Fine Arts Center where she studied chamber music as well as performed as the concertmaster with the Greenville County Youth Orchestra. Throughout high school, Kristen attended prestigious summer festivals including the Brevard Music Center, the SC Governor’s School for the Arts, and the Interlochen Arts Center. She was also invited along with her quartet at the Fine Arts Center to attend the world renowned Fischoff Chamber Music Competition two years consecutively.

Kristen continued her music studies at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (CCM) where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance and Music Education in 2004. During her tenure at CCM, Kristen studied with Dorothy Delay assistant Won-Bin Yim, performed with orchestras local to Cincinnati, and attended the Aspen Music Festival during the summer.

After graduation, Kristen began performing with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra as well as other regional orchestras such as Symphony Orchestra Augusta and the Asheville Lyric Opera. She has also had the opportunity to play with touring Broadway shows and the Transiberian Orchestra.

Kristen joined Synergy Violins in 2013 as a resident violinist and has had the opportunity to perform at many venues and cultural events over the past two years. She looks forward to the energy and dynamic that the Synergy Violins quartet will bring as she begins to travel throughout the country and on cruise ships with the group.


Stephen graduated from Furman University in 2008 where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education.  From 2008-2013 Stephen pursued a career in public education teaching strings and orchestra to sixth through twelfth grade South Carolina students.  In addition to teaching for the state of South Carolina Stephen has taught privately for the past eleven years and continues to do so.

While teaching was his primary focus during his education career Stephen also pursued performance opportunities in his spare time.  Stephen served as concertmaster during the final season of the Carolina Pops and has played with local orchestras including Spartanburg Symphony Orchestra, GAMAC, and Symphony Orchestra Augusta.  He has also been invited to perform as a guest soloist for college orchestras in South Carolina.

In 2013 Stephen changed course and decided to pursue a full time performance career with his twin brother, Jeffrey Neil.  Together they have performed for the Charleston Cooper River Bridge Run, the Charlotte Hornets, Washington D.C.’s Capitol Pride and an international showcase in Poland.  Their most notable performance was live on NBC’s “Today”.  Currently the two work as headline entertainers for major cruise lines and are excited to expand their act to include an electric rock string quartet. 

ELECTRIC VIOLINJeff Niel synergy

Jeff started his musical career on viola in the public school system at age 9. He continued his studies at St. Olaf College earning a B.M. in Viola Performance in 2004 under the direction of Charles Gray. There he performed as the principal violist with the St. Olaf Orchestra as well as toured with the St. Olaf Choir conducted by Anton Armstrong.

Continuing his education, Jeff received a full scholarship for his master’s degree, studying under Jonah Sirota with the Chiara String Quartet at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Winning an audition with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra his second year, he was also invited and studied with Roger Myers at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, China.

After performing in an international showcase hosted in 2013 in Poland, Jeff currently headlines on major cruise lines performing on a 5-stringed electric violin with his identical twin brother. Together they have performed all over the world in their high energy act, including NBC’s Today Show. He is excited to be expanding the act into a rock electric string quartet.


Jean Anderson

Jean began studying the cello when she was five with Martha Brons. In high school she attended the Fine Arts Center for chamber music with John Ravnan and also studied music theory and music history with Gary Robinson and Jon Grier. During this time, she and a fellow student premiered Contra Dances for Two Cellos by Grier. Jean played with Greenville County Youth Orchestra through high school, sitting principle for her junior and senior years and performing David Popper’s HungarianRhapsody in her sophomore and Boccherini’s B-flat Cello Concerto in her senior year. Throughout high school Jean was a chamber music coach for students in the ARMES program.

During the summers of high school, Jean attended several music camps and festivals. In 2001 she attended Killington Music Festival where she studied with Peter Rejto and the late Andor Toth, Jr. In 2002 she traveled to Switzerland to a festival where she played in master classes for Steven Doane.

Jean graduated magna cum laude with a BM in cello performance and music theory from the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in 2007. She was a student of Kenneth Law. Jean played with many groups during college, including the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra; the Arya Quartet, with whom she performed abroad; and the Converse Symphony Orchestra, with whom she sat principle for 3 years and performed the first movement of Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in her junior year.

Jean began teaching cello privately during her college years and continues to maintain a private studio. She uses a mixture of methods, including the Suzuki method, and enjoys teaching students of all ages. In the 2009-2010 school year, Jean served as the cello coach and music librarian for the Young Artist’s Orchestra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of GCYO. Jean played with the Carolina Pops Orchestra from 2009 through its disestablishment in 2011. In 2012 she helped to establish the quartet ensemble of the electric group Synergy Violins and continues to perform with the group occasionally. She has subbed with the Spartanburg Philharmonic since 2013 and also performs as a free lance musician.