Lauren Burns Hodges, "a distinguished violist with a refined, mellow tone" (American Record Guide), is currently Associate Professor of Viola at the University of Florida where she also coordinates and teaches Music Appreciation classes. For six years prior, she was Lecturer in Viola at Valdosta State University, Principal Viola of the Valdosta Symphony, violist of the Azalea String Quartet, and Director of the South Georgia String Project. She has performed and taught abroad in Italy, Austria, and France and recently presented recitals, masterclasses, and a body awareness workshop in Shanghai and WuHan, China. She has given masterclasses, clinics, and performances at universities and music schools throughout the country, including Illinois State University, Western Illinois University, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Georgia, the University of South Carolina and at Viola Day events in Morgantown (WV), Birmingham (AL), Valdosta (GA), Atlanta (GA) and Miami (FL). Dr. Hodges has twice been invited to teach masterclasses at the Primrose International Viola Competition and Festival held at the Colburn School, and she has presented at national AVS festivals in Oberlin (OH) and Knoxville (TN). Passionate about promoting the viola and engaging with the community, she hosts an annual viola day at UF and serves as a board member-at-large for the American Viola Society. Originally from South Carolina, Lauren studied at the University of South Carolina, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Alabama.