Our Story

Elegant Sounds with Excellent Skill.

We are an accomplished, experienced, and versatile string quartet, pleasing clients and their guests in Southwest Florida since 2000. However, our story as a musical group began much earlier, listening to songs together and coming up with our own variations to practice and perform. Individually, we knew our lives would be dedicated to music and performing for live audiences, and collectively, we couldn’t be happier to make a career out of playing a variety of musical styles and perfecting our event performances.

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Angela Villanueva

Cello, Founder and Coordinator

Founder and Event Coordinator of Paradise Strings, Angela, holds Bachelor's degrees in Cello Performance and Music Education from Appalachian State University in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. She has over 20 years experience as cellist with the Western Piedmont Symphony and since moving to Naples in 1997 playing with performing groups such as Seaside Strings, Voices of Naples, and the Naples Community Orchestra. Angela is a registered Suzuki teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, has a thriving cello and violin private studio, and shares her talent as an instructor with the non-profit, MusicScores!, promoting literacy for at-risk preschool children. Angie coordinates the musicians and provides arrangements for your perfect playlist. She has a passion for making music and bringing joy to your wedding day or special event.

Brandis Godwin

Violin

Brandis Godwin, a native of Naples, began playing violin at the age of 11. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance from Stetson University (2012) and a Master's degree in Violin performance with an emphasis in Orchestral performing from Kent State University (2014).  Godwin has performed and toured with many well known artists such as: Michael Bolton, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Valli, The Irish Tenors, Ramin Djwadi, Bernadette Peters, Cirque Musica, Alan Parsons, The Little River Band and more. Additionally, Godwin has been a member of numerous ensembles including: Opera Naples, The Naples Community Orchestra, Punta Gorda Symphony, Warren Symphony Orchestra (Ohio), Seaside Strings, and Paradise Strings. Godwin is Suzuki registered as well and maintains a private violin studio.

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Tim Torres

Cello, Guitar, Ukelele

Tim Torres is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, composer, and educator with a Bachelor's of Music Education from Florida Gulf Coast University. He has played sold out shows in many concert halls and theaters across Florida as a cellist in local orchestras, and as a supporting musician for professional theater productions, as well as countless other performing and recording projects with a wide range of styles of music. Mr. Torres has also collaborated with national acts such as Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, and members of the Marshal Tucker Band, as well as performing regularly with the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra, the Naples Players, and the Naples Community Orchestra.

Joan Stewart

Violin, Viola

Joan began her studies in Iowa at the age of 5 as a Suzuki violin student. She received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Northern Iowa and was an eight-year member of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Iowa. She received her Master's Degree in Music Performance from Southern Illinois University where she studied with John Kendall. In 1991, Joan moved to Bermuda and joined the faculty of the Bermuda Conservatory of Music. While there, Joan performed on many faculty recitals as soloist and in ensemble groups. She was also a member of the Pembroke Players String Quartet, the Dayelsford Sinfonia, and performed under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin. Since moving to Naples in 2003, Joan has been teaching violin as well as playing with the Voices of Naples, Punta Gorda Symphony, and performing as a strolling violinist.

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Susan Sikuta

Violin

A native Californian, Susan completed studies of music and literature at Harvard University (B.A. magna cum laude) and a fellowship year at Indiana University, Bloomington (I.U. Fellow), prior to her concert exam (Performance Degree) at the Conservatory of Music in Freiburg, Germany. As first violinist of the Fandango Quintet, she received first prize at the International Chamber Music Competition Schweinfurt, Bavaria, and performed as soloist with the Heidelberg Chamber Orchestra in concert tours throughout Europe prior to her permanent engagement as first violinist with the Staatstheater Orchestra in Darmstadt, Germany. During the near-decade that followed she also performed regularly with the Wiesbaden Johann-Strauss Orchestra, the Salon Ensemble Soiree, and the German Chamber Orchestra in concert tours throughout Europe and Japan. After a 1999 millennium-move back to the U.S., Susan has continued to perform locally with Anton’s Ensemble Soiree, Opera Naples, the Southwest Florida Symphony, and Classical Chamber Concerts, among others. She also received her law degree summa cum laude from the Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University in 2004 and is a practicing Florida Bar Board Certified Trusts and Estates attorney with Cohen & Grigsby, P.C. in Naples, Florida.

Natalie Stewart

Harpist

Natalie Stewart, harpist, grew up in a very musical household, and has been playing and performing since she was 4 years old. In addition to harp, Natalie plays violin, guitar, ukulele, piano, and voice. She has won competitions on the harp, and has performed on violin and harp in numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Florida Allstate Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Naples Harp Ensemble. Natalie performed with the Stewart Strings Ensemble for many years and participated in international tours to Bermuda, Canada, and Europe.

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