School of Music > Community Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Veronica Nettles Kolegas

Veronica Nettles Kolegas

Teaching Area(s)


Performers Certificate Northern Illinois University

MM DePaul University

BM University of Toronto

Courses Taught


Cellist Veronica Nettles Kolegas is a versatile performer and pedagogue based out of Chicago, IL. Recently described as “..alluring..” in the Wall Street Journal, she focused her performance on Chamber Music and innovative cross-genre collaborations and dedicates much of her time to teaching artistry

Such cross-genre focuses include Latin American music from Tango ensembles to Cuban Charanga groups and collaborations in Indo-Jazz and Klezmer music, incorporating  improvised cello. Kolegas was also a part of the Chicago premiere of Brazilian composerMiguel Kertsman’s educational production of O Saci with the Ondas Ensemble. 

In the classical realm, Kolegas is most passionate about chamber music and is a member of the Ursa Ensemble, a group dedicated to presenting music old and new, commissioning contemporary works and collaborating with artists of other disciplines. Kolegas leads the ensemble’s Lucida program which provides educational outreach concerts for youth.

Before her involvement with Ursa, Kolegas was a founding member of the Kaia String Quartet, and served as cellist and co-manager for six years. During that time the quartet was the resident ensemble of Chicago’s Latino Music Festival, promoting contemporary Latin American music, released its debut album, Latinoamérica and was featured on NPR and WFMT for the quartet’s live performance with Paquito D’Rivera. Kolegas also toured throughout the States and Mexico with the ensemble, giving performances and educational presentations.

As a teaching artist, Kolegas draws from various methods of pedagogy and continuously seeks opportunities to further understand different angles of education. Her time as an instructor is largely spent teaching both Traditional and Suzuki private lessons, group classes, chamber music, orchestral sectionals and masterclasses. She is trained in the Suzuki Method, has been involved in Chicago El Sistema programs and also utilizes thestructure of the Royal Conservatory of Music (Music Development Program), the system in which she studied as a student. 

Kolegas began cello at the age of nine in Upstate New York. She later immigrated with her family to Canada where she settled in the Vancouver region and began her studies with cellist, Harold Birston. As a participant in several youth orchestras, jazz/concert bands, choirs and chamber ensembles, Kolegas had the opportunity to broaden her outlook of the cello and all of its capacities. This outlook has shaped her quest for diversity and innovation in her music for years to follow.

Kolegas received her Bachelors Degree from the University of Toronto under Shauna Rolston and David Hetherington, her Graduate Degree at DePaul University under Stephen Balderston and Performers Certificate for String Quartet Performance with the Avalon Quartet.