Prelude Chamber Music Founders Chris Chappell, Jeanne Majors, and Vernon Humbert

Jeanne Majors

In the summer of 2002, Jeanne Majors founded Prelude Chamber Music Camp with two of her Jacksonville Symphony colleagues, Chris Chappell and Vernon Humbert.

Jeanne lives in the home where she grew up. She serves as a Trustee for the Mary L’Engle Trust which provides stringed instruments & scholarships to deserving music students.

During her formative years, Jeanne’s music-loving parents took her to many Jacksonville Symphony performances, as well as Civic Music Association and Little Theater (Theatre Jacksonville) presentations. Her father, Jasper N. Jones, played musical saw and harmonica and her mother, Minna S. Jones, was an elementary school music teacher. She began piano lessons at age three and violin lessons in fourth grade and studied with one of the great founding fathers of music in Jacksonville, George Orner. For six years, Jeanne played in the Jacksonville Youth Symphony, and served as Concertmaster for three years. She studied and worked for eight summers at Brevard Music Center, where her training prepared her for an early audition and acceptance for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Jeanne is the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s (JSO) longest-term player. She began with the JSO – when it was a part-time orchestra – as a freshman at Jacksonville University. For most of the past 50 years, Jeanne served as Principal Second Violin. She is proud to have been part of the JSO’s growth over five decades, and her devotion to making music with her fellow performers is what makes it all worthwhile.

Jeanne earned Bachelor’s degrees in music performance and music education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Early in her career with the Jacksonville Symphony, Jeanne also taught strings in the Duval County public schools. She has also served as a faculty member and performer at Brevard Music Center.

Jeanne teaches violin & viola in her home studio. Several of Jeanne’s past students are now teachers and performers, in Jacksonville and in other parts of the country. 

Jeanne has participated in extensive study and travel in the United States and Europe. She enjoys performing chamber music with her colleagues.  She is a member of the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, the American String Teachers Association, and the Friday Musicale

Christopher Chappell 

Christopher Chappell is the acting principal second violinist in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (JSO), has played in the JSO since 1990, and is a founder of Prelude Chamber Music.

Chris is from Rochester, New York, where he began playing violin at age six in the first grade. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Music from the Eastman School of Music and a Master’s degree in Violin Performance from Indiana University.

Before coming to Jacksonville, Chris was associate concertmaster of Savannah Symphony, and acting concertmaster for the Yamagata Symphony in Japan. He has performed as soloist with each of these orchestras. Chris can be heard performing in various chamber groups here in Jacksonville as well.

Chris is married to Sara, and they have four children – Ruth, Leah, James and Marie. All enjoy music. Ruth sang in the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and the Jacksonville Symphony Chorus and played piano. She graduated from Jacksonville University. Leah graduated from Florida State University with a cello performance degree and now teaches music.  James plays piano and attends college in New York. Marie plays harp in the Jacksonville Youth Symphony Orchestra. All attended Prelude Chamber Music Camp.

Chris comments that “a live performance of a great symphonic work is a reflection of the glory of God’s order and balance in Creation; the unfolding of history in time and space.” Chris adds that his personal faith in Jesus Christ is central to how he lives life and he enjoys tennis, cycling and “getting out into nature” on foot or in a canoe.

Mozart and Bach are his favorite composers; although there are many others that he would say are his favorites on the week he happens to be performing their pieces.

Vernon Humbert 

A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, Vernon has played cello in the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra since 1981 and is a founder of Prelude Chamber Music. Vernon tells us he decided to play the cello because his brother played the violin and he wanted to be different. He also thought there were only 16 notes to learn because he had four fingers and there were only four strings.

Vernon has both performed and coached chamber music for many years, playing at the Summertrios Festival, performing with the local Amadeus Trio, and studying with the Raphael Trio in Vermont. He served as music director and principal conductor of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia from 2004-2013.  He also directs choral and handbell groups on the First Coast, as well as two of the Prelude Chamber Music Camp orchestras. He continues to look for other opportunities to coach and conduct.

Vernon’s wife, Laraine, plays the piano, as does the eldest of their three daughters, who is a pilot in the Navy. His middle daughter plays percussion and is a social worker in Miami, and his youngest plays the violin and is an avid horsewoman.  A fan of Aaron Copland, Vernon comments that Copland’s style makes the listener forget the worries of life and enjoy the moment. Vernon belongs to the Piano Technicians’ Guild and tunes pianos in churches and private homes. He enjoys movies and spending time with family.