Winter Concert Cover Art Submissions

Thank you to those students who submitted art for the cover page of our Winter Concert Program!

georgia-eckelsp  program-3katherine-berntsensp-2

String Project Weekly Email 11.10.16

Dear String Project family,

I have attached the Saturday schedule. This Saturday is a football home game with an 11am start time.  This will make parking extremely difficult.  We recommend getting dropped off, carpooling, and arriving very early!

This Saturday we will be having our dress rehearsal. Classes will be making their way down to Bates Recital Hall (guided by their teachers) for a run through of their pieces for the Winter Concert periodically throughout the 9:00 and 10:00 hour. Stepping Stones: please report to Bates Recital Hall at 9am and then after their dress rehearsal is over the class will return to their normal classroom.

The jury sign-up bulletin will be available in the main lobby once more this Saturday. As a reminder, ALL full-time students playing an instrument (except for cadets) are required to sign up for a non-promotional jury, unless they are attempting to promote. Students will be asked to demonstrate what they have been working on this past semester. Failure to sign up for a jury will result in probation in the next semester. Saturday-only students should only sign up for a jury if they are attempting to promote to the next ensemble. Cadets and non-instrumental students do not sign up for juries.

Next Saturday, 11/19, is the last day for both Honors Recital recordings and our Cover Contest submissions. I have attached a copy of the Honors Recital form, and will have copies at the main table this Saturday. For the winter concert, we are holding a Cover Contest: String Project is accepting submissions of original drawings to be placed on the cover of the programs for the winter concert. All current String Project students are eligible to enter, and there is no limit to how many drawings a student can submit! Please adhere to the guidelines in the attached document; there will be copies of this document at the main table. The deadline for submissions will be Saturday, November 19th.

At our teacher meeting today, we talked about student tardiness to Saturday classes.  Please ensure that you arrive at least ten minutes prior to class start time. It has been difficult for teachers to stop classes in order to tune students arriving late.

Lastly, a reminder that next week, the week of 11/14, is the last week for private lessons. In addition, String Project is on break from Saturday class on 11/26 for Thanksgiving break.  Thank you, please let me know what questions you may have.

All the best,



String Project Weekly Email 10.27.16

Dear String Project Family,

Congratulations to all the students for a wonderful and successful Eclectic Styles Festival last Saturday! I hope everybody found the day enjoyable and eventful, as I sure did! The students’ performances were remarkable; all of the practice they have been doing has truly paid off.

Now that we are finished with the Eclectic Styles Festival, we will be moving full speed ahead to our Winter Concert, one Saturday at a time. This Saturday’s schedule has been attached. It is also a UT Home football game this Saturday, with a kickoff at 2:30pm. As it is an earlier kickoff, there will be a lot of congestion on the streets.  Please keep in mind that those with parking permits will still not be allowed to park on campus.  I would recommend arriving early, carpooling, or getting dropped off, if possible!

There are a few things coming up in the next few weeks that I’d like to preview:

1) The last week of private lessons will be the week of November 14th. This means that students will only be having 2 or 3 more lessons for the rest of the semester. If for some reason you missed a lesson earlier this semester, you may try to arrange a make-up lesson on the week of Thanksgiving, given that your teacher is available. String Project will also be on break for November 26th due to Thanksgiving break.

2) Juries will be taking place between Monday, November 28th to Thursday, December 1st. Juries are when students come to play a solo piece and show the jury panel (String Project faculty) how they have been progressing, and then get an outside perspective on things to focus on in the future. For the fall semester, you should only be taking juries if you are one of the following:

  • A full-time student in the instrumental program (EXCEPT FOR CADETS). 
  • Any student planning to play a promotional jury to advance to the next level

Students planning to play a promotional jury must have written approval from their private teacher (in the form of a signed copy of the Posture/Position Checklist), and be fully prepared to complete all the requirements for their target promotion according to the Promotional Guidelines.  The Posture/Position Checklist and the Promotional Guidelines can be found under “Student Resources”, “Document and Forms” on our website:

The sign-up sheets for jury times will be available starting NEXT week, November 5th.  The sign-up sheets will be posted on Saturday 11/5 and 11/12.

3) The due date for Honors Recital tapes is November 19th. The Honors Recital is a chance for students of all levels to perform for the entire String Project family during our Spring Convocation next semester, accompanied by a professional pianist. String Project faculty will evaluate all videos submitted and select 10 participants based off of their ability to demonstrate excellent fundamentals, such as tone, intonation, rhythm, and musicality. If you are interested in submitting a video, please consult your teacher and the Honors Recital Form (which can be found in your convocation folder that you received at the beginning of the year). If you need an additional copy of the form, please email the String Project email and I will send one over to you.

4) One calendar clarification:  The Dress Rehearsal for the Winter Concert will take place on 11/12.  We decided to move it from 11/19 due to Region Orchestra.

Lastly, I would like to share with you part of a discussion about the consistency of student progress.  It became obvious in this discussion with the teachers that the students who are making the most consistent progress are the ones that are listening daily to their Suzuki recordings.  Please ensure that your children are listening every day.

That’s all for this week.  More details for the above topics will be sent out as the dates come closer. I hope everybody has a wonderful rest of the week!

All the best,


February Buddy Bulletin!

SEE BULLETIN HERE: Buddy Bulletin FEB 16


Thank you to those who attended and participated in our first buddy meeting of the semester! You will find pictures in the attached Buddy Bulletin below.

Please mark your calendars on April 16th from 12:00 – 12:45 for our end-of-year Buddy Recital. Each buddy pair will perform a piece of their choosing on the program. If you need help brainstorming or organizing a piece for the program, please let me know!

Be on the lookout for upcoming Enrichment Events!

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.


String Project Weekly Email 2.28.15

Dear String Project family,

Attached you will find this Saturday’s schedule. I have also attached a revised and current version of our Promotional Guidelines. Please be sure to use the most current edition of our Promotional Guidelines if your child is preparing for a promotional jury! We are always improving our guidelines to serve the needs of the program and the ensembles/orchestras within it.

Every spring semester we look for opportunities for our orchestras to venture outside of the Butler School of Music and perform in venues other than concert or recital halls. In the past, the Elementary Orchestra has performed at the Capitol Rotunda, and the Advanced Orchestra has performed at the Bob Bullock Museum. These “run-out” concerts are a great experience for the kids, and are well received by the audience. (They ask us to come back every year after all!)

Starting this semester, I am excited to announce that the Intermediate Orchestra has been invited to perform at The Thinkery! As this is a recent development, it isn’t on the SP Calendar, but they will be playing there on April 18th, the same day that the Advanced Orchestra will play at the Bob Bullock Museum.

These run-out concerts are very important to the world of music in general, not only because they give our students more performance opportunities, but also because they are a form of outreach. Through outreach, we are able to spread the love for music making to the general public, whose lives music may not play such an important role. If we take the initiative to expose the world around us to the beauty of music, they may think to come to a concert hall and witness the artistic craft that all musicians invest so much time to hone and develop, and even consider investing more of their own time in similar endeavors.

That’s all I have to say for this week- I am looking forward to seeing you all Saturday!


Winter Concert, November 6

Dear String Project family,

This weekend is the winter concert!

Attached you will find the Saturday schedule. All orchestra students, please arrive by 8:45 for rehearsal. Make sure to check the posted schedules to see what room your child needs to go to for tuning and stowing cases. At 9:30, the Orchestras Concert will begin with all ECE families performing an overture. All ensemble students and families are welcome and HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to come see the Orchestras Concert. It is both inspiring and motivating to watch your peers perform at a high level, and an important part of musical growth involves listening to live performances!

ALL students (except for ECE and Stepping Stones) will report to their assigned rooms by 10:30 after the orchestras concert is over for unpacking, tuning, and a short rehearsal. The Ensemble Concert will begin promptly at 11:00 with Stepping Stones families performing another overture.
Concert Attire:
Orchestras–black and white
Ensembles–dress for a special occasion
We look forward in sharing a special day with you on Saturday for the UT String Project Winter Concert!


Saturday, November 22

Dear String Project family,

This Saturday is the last Saturday that String Project will be meeting before the Winter Concert on December 6th! (note that String Project is on break on November 29) There will be a lot going on- luckily, there is no football game so traffic and parking should be relatively painless. Here’s what you will find in this week’s email:

1) Saturday schedule
2) Dress rehearsal info
3) Thanksgiving week
4) Deadlines – November 23
a) Honors recital
b) Cover contest
c) Jury signups
d) Contributions for Ms. Lani

1) I have attached the Saturday schedule. As always, please double check the posted schedules which room you should report to on Saturday morning for any last minute changes!

2) This Saturday, all groups (except for EO, IO, AO, and CO) will be taking about 10 minutes from their class time to report to Bates Recital Hall and run their Winter Concert piece with piano accompaniment. However, all classes should first meet at their assigned classrooms according to the Saturday schedule at the beginning of the hour unless otherwise notified by your teacher. When it is almost time for your class to rehearse in Bates Recital Hall, your teacher will lead your class to go through the top of Bates in order to practice walking on stage and performing their piece. After the rehearsal, students will return to their assigned rooms to resume class. See the schedule below:

    9:00 HOUR

9:05- Stepping Stones
9:10- Jr. Cadets (Violin, Viola, and Cello)
9:15- EO Cellos
9:20- IO Cellos
9:25- AO/CO Cellos/viola [unaccompanied]
9:30- EO violins
9:35- IO violins
9:40- AO violins
9:45- CO violins

    10:00 HOUR

10:05- BVlaE
10:10- BVEB
10:15- BVEA
10:20- BCEB
10:25- BCEA
10:30- BBEA & Bass Cadets
10:35- PEA & PEB

    11:00 HOUR

11:05- Sr. Cadet Cellos
11:10- Sr. Cadet Violins
11:20- Returning Parent Orchestra
11:35- Parent Guitar Ensemble

3) For Thanksgiving week, there will be no lessons starting on Wednesday, November 26. This means that the last day for lessons is on Tuesday, November 25, as there will be no lessons during the week of juries (December 1-4). In addition, String Project will be on break for Saturday, November 29.

4) There are many things due this Saturday! I have attached the information about a) the Honors Recital and b) the Cover Contest to this email for your convenience. In addition, this will be the last chance to sign up for a jury if you still need to do so. It will also be the last chance to make any contributions to Ms. Lani should you choose to do so- the box to accept donations will be available at the main table.

That’s all for this week. Let’s all put in our best efforts to close out this semester with a bang! I hope everyone has a great rest of the week.


Saturday, November 8

Dear String Project Family,

I hope everyone has been having a good week so far! We are nearing the end of the semester; including this Saturday (for which I have attached the schedule), there are only three more days of class, and then the winter concert is upon us! As the winter concert is so close, please be sure that your kids are practicing their music, especially for those in the more advanced ensembles. The concert will only be as successful as the work that the kids put in, and we are all working hard towards putting on the best performance possible!

For the winter concert, we are holding a Cover Contest: String Project is accepting submissions of original drawings to be placed on the cover of the programs for the winter concert. All current String Project students are eligible to enter, and there is no limit to how many drawings a student can submit! Please adhere to the guidelines in the attached document; there will be copies of this document at the main table. The deadline for submissions will be Saturday, November 22nd.

A quick reminder about Honors Recital auditions (also due on Saturday, November 22nd) and juries- please see last week’s e-mail for more details. The jury board will be up in the lobby again this Saturday morning.

Lastly, this Saturday we have a home football game with a kickoff as early as 2:30pm. Parking and traffic will be more difficult than usual, so please leave home early to allow for a substantial delay in your commute. Remember that on home game days, you cannot park on campus even if you have an N/N+ parking permit.

That’s all for now. I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the week!


Saturday, November 1


Dear String Project Family,

I hope everyone enjoyed the Eclectic Styles Festival last Saturday! I definitely did and think that the kids sounded fantastic during the concert. But now that that’s all over, we turn our attention to several things that will close out this semester:

1. Dress rehearsal for winter concert—11/22
2. Honors Recital video recordings deadline— 11/22
3. Jury sign ups posted this Saturday
4. UT Football AWAY Game

1. We only have a few weeks left in the semester! Saturday, November 22nd is our dress rehearsal for the winter concert happening on December 6th; the Saturday in between there is no class because of Thanksgiving break. Make sure that your children are practicing their orchestra and ensemble music which they will be performing for the concert!

2. The deadline for this recording is Saturday, November 22nd! ALL students are eligible to apply. If your student(s) are interested in making a recording, please consult with your private teacher. If you need additional information, you can find the Honor’s Recital application in the folder you received at Convocation. If you cannot locate this, I’ve attached a copy of the application to this e-mail for your convenience.

3. The jury sign up board will be posted near the main table this Saturday. Please see below about who is required to take juries this semester. Fall Juries will take place Monday-Thursday, December 1-4. Make sure you and your teacher are square on what your child will play and, if your child is planning to promote, that you have prepared all the requirements, including sight-reading and all the scales. Few things are as disappointing as a jury that basically sounds good, but the student is clearly lacking one or two of the requirements. Make sure you check the promotional guidelines which can be found on the on the website. Also for those of you planning to promote (especially Saturday-only students), be sure we have a copy of your teacher’s permission.

Who is required to take fall juries?

All full-time students, excluding Cadets, Stepping Stones, and Early Childhood students
Anyone wishing to promote

Who does not need to play a fall jury?

Saturday-only students who do not wish to promote
Early childhood & Stepping Stones classes
Parent ensembles

4. Lastly, UT Football is an away game this Saturday, so parking and traffic should be manageable. Again, N/N+ permits should allow you to park on campus, but be sure to observe the parking signs to ensure you are parked legally.

See you Saturday!


Eclectic Styles Festival! October 25, 2014

Dear String Project Family,

This weekend we have our Eclectic Styles Festival! For those families who are new to the program, this is a day where the students get to learn and participate in playing different styles of music. This year, the theme is Music from Scotland, and we have a great day planned with not just rehearsing, but also games, activities, and snacks! It will be a great day where everyone can learn a thing or two about Scottish culture. I have attached an info packet put together for you by our Eclectic Styles coordinators to help get a feel for what is in store for this Saturday. Students have been doing awesome work in their group classes to prepare for the big concert at 11:15am which will be in Bates Recital Hall.

ALL STUDENTS SHOULD ARRIVE TO THEIR HOME ROOM BY 8:45AM. I have attached the schedule for this weekend, but please make sure to stop by one of the posted schedules in the morning check for any last minute changes. Take note that classes will NOT change on the hour like regular Saturdays; each activity will be in 30 minute blocks, with 5 minutes to get from class to class.

Eclectic Styles t-shirts will be distributed at your home room to wear for the concert at 11:15, so it is very important that you arrive on time! There is no home game this week for UT football, so traffic and parking should be OK. In addition, those with N/N+ permits will be able to park on campus. For the concert attire, jeans will be acceptable. If you have kilts that your child would like to wear in light of our Scottish theme, that would be great too!

Because this Saturday is such a special day with all sorts of new things happening, please do no hesitate to offer a helping hand when it might be needed throughout the day, whether it be helping teachers watch over the many students, facilitating t-shirt distribution, or aiding with moving these bigger groups from place to place. It will be an exciting, event-filled day!

Looking forward to seeing you Saturday! Please let me know if you have any questions.