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Hello, and welcome to our newly updated website! Whether you are a parent, a student, teacher, alumni, donor, prospective student, or just curious, there is much to find here. So please look around and explore.

Founded in 1990, the String Academy of Wisconsin (SAW) has become one of this country’s model schools, offering students between the ages of 4 and 18 a comprehensive musical education with a focus on the violin, viola or cello.    Highly qualified artist faculty provide musical instruction based on the methods  and philosophies of Mimi Zweig, Shinichi Suzuki, and Paul Rolland.  The special training, experience, and expertise of the SAW faculty in the musical training of young people results in students playing with technical ease and musical sensitivity. SAW’s summer teacher training workshops are attended by string players from across the United States, Canada and Europe.

Spring Concert Photos by Jonathan Kirn

SAW parent and photographer Jonathan Kirn was at our Spring Concerts and brought his camera.
Please enjoy the results here, where you may view the full set of photos, and even purchase prints at a special SAW price if you so wish.  Thanks again for your excellent work, Mr. Kirn!
Gallery Link:

2015 String Academy Benefit Concert


Don Wallace

for his 25 years of service as Chairman of the Board of Directors

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall
Reception to follow
$30 per person • Please call for advance tickets.

for his 25 years of service as Chairman of the Board of DirectorsPeck School of the Arts Recital Hall

Spring + Strings = Spring Concerts

Spring Concerts

This Saturday, March 21, 2015 the String Academy of Wisconsin will present two Spring Concerts. We invite you to be our guest at one or both of these concerts. The first concert will begin at 10:00 a.m. and the second at 12:30, both taking place in the UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall (located on the first floor of the Music Building). These concerts are FREE and open to the public. Each program is expected to last approximately one hour.  Programs will feature violin and cello groups comprised of students, ages 4 to 18, ranging from beginners to the most advanced.   In addition,  two winners of this year’s SAW competitions, violinist Ingrid Buschkopf and cellist Zach Buehler, will perform works by  Vivaldi and  Saint-Saëns.  This concert is generously sponsored by the Milwaukee Arts Board.

When: Saturday, March 21, 2015
Concert I – 10:00 ……………
Concert II – 12:30

Where: UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall

The music is budding like flowers!(click on the flowers to hear Joshua Bell play Vivaldi’s Spring!)

Faculty Concert: Florestan Duo

This coming Sunday, March 8 at 3:00 pm in the UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall, String Academy faculty member Stefan Kartman and his pianist wife, Jeannie Yu will perform a FREE concert.

The program will include:

  • Bach Suite for Solo Cello #5 in C minor
  • Haydn/Piatigorsky Divertimento
  • Brahms Sonata in F major, Op. 99
  • Cassado Requibros

We hope to see you there!

Concert: David Bebe & The Saint Rose Chamber Orchestra

TODAY, Sunday March 1st, at 4:30 at the PSOA Recital Hall, former String Academy of Wisconsin cello faculty member, David Bebe, is bringing a student ensemble to perform and the entire SAW family is invited. We hope many of you will choose to join us this afternoon for a free concert and an opportunity to greet David Bebe and the performers afterward.

2015 SAW Cello Competition Results

Thanks for your help and participation in this year’s SAW Cello Competition. We heard some beautiful playing today, and our judge was impressed by the quality, preparation and dedication. We are pleased to announce that Zach Buehler is our winner!

Zach will be performing The Swan with our chamber orchestra at the March 21 concert.

Congrats to Zach, and thanks to our judge, MSO cellist Liz Tuma.

String Academy of Wisconsin at UWM 2015 Violin Competition Winners

Ingrid Buschkopf
Concerto in A minor (1st mvt.) – A. Vivaldi
Dominika Lulewicz
Concerto No. 2 in G Major (1st mvt.) – F.J. Haydn
Congratulations to all contestants on their performance!
Thank you to retired MSO violinist Paul Mehlenbeck for judging the competition.
Also, thank you to pianist Steve Ayers for accompanying all fourteen contestants.

Congratulations to SAW students at MMF!

Congratulations to String Academy students who participated in UWM’s Milwaukee Music Festival this past weekend. Bravo for a great performance Saturday night!

The Season of Giving

Dear Friend,

Each year, 150 children ages 4-18, from all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, study violin, viola, and cello performance at the String Academy of Wisconsin. With careful guidance from professional artist faculty, students engage in a challenging course of study that includes private and group instruction, weekly classes in music theory, and ear training. This comprehensive learning experience with its many performing opportunities offers much more than simply a music education. Students also learn self-discipline and poise, which will serve them well throughout their lives.

The Academy strives to make an excellent music education affordable for all. Each year, we provide scholarships and instruments to at least 36 students as part of the Urban Students in Arts Outreach Program. Participating families contribute a portion of what they can toward tuition. String Academy faculty provide instruction for students with demonstrated potential and a strong desire to learn in our program, including outreach sites at two MPS schools, Escuela Vieau and Cass Street. The students also come to UWM for weekly group instruction and performances.

As an independent nonprofit organization, please consider some of our annual expenses:

  • Urban Students in Arts Outreach Program – $75,000
  • Piano Accompanists – $8,000
  • Instruments/Music – $3,000

The arts are fundamental to our humanity and a crucial factor in academic and professional success. As one alum recently wrote, “I learned so much during my SAW years and it has proved valuable in my work today.”  Please help us make excellent string instruction accessible to all deserving students in the Milwaukee community, regardless of their circumstances. We are able to accept your donations online through PayPal, which is both safe and easy. Your gift of any amount matters and is greatly appreciated.


Darcy Drexler,

Executive Director

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The String Academy of Wisconsin

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Halloween Photos

Check out the latest set of photographic magic from Saturday’s 12:30 Halloween Concert by SAW parent and photographer Jonathan Kirn. Thank you, Jon!

To see the full set of photos, click here:
(You may order prints or digital downloads)