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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.

SAW Students at Cass Street School

SAW students at Cass Street School performed for their second annual Art Gallery Night on May 27th.  Stationed near the front entrance, they showed off their skills for every visitor coming through the door. First year students Laniah Lee, Lydell Lee and Kimonte Givens did a fantastic job inspiring many classmates to take up the cello, too. We had a ton of fun!

2015 Milwaukee Arts Board Grant

Thank you to Mayor Barrett, President Murphy, Alderman Kovac, and the Milwaukee Arts Board for their continued support of the Arts in Milwaukee!  The String Academy of Wisconsin was so pleased this week to receive a grant for our Urban Students in Arts Outreach program.

Left to Right: Alderman Michael Murphy, Alderman Nik Kovac, Darcy Drexler, Mayor Tom Barrett

Special Concert: Anna Frtiz, cellist/folksinger

We are pleased and excited to welcome SAW alumna Anna Fritz back to Milwaukee to give a special concert this Sunday, June 14 at 7:00, 3224 N. Gordon Place.

Anna Fritz is a cellist and folksinger based in Portland, Oregon. She trained as a classical cellist in the Midwest, then migrated to the Pacific Northwest and turned that training on its head.

She is a founding member of the Portland Cello Project and has spent seven years as a touring member of the group, sharing stages nationally with the Dandy Warhols, Andrew Bird, Garrison Keillor (on Prairie Home Companion), Mirah, Horse Feathers, Laura Gibson, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, and many others.

As a studio artist, Anna’s cello work has been featured on more than fifty albums by bands such as The Decemberists, My Morning Jacket, Dirty Projectors, The Builders and The Butchers, and Blue Cranes.

Anna has released two solo albums: Wake (2005) and The Gospel of Tree Bark (2013), which explores themes of spirituality, gender identity, and connection to the natural world. Her work combines rich layers of cello with lyrics sung in a clear, simple vocal style.

You can learn more about Anna and hear samples of her music on her website,

Now Enrolling: Summer Cello & Violin Beginner Program

June 15-July 24, 2015

Get your budding cellist or violinist off to a great start with instruction especially for youngsters who have never played a string instrument.

To get a “jump-start” with their new instruments, students will have one week of daily group lessons (see schedule below). For each of the other five weeks, students will receive a half-hour individual lesson and an hour group lesson.

June 15-19: [Cello Beginners] Daily group lessons will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

June 22-26: [Violin Beginners] Daily group lessons will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

June 15 – July 24: A half-hour individual lesson at a time to be arranged with the instructor and a group lesson once a week on Tuesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m.


David Anderson, violin
Katherine Brooks, violin
Darcy Drexler, violin
Jamie Hofman, violin, viola
Stefan Kartman, cello
Lea Matthys, cello

Fee: $255 Register Here

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.