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.
On Saturday, March 22, 2014 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 Noon, 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 be approximately one hour in length. 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 Grace Woo and cellist Bradley Nowacek will perform works by Dancla and Couperin.
When: Saturday, March 22, 2014
Concert I – 10:00
Concert II – 12:00
Where: UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall
String Academy students at Escuela Vieau School
Air Varie No. 5 – C. Dancla
Four Seasons “Spring” – A. Vivaldi
Congratulations to all contestants on their performance!
Thank you to Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra violinist and String Academy Alum Alexander Ayers for judging the competition.
Also, thank you to pianist Steve Ayers for accompanying all thirteen applicants.
Now enrolling ages 4 through 18
with focus on the violin, viola or cello
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 Paul Rolland, Shinichi Suzuki, and Mimi Zweig. 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.
Click here to learn more and register online
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 Scholarship 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 Milwaukee MacDowell Montessori.
During this season of giving, we hope you will make a tax-deductible gift before December 31st to help us reach our goal of $75,000 to fund the Urban Students in Arts Scholarship Program. It’s safe, fast, and easy to give online by clicking on the button below. We welcome donations via mail too – String Academy of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 11941, Milwaukee, WI 53211
The arts are fundamental to our humanity and a crucial factor in academic and professional success for young people. Thank you, and we wish you a warm and happy holiday season.
Darcy Drexler, Executive Director
The fall semester is off to a great start, and our Fall Concerts are right around the corner. Please come join us this Saturday, November 2nd at 10:00 for the Violin Concert and 12:00 for the Cello Concert. We’ll be “at home” in the Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall, and admission is free and open to the public. All groups will be performing, from the inaugural performance of our newest beginner classes to the ranks of I Cellisti and the Violin Virtuosi. You won’t want to miss these two exciting concerts!
When: Saturday, November 2, 2013. 10:00AM – Violin Group Concert, 12:00 noon – Cello Group Concert
Where: Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall
This Saturday. October 19th, the String Academy’s own Scott Cook will be the featured soloist with the Beloit Janesville Symphony and Music Director Robert Tomaro. He will perform the ever popular Boccherini Cello Concerto in B-flat major with the orchestra. Dvorak’s Serenade for Strings and Barber’s Adagio will complete the “Heavenly Strings” program. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear Mr. Cook’s brilliant artistry live in concert. Tickets are affordably priced, and children are free.
When: Saturday, October 19, 2013, 7:30 pm
Where: Eaton Chapel, 700 College St, Beloit, WI
Tickets: $19/adults, Children-free, $5/College Students, Active Military free
Tickets may be purchased online here
The Beloit Janesville Symphony’s string section sparkles on each of these breathtaking masterpieces. The orchestra is proud to introduce the renowned cellist, Scott Cook, as he displays rare virtuosity in his performance of the Boccherini Concerto for cello.
Boccherini, Concerto for Cello in B-flat major, Scott Cook, Cello solo
Barber, Adagio for Strings
Dvorak, Serenade for Strings
Scott Cook, cello
Nebraska native Scott Cook is well known as a teacher, chamber and orchestral musician. His was described in the Greenville News as “a cellist who plays with the depth and intensity of Pablo Casals.” As soloist , recitalist and chamber and orchestral musician, he has performed around the world as principal cellist of many orchestras in the Southeast and Wisconsin, as member of the AIMS Orchestra in Graz, Austria and the Grand Teton Festival. He is currently the solo cellist of the Skylight Opera and is a member of the Milwaukee based band, Joe 2.0. He was cellist with the Belle Terre Piano Quartet and the Cezanne String Quartet and has appeared on major recital series in Toronto, Chicago and Milwaukee. He has made numerous recordings including those with members of the Swingle Singers, jazz recordings with Chuck Hedges and for Hal Leonard. Other chamber music collaborations include live broadcasts in Saint Louis, Greenville, SC, Wisconsin Public Radio and “Live at the Elvehjem Museum.” He is the artistic director of the Swannanoa Chamber Music Festival Workshop and the director of the international teaching workshop, Teaching Cello To Children at the String Academy of Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Mr. Cook has taught a virtually every level and in every possible teaching environment. At the college level with positions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Carthage College, Converse College, Carroll University, Alverno College and Limestone College. The pre-college level at the String Academy of Wisconsin at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee converse College and the Greenville County Schools in South Carolina. In 2008 he was honored to be named the Studio Teacher of the Year by the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee. As the recipient of a full scholarship he received his Bachelor of Music from the Saint Louis Conservatory and a Master of Music degree from The University of Akron. His major cello teachers were Savely Schuster, Steven Schumway and Michael Haber.
This fall we are excited to welcome new cello faculty member Lea Matthys to the String Academy of Wisconsin. She will also be teaching our music theory classes. Ms. Matthys comes to us from Cincinnati with her husband, Joel Matthys, composer and new music theory professor at Carroll University. Please help make Ms. Matthys feel at home by saying hello if you see her in the hallways!
Ms. Matthys holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and a Master of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee studying with Richard Piippo and Stefan Kartman. During graduate school, she completed intensive coursework in cello pedagogy with Scott Cook from the String Academy faculty. Her Suzuki Method training has been overseen by Pamela Devenport. She has performed in the Holland (MI), Racine, Kenosha and Sheboygan Symphonies as well as the Green Mountain and Mimir chamber music festivals. An advocate for new music, Lea has premiered more than 20 new works for the cello, performing with Classical Revolution Cincinnati, the experimental group Fringe Logic, the Newberry Trio, and in collaboration with the Cincinnati Composers’ Laptop Orchestra Project (CiCLOP). She is a former faculty member of the Cincinnati Music Academy.
This past summer, Kartik Papatla, String Academy student of Scott Cook, was chosen by national audition to participate in the National Youth Orchestra. Beyond being the only student selected from the state of Wisconsin, Kartik was also chosen to sit as assistant principal cello. Congratulations to Kartik on your accomplishments! Below is a brief description, in Kartik’s words, of his experience.
This summer, I had the experience of a lifetime. I traveled the world, played great music, and met extraordinary people. As a member of the cello section of Carnegie Hall’s first-ever National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America, I gathered with young musicians aged 16 to 19 and toured New York, Washington, D.C., Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10 with Joshua Bell as violin soloist and Maestro Valery Gergiev as conductor.
The program began with a rigorous two-week training program at Purchase College in New York in preparation for the arrival of Maestro Gergiev and Joshua Bell. During the residency, we worked with James Ross, a conducting faculty member at the Juilliard School and the University of Maryland, and with principal players from the country’s best orchestras. The cello section’s coach was John Sharp, Principal Cellist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In the first week of the residency, I divided my time between working in small sectionals with the rest of the cello section, in large sectionals with the string players of the orchestra, and in full orchestra rehearsals. In the second week, I spent the majority of my time in full orchestra rehearsals. By the end of the residency, we were ready to begin our work with Maestro Gergiev and Joshua Bell before embarking on our concert tour. In addition to rehearsals, I also had the opportunity to engage in a number of workshops related to Russian culture, the history of Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky, and the improvement of practice and performance methods. These non-musical activities were eye opening and were taught by experts who specialized in those fields.
Over the duration of the tour, we performed in five concerts. In New York, we gave our send-off concert at Purchase College and followed with concerts at the Kennedy Center in D.C, the Moscow Conservatory in Moscow, the Mariinsky II in St. Petersburg, and, finally, Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms in London. Besides performing in these amazing venues, what made the experience even more unique was that each concert we gave exceeded the last in the musicality demonstrated and our ability to work together as an orchestra to give the best interpretation of the music that we could. Performing at the Proms for an audience of thousands was a truly exceptional experience. As I told Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall, the Proms concert was one of the largest but quietest audiences I’ve ever performed for. I could feel the silent energy of the audience fueling our performance and that’s what I believe makes the BBC Proms stand out as a music festival.
In addition to being a member of the orchestra, I was in a sextet that performed with a few other chamber ensembles at the Russian Embassy in D.C. and at the Bloomberg offices in London. At the Embassy, we performed for a number of dignitaries, including the Russian Ambassador to the United States, as well as Maestro Gergiev. I thoroughly enjoyed this chamber music opportunity as a chance to work with and get to know some of my peers on a more intimate level.
The NYO experience is one that I will remember for the rest of my life. Not only did I have remarkable opportunities to perform, but I also developed friendships that will last my entire lifetime. The experience has confirmed for me that no matter what path I take, music will always be a part of my life.
Video of the NYS performing on BBC with Josh Bell at the Proms: http://youtu.be/1CLE4kY5n-k
Miracle on Canal Street is Potawatomi Bingo Casino’s signature community program that raises funds for children’s charities – and the String Academy of Wisconsin is in the running to be a beneficiary.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Miracle program that has raised more than $12.5 million for hundreds of area children’s charities. The program began as a way to carry on the Potawatomi tradition of nurturing younger generations so they grow to lead healthy, productive lives.
Half of each $3 Miracle Bingo game purchased goes to the Miracle fund, which totaled nearly $1 million last year! Give the gift of a promising future by playing the Miracle Bingo game now through December 12. Visit paysbig.com/miracle to learn more.