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String Teacher Workshops

You’re Invited!

The String Academy of Wisconsin at UWM


All Saints Cathedral

The String Academy of Wisconsin will present two recitals this weekend which you are cordially invited to attend.

Saturday, November 7th at 1:00 P.M – The first performance is at the new East Library and takes place in the Ellipse Community Room.  The recital will feature solo performances by String Academy students and also an opportunity for young children to try out small-size instruments just for them!  East Library is located at 2320 N. Cramer St., and is Milwaukee’s newest public library – with incredible architecture, art work, and new community programs.  It’s a great opportunity to see what this library has to offer.

Sunday, November 8th
, at 2:00 P.M.– 
 We will present a special Honors Recital at the beautiful Cathedral Church of All Saints located at 818 E Juneau Ave in Milwaukee.  Students who have been nominated by faculty based on past performances are showcased in this recital, accompanied by pianist Steven Ayers.  There will also be an opportunity to bring your used books as a contribution to the All Saint’s Great Hunger Book Sale. Last year the sale grossed just over $19,000, and supports hunger funds in our own community and around the world.

There is no admission or ticketing required for either of these recitals, so please bring your friends or relatives and come join us!




Halloween Concerts Are Coming to Get You

October is here, and it’s time for an old String Academy tradition: A Halloween Spooktacular! Come see our students in costume, playing some scary tunes (and some not so scary!) .

When: Saturday, October 31st, 2015
• Concert I:  10:00 AM
• Concert II: 12:30 PM

Where: UWM Peck School of the Arts Recital Hall
Wear: Your Halloween costume, of course.
Admission: Free and open to the public. Hope you can come!

Kids in Costumes Playing Violin and Cello

For a trip down memory lane, here are the photos from our last Halloween Concerts.

Summer in China

This past June, String Academy faculty members Darcy Drexler and Stefan Kartman gave a series of workshops for the Chaoyang District music teachers, masterclasses and performances for the China Conservatory of Music Middle School, and met with government officials to discuss ways to improve music education in Beijing’s largest school district. Under the auspices of SENTA Global and the Education Committee of Chaoyang District of Greater Beijing, the Chaoyang District asked UWM music faculty Kartman and Drexler to introduce American methods and standards to their Chinese colleagues.
The two weeks of presentations covered a variety of subjects including…
  • The History of Music Education in the United States
  • Chamber Music in the US
  • Teaching Expression
  • Starting After School Music Programs
  • How to Teach Fundamentals of String Instruments
  • Teaching Music Appreciation
  • Building a Daily Regimen of Practice on a Musical Instrument • How to Prepare for a Life in Music among many other topics.
Kartman and Drexler were joined by frequent guest artist at UWM – pianist Jeannie Yu for a performance featuring works of Debussy, Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, and Milhaud.

Now Enrolling for Fall 2015 Classes

String Academy of Wisconsin Enrollment

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

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