String Ensemble | Webster University

String Ensemble


String Ensemble Student

*Update* String Ensemble rehearsals will be online for the Fall 2020 Semester.

This beginning-level ensemble for strings emphasizes reading skills. Members must have a thorough knowledge of first position, familiarity with letter names of notes, and skill in reading half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes.  Members must show good left and right hand playing positions and play in tune.  Seating is on a rotating basis.  

Instruments:  Violin, Viola, Cello
Ages:  7 and up (average age range is 7-10 years)
AUDITION SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  Wednesday, August 26 by 10:00 pm.


Scales for Violin:  Major Scales: G,D,F; Melodic minor scales: a,d
Scales for Viola and Cello:  Major Scales: D,G,B flat; Melodic minor scales: d,g
Play all scales, without music, 1 octave, 2 eighth notes per bow, metronome marking 60=a quarter note

An unaccompanied solo of the student's choice that best demonstrates his/her ability.  The solo does not need to be played from memory.  If memorized, bring the solo music into the audition.

The following list indicates the median playing level generally reached by students in String Ensemble.  There are other appropriate solo works not listed in this guide.

  • Violin:  Suzuki Violin School, Volumes 2-4; other collections include Essential Elements or Solos for Young Violinists
  • Viola:  Suzuki Viola School Volumes 1-2; other collections include Solos for Young Violists or Essential Elements
  • Cello:  Suzuki Cello School Volume 2; other collections include Solos for Young Cellists or Essential Elements.

Excerpts assigned by the conductor (available online Friday, August 7 after 3pm.  Link will be emailed to all applicants).  DO NOT MEMORIZE excerpts.  Excerpts must be played from the music during the audition.

Sight-reading in rhythms of half, quarter, and eighth notes may be requested at the audition.


$426 ($213 per semester: due November 1 and February 1)

  • $30 non-refundable registration fee assessed once per academic year per student upon enrollment.
  • Upon acceptance, fall tuition is billed in October.  Limited tuition assistance is available.

Weekly Rehearsals (Online):  

Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. beginning September 23, 2020


Dress Rehearsals:
Saturday, January 16, 2021  9-10am (Online)
Saturday, May 1, 2021  9-10am 

2020-21 Concerts
Sunday, January 17, 2021 at 2pm (Online)
Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 2pm (TBA in-person or online)

Joanne Keefe - Conductor, String Ensemble

M.M., Performance and Pedagogy, University of Colorado-Boulder; B.M., Violin Performance (cum laude), Lawrence University Conservatory; long-term Suzuki Teacher Training with William Starr, also studied with John Kendall and Calvin Wiersma; studied chamber music with members of the Hungarian, Manhattan and Takacs Quartets; former section violin and Principal Viola, Fox Valley Symphony (WI), section violin, Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis; former faculty and String Coordinator at Lawrence Academy of Music (WI); former elementary strings specialist for Ladue and Webster Groves School Districts; faculty member, New England Suzuki Institute; member, Suzuki Association of the Americas; recently published a book with Kevin M. Mitchell titled Jazz Songs for the Student Violinist.

Resources for Prospective Students

Resources for Current Students