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2015 Camp in Review

Danielle Belen Center Stage Strings 2015
Three weeks, thirty-five students, idyllic scenery and lots of music. What could be better? Well, actually, this year somehow seemed to go even beyond my highest expectations. The level of the students who flocked to Three Rivers was our highest yet and we had a great mix of ages, cultures, and personalities! (We saw these kids really come out of their shells on skit night!)

What makes CSS truly unique, however, is our roster of esteemed artist-teachers that I am proud to call my colleagues.

During week one, we had a plethora of amazing talent on our faculty. Cellists David Requiro and Meta Weiss, violists Caroline Coade and Lauren Chipman, violinists Elbert Tsai, Kyungha Ko, and yours truly, all joining together to perform, teach and inspire our students.

2015 Center Stage Strings Faculty performanceCSS faculty Kay Crask led our students in a remarkable and transformative week of Complete Musician classes, in which the students were challenged to speak from the stage, among other confidence-building exercises. Throughout the camp, Ms. Crask coached these students towards success, shown in the last week by many of the students eloquent, clear (and audible- Project your voice!) speeches before selected performances. Our Center Stage Strings students went beyond only focusing on their playing - they grew in ways they didn't expect that will make them extraordinary people beyond the "Practicube"!

CSS Alum and rising star, violinist Simone Porter joined us at the end of week one and played a beautiful recital with Jennie Jung to a sold out audience. Former student of Jascha Heifetz, virtuoso violinist Franklyn D'Antonio arrived in week two. One of the highlights of the camp was a performance by five student violinists of an incredibly technical, humorous and charming version of "Happy Birthday", coached by Mr D'Antonio. The piece was met with rousing cheers and applause on the second student concert, played as a dedication to Father John's mother's 90th birthday!

Gran Tourismo - Center Stage StringsThe Fourth of July American Composers Celebration Concert was a huge success. Three Rivers audiences were treated to a wide variety of music from Gershwin to John Adams, even challenged with some very contemporary and lesser known music, all greeted with the curiosity and enthusiasm that we come to expect from the regular concert-goers of this great "small" town!! One of the highlights of that concert was the bombastic eight violin piece Gran Turismo, complete with the sound effects of racecars made by dueling sets of strings for a surround sound effect. Standing ovations all around!

Cellist Sarah Koo and Violinist Stephen Shipps rounded out our stellar faculty in the latter half of the camp, both of them also serving on the Judging Committee for the Honors Recital Auditions.

The students have left Three Rivers now, headed home to New Jersey, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Southern CA and more, but the music continues to sing throughout Santa Teresita, St Anthony and the town of Three Rivers.

See you next year!!
Danielle Belen
Artistic Director

2016 Camp Dates to be Announced
If you would like to be notified when applications are available, please email us at:

Read Danielle Belen's Review of the 2014 Camp.

Click to view our new 2015 Introductory Video and the Documentary
Welcome to Center Stage Strings  (10 min)

Documentary  (15 minutes)

Please browse our website for information on the camp as well as concerts and master classes presented by world class guest artists.

View high quality videos from the CSS Music Camp and Festival on the Center Stage Strings YouTube Channel.  2014 videos are now posted.

We'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments. Please visit our Contact Page. We are also on Facebook so you can become a friend of Center Stage Strings today!

Center Stage Strings - In The News   Photos from the 2015 Summer Camp

Center Stage Strings is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donations are 100% tax deductable. Your contributions will help make it possible for us to continue to provide this unique experience to deserving students. Donate Today.

For further information, please email info@centerstagestrings.com