String Academy

2020 String Academy Dates

Session I                                         Session II
July 5—11, 2020                              July 12—19, 2020

Students can choose to participate for one week or register for both weeks of the String Academy.

About the Program

The Sewanee Summer String Academy is an extraordinary opportunity for rising 7th-10th* grade violinists, violists, cellists and basses that runs concurrently with the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Under the direction of Dr. Angela Ammerman, assisted by a dedicated faculty and dynamic group of resident advisers, the Sewanee String Academy is designed with an emphasis on fundamental performance techniques. Centered around small group learning, students will engage in chamber music, master classes, small group lessons and string ensemble performance practice

Beyond studies in performance, String Academy participants will have theory and aural skills classes, eurythmics training, and panel discussions with college students and professors on audition techniques, careers and opportunities in music. Creativity and experiential learning will be cornerstones of the String Academy experience

Academy participants will also have ample opportunity to engage with SSMF activities on our main campus, including free tickets to all faculty and student performances of the festival, as well as master classes and seminars that happen during the academy.

*Please contact the Festival office for questions related to age requirements for the Academy program.

If you have other questions regarding the String Academy, check the Student Handbook. You may find answers there!

2020 Program Director
Mari-Liis Calloway
Angela Ammerman
Sabbatical, Summer 2020

Sample Schedule

7:30 am-8:30 am Breakfast
9:15 am-10:15 am Warm-Up Class
10:30 am-11:30 am String Ensemble Rehearsal
12:00 pm-1:00 pm Lunch
1:30 pm-2:30 pm Chamber Music
3:30 pm-4:30 pm Special Topics in Music (Theory, Composition, Aural Skills)
4:30 pm-5:30 pm Free Time to practice or enjoy a group activity
5:30 pm-7:30 pm Dinner and Free Time
7:30 pm-on Evening activity, recital or concert

Tuition and Housing

Tuition of $925 includes housing, meals, and all program experiences for one-week Academy experience.

Limited Scholarships available for qualified students. For maximum scholarship consideration, be sure to apply by March 15th.

Commuter Option (for students who live within a 1-hour commute the Sewanee)
$425 per week (meals not included)
Drop off at 8:30 am in front of Guerry Auditorium
Pick up at 4:15 in front of Guerry Auditorium
Weekend schedule TBA depending on rehearsals and performances


All applicants must submit a recommendation letter from a private teacher, ensembles director, or other person familiar with their playing, as well as a document outlining participation in:

  • District, regional, or all-state ensembles.
  • Solo and or/ensemble festival, including the piece(s) you performed, and the rating you received.
  • Ensembles you regularly perform with (youth orchestras and wind ensembles, school ensembles, etc.).
  • Non-musical honors or awards — honor society, Boy/Girl Scout awards, etc.
  • Anything else you would like us to know about your musical or academic accomplishments.

To be considered for a scholarship, please include a short video of your most recent performance of a district, regional, or all state audition etude, solo and ensemble etude, or any other work that represents your current playing.  Please note: this is only required for students wishing to be considered for scholarship. 

String Academy FAQ

If you have questions, please see if the Student Handbook answers them.

What ages are appropriate for this program/who should apply?

Students should be rising 7th grade—rising 9th grade, with at least two years of experience in group lessons, school ensemble, or private instruction.

Does the tuition cost include housing and meals?

Yes, the tuition includes room and board for the duration of your stay.

Does the tuition cost include access to all performances?

Yes, all performances are open to Academy participants.

When will I find out if I have been admitted?

Typically within 1—2 weeks of submitting your application. Admission to Academy Programs is rolling and will be granted on a first-come-first-served basis on qualification. Submit your application soon to ensure your spot in the Academy Program of your choice!

Can I come late or leave early?

We prefer for Academy participants to attend the full session. If you have to come late or leave early, tuition will not be pro-rated.

Is there a waiting list for Academy Programs?

Yes, students who apply once the program is full will be placed on the waiting list and admitted on a case-by-case basis as openings become available.

Can I request a special diet in the dining hall?

McClurg Dining Hall has a range of diet options, from carnivore or pescetarian to vegan or vegetarian. When you complete your admitted student form, you will have the opportunity to share any dietary restrictions with us.