2023 String Academy

June 25—July 8, 2023

About the Program

The Sewanee Summer String Academy is an extraordinary opportunity for 12-14 year old violinists, violists, cellists, and basses that runs concurrently with the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. Under the  direction of Veronica Jackson, 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 NOTE: While there will be non-musical activities such as nature walks, gym time, outdoor activities, and movie/game nights, most of each day will have participants involved in musical activities, rehearsals, classes, and coaching. Students should be prepared to spend most of their day in musical activities. 

In addition, they will interact with all participants of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and engage with faculty, staff, and patrons in our community. They will be expected to demonstrate mature behavior in during concerts and be able to get themselves ( with RA supervision) to meals and other events on campus. 

*Please contact the Sewanee Music Center office for questions related to age requirements for the Academy program.

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

Program Fees

Tuition: $1,100
Housing: $1,025

Tuition includes housing, meals, and all program experiences for the Academy experience. Limited Scholarships are available for qualified students. Apply early for maximum scholarship consideration.

There will be a refundable $75 security deposit required for each participant. We will deduct from this refund for participants’ lost keys, damaged rooms, missing music, etc.


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.

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.  There will be a $40 application fee.

Program Director

Veronica Jackson

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 ages 12-14, 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

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.