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String Camp

UMSL String Camp 2024

June 4-6
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Tuition: $300
Open to Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass Students
Touhill Performing Arts Center
University of Missouri - St. Louis


Join UMSL’s Director of Instrumental Ensembles, Dr. David Wacyk along with the acclaimed Arianna String Quartet for a fun and rewarding string camp experience! The 2024 UMSL String Camp will be a three-day workshop held in the beautiful Touhill Performing Arts Center, offering string orchestra, instrument technique classes, guided practice sessions, and masterclasses. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to work with Dr. Wacyk and the members of the Arianna String Quartet!

Recommended ages: 14-18
If you have any questions, please contact Professor Kurt Baldwin at baldwink@umsl.edu or Dr. David Wacyk at dmwdb8@umsl.edu

Registration and Representative Video Recording (no auditions necessary):
As part of your registration, you will be asked to include a 2-5 minute video of your playing. There are no specific requirements; submit any piece that best represents your playing at this time. Your submitted video is not an audition, but simply an important opportunity for us to get to know you and your playing before we all meet for camp!


Register Online

Registration is due by Friday, May 24


Please make checks payable to ‘University of Missouri-St. Louis’ with "Music String Camp" on the Memo line, and mail to:  

University of Missouri-St. Louis
Music Department
One University Blvd.
130 AAB
St. Louis, MO 63121 

*On campus dormitory accommodations will be made available depending on the number of students interested, and are available for an extra cost.

UMSL Faculty

Dr. David Wacyk
Director of Instrumental Ensembles
The Arianna String Quartet
John McGrosso, violin
Julia Sakharova, violin
Joanna Mendoza, viola
Kurt Baldwin, cello

wacyk 2022         arianna 2022


Daily Presentations:  

  • String Orchestra rehearsals with Dr. Wacyk

Additional daily presentations may include:

  • Performances and presentations by the Arianna String Quartet
  • “Posture and Athleticism with Our Instruments” How we move is how we sound. This fundamental aspect of string playing can be neglected in our quest to play the notes we see on the page!  In this workshop we will reconnect with basics of posture, movement, and how we interact physically with our instruments to sound our best.
  • “Finding Comfort with Your Bow and Sound” As soon as we start playing notes, our left hand activities can take up to 100% of our attention. But it’s the right arm that actually produces our sound! By learning to focus on our tone production and the movements of our right arm, elbow, wrist and fingers, we can find new freedom in our sound, and begin to explore the expressive potential of the music that excites us.
  • “Efficiency and Effectiveness with Scales and Shifting”  Spending time with scales is the best investment to achieve left hand comfort and balance and variety in the bow. But playing the notes in the scale is not enough!  We will explore the ideas behind effective scale practice that will unlock a new potential for joyful playing, and make every note on your instrument more accessible. 
  • “Vibrato!”  Who DOESN’T have questions about vibrato? An essential part of playing beautifully, it can also pull us off balance or lead to left hand tension that interferes with our intonation or passagework. We will present practice strategies and talk about the essential motions of vibrato and how they relate to other healthy aspects of left hand technique so you can achieve an expressive and professional sound with less effort.
  • “Building Your Practice Routine” Practicing a string instrument is a complex process. Done well, your mind is always engaged and you will start to see your improvements quickly. In this workshop, we will show you effective ways to structure your time, vary your activities, and achieve reliability and comfort in your performances.
  • Culminating concert presentation for parents, family and friends on our last day of camp!

Sample Daily Schedule:

  • 9:30-10            Group warm-up
  • 10-10:30          “Posture and Athleticism with Our Instruments”
  • 10:30-11:15     Instrument Class
  • 11:15-12          String Orchestra
  • 12-12:45          Lunch
  • 1:00-1:30         “Efficiency and Effectiveness with Scales and Shifting”
  • 1:30-2:15         Instrument Class
  • 2:15-3:15         String Orchestra
  • 3:15-3:30         Summary of the Day

For more information:

Dr. David Wacyk
Arianna Quartet
John McGrosso
Julia Sakharova
Joanna Mendoza
Kurt Baldwin


If you have any questions about the camp, please contact Prof. Kurt Baldwin at baldwink@umsl.edu or Dr. David Wacyk at dmwdb8@umsl.edu