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Auditions for scholarship string program for young area musicians

Date: 9/22/2009

SPRINGFIELD The Community Music School of Springfield (CMSS) will host auditions for the 2009-2010 school year for the program "String City." Beginning its second year this September, String City is an intensive string education program for children ages nine through 15 who play at the advanced beginner or intermediate level. String City's mission is to support the string education of children in the area and residents of Springfield in particular through the identification and training of children who already have some background and level of proficiency on the violin, viola or cello.

Based at CMSS, String City includes weekly private lessons and chamber orchestra, monthly Master Classes or other activities and sectional rehearsals, as well as special music-related experiences including field trips. The program, which is under the direction of Martha Knieriem, is committed to promoting the highest level of string playing among children entering grades five through 10, as of September 2009. Preference is given to Springfield residents. Students who are accepted into String City receive a 50 percent tuition scholarship.

Auditions will take place on Sept. 29 from 7 to 8 p.m., and again on Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon. Interested students should call for an audition appointment.

Knieriem received her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and her Master's Degree in Viola Performance from Ithaca College. She has been a member of the CMSS faculty since 1981, teaching violin and viola through traditional and Suzuki methods. She is a member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

String City is largely funded by the generosity of Babson Capital Management and also receives funding from the Springfield Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

For information about scheduling a String City audition, please contact Martha Knieriem at 584-3182, or by e-mail at

Parents wishing additional information may also contact the Executive Director of the Community Music School of Springfield, Eric Bachrach.