SC Pre-College String Ensembles

Returning in Spring 2022

Dr. Amber Peterson, Associate Professor of Music at Southwestern College and conductor of the South Kansas Symphony, is collaborating with The Community Music School to provide a variety of ensemble opportunities for string players in 4th through 12th grades.

Williams String Quartet, Jr.^ Mondays (5:00-5:45 pm) 8th-12th grade*
Camerata^ Mondays (5:45-6:30 pm) 9th-12th grade*
SKS Apprentices^ Mondays (7:00-9:00 pm) 9th-12th grade*
String Builders Wednesdays (4:30-5:15 pm) 4th-7th grade
Sinfonietta Wednesdays (5:15-6:30 pm) 7th and 8th grade*

^Members are required to currently be in their school orchestra if available.

*Younger students may audition to be considered for ensembles.

Sign-up for SC Pre-College String Ensembles

Williams String Quartet, Jr.^ 

Meets: Mondays (5:00-5:45pm) Ages: 9th-12th grade*

The Williams String Quartet at Southwestern is a collegiate ensemble in which members receive additional music scholarships. This younger version provides the opportunity for advanced students to develop more advanced chamber music skills. An audition is required, and musicians must also be a member of Camerata. The group typically includes 2 violins, 1 viola, and 1 cello, but interested double bass or piano players may also audition to create a quintet.


Meets: Mondays (5:45-6:30pm) Ages: 9th-12th grade* 

This chamber orchestra helps string students develop musical maturity and independence by playing in a smaller ensemble, often without a conductor. Intermediate and advanced technique will continue to be addressed. Solo possibilities for interested players. No audition required. Members are required to be in their school orchestra if available.

SKS Apprentices^ 

Meets: Mondays (7:00-9:00pm) Ages: 9th-12th grade* 

Advanced members of Camerata may be invited to join the South Kansas Symphony. The South Kansas Symphony is a full orchestral ensemble in which SC string, wind, and percussion students of all majors can collaborate with local community musicians, continuing a long tradition of orchestral music in South Central Kansas. Masterworks, concerti, and lighter pieces are performed by the symphony each season.

String Builders 

Meets: Wednesdays (4:30-5:15pm)
Ages: 4th-7th grade

This is a string ensemble for beginners, especially geared toward homeschoolers, students from districts without orchestra programs, or early or late beginners from districts with orchestra programs. Students will learn the basics of playing in a mixed instrumentation group. (Private lessons are also encouraged to support what is being learned in the larger class.)


Meets: Wednesdays (5:15-6:30 pm)
Ages: 7th and 8th grade

This orchestra is for students with at least one year playing experience. Intermediate playing skills, including early shifting and vibrato will be focused on, in addition to ensemble skills. No audition is requires. Members are required to be in their school orchestra if available. *Younger students may audition to be considered for Sinfonietta.

Other Opportunities 

Private Lessons 

Private lessons are also available & encouraged. The Community Music School offers lessons for all ages, levels, and abilities. Students meet for one-on-one weekly sessions with CMS instructors, and have recital opportunities. 

  • $12-24/half-hour lesson per week.
  • Payment for lessons may be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or by semester. 

String Workshops 

Saturday workshops will be offered occasionally throughout the school year for all string students. Workshops may include topics such as audition prep for KMEA ensembles, mock solo/ensemble contests, technique workshops, and guest artist masterclasses. Members of the SKS Junior Division ensembles can attend these for free. Others may attend for a small charge (typically $5-10 per workshop).

Ensemble membership includes: 

  • Free attendance at string workshops
  • 2 Free tickets to all regular SKS Concerts (1 student, 1 parent)
  • No participation fee for Honor Orchestra Festival (9-12) (Must be nominated by school director or Dr. Peterson)
  • $100 Discount for Summer Music Festival (9-12)
  • 2-3 concerts per season


$25 Annual Registration Fee (for up to 3 family members)
(4th family member/family - $15, $40 cap per family) 
No additional fee for enrolling in CMS private lessons 

$40 1 ensemble per semester 

$65 2 ensembles per semester 

$85 3 ensembles per semester 

SKS Apprentices - No extra charge (but must be in Camerata)

Build an education.

Build an education.

Academic excellence sets SC apart.

41 main campus and 16 professional studies undergraduate majors, 27 minors, teacher certification in 13 areas, and 6 graduate programs.