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Summer String Workshop



June 22 - June 26, 2015

The Summer String Workshop is a 5-day workshop designed to bring young string students together with distinguished teachers and musicians from the greater Pittsburgh area for an inspiring week of music making. Students are challenged in a supportive environment to cultivate musical growth by small and large ensemble participation, singing and performing in the chorus, and exploring the creative process of expression using percussion instruments. 

New this year! - Chamber Music

Students are required to take a placement audition in person or submit a recording so chamber groups can be assigned and music sent out prior to the Workshop. Please prepare a solo piece and one scale. (piano accompaniment not required)

Live audition: Sunday, April 19th, 2-5pm (Students enrolled in the CMU Preparatory School are exempt from auditioning as their performance on the May recital will serve as their placement audition)

Creative Expression (NEW)

Students use instruments, voices, and percussion to create their own original compositions. Working with Jennie Dorris, who has developed creative projects with young musicians across the country, students will find joy in making music and will enjoy a creative and social outlet for their talents. Practical application of music theory and compositional techniques from classical masterworks blends as students create their pieces in small ensembles. Students will also explore the scores and stories behind the great composers and their music.  Students will have the opportunity to perform their pieces in conjunction with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble's summer season.

Ages 7-14

At least 1-2 years of private instruction is required. Students must be able to read music fluently.  Previous group or ensemble experience is highly recommended.

Daily Schedule
9:00 am – 5:00 pm

Summer String Workshop Brochure (Check back soon for 2015 SSW brochure)

Summer String Workshop Registration

Registration due by April 30, 2015. Limited scholarships based on financial need are available.  Download here: Scholarship Form*

*If submitting a Scholarship Form, a complete Registration Form must be submitted with your Scholarship Form

Phone:  412-268-3667

Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts (#5 on the map), 
Carnegie Mellon University

Students should bring lunch and a drink (refrigeration is not provided).

Students are expected to attend all daily classes, recitals, and the final concert.

Faculty Recital
Monday, June 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm in Kresge Theatre, College of Fine Arts

Final Concert
Friday, June 26 at 3:00 pm, Kresge Theatre, College of Fine Arts

The Summer String Workshop will conclude with performances by the Chorus, small ensembles, and the Sinfonia and Philharmonic Orchestras. Concerts are free of charge and open to all families and friends. 

2015 Faculty 

MaryBeth Schotting, violin coach, Director, Summer String Workshop

Daniel Meyer, Conductor, Philharmonic

Steve Ehrlich, Conductor, Sinfonia

Lisa Hoffman, Director, Chorus

Anne Jackovic, violin coach

Olga Taimanov, violin and viola coach

Paula Tuttle, cello coach

Elisa Kohanski, cello coach

Jennie Dorris, Creative Expression


All students participate and are placed according to age and skill level in the Sinfonia or Philharmonic Orchestra. Seating auditions will be held on the first day. Audition music will be sent out in June.


Students explore the medium of voice, enhancing ear training and developing a stronger musical connection to their string instrument.

Chamber Music (NEW)

Students will be assigned a chamber music group prior to the start of the Workshop.

Students can either submit a recording or audition in person by the application deadline to be placed in a chamber music group.  Once they have been assigned, music will be sent out to learn and prepare in advance of the Workshop.  

Groups will be assigned a coach at the Workshop, and those ready to perform will be given the opportunity to play on the final concert. 

Creative Expression (NEW)

Students use instruments, voices, and percussion to create their own original compositions. Working with Jennie Dorris, who has developed creative projects with young musicians across the country, students will find joy in making music and will enjoy a creative and social outlet for their talents. Practical application of music theory and compositional techniques from classical masterworks blends as students create their pieces in small ensembles. Students will also explore the scores and stories behind the great composers and their music.  Students will have the opportunity to perform their pieces in conjunction with the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble's summer season.


Students are divided into smaller groups by instrument and work with a coach to prepare music for orchestra.


Jennie Dorris

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Jennie Dorris is a writer, percussionist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Pittsburgh. She performs with Alia Musica, a new music ensemble, and Crusic Percussion, with whom she has planned collaborative concerts featuring chamber music, writing, film, and dance.

Jennie has developed innovative education programs that allow students to create their own musical works. She is the new Education Director for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and she is a teaching artist through the Pittsburgh Symphony’s  Meet the Maestro program, where she has performed and taught interdisciplinary programs that weave music into the environment, the solar system, and film. 

Steve Ehrlich

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A resident of North Hills, Steve Ehrlich is a life-long Pittsburgher attending Carrick High School and Duquesne University. While at Duquesne, Steve earned he earned a B.S. Degree in Music Education and a Master’s degree in Cello Performance. Since then Steve has been a free-lance musician in the Pittsburgh area for the last 20 years. He has performed with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Vincent Chamber Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony; and as principal cello of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, performing various solos and concertos. Steve also performs many chamber music events yearly as cellist and leader of Steve Ehrlich Strings.  He is also a private studio instructor on all stringed instruments. As a conductor, Steve has lead the Edgewood Symphony, Opus II String Sinfonietta, the Musik Innovations Summer Chamber Orchestra and The Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras Sinfoniette. Steve is also currently the Orchestra Director for the East Allegheny School District and District 1 President of the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association.


Lisa Hoffman


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Lisa Hoffmann began her musical studies at the age of four, beginning with violin and later studying piano, organ and voice.  Throughout her studies, she competed in numerous performance competitions and was named winner of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition, as well as winning the Claire Whitehurst-Ulrich National Piano Award.  Ms. Hoffmann attended Duquesne University, where she studied piano under Mr. Kenneth Burky and received her bachelor’s degree in music education.  In 2008, Ms. Hoffmann began teaching music in the Shaler Area school district, where she currently teaches general music and chorus. Ms. Hoffmann also serves as assistant director of music ministry at St. Alexis Parish in Wexford, Pennsylvania, and director of the Westminster Presbyterian Church Junior Choir in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania.  She teaches private piano and vocal lessons in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, where she resides with her husband and son. 


Anne Jackovic

Artist Lecturer in Solfege

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Professional violinist, orchestral musician, and teacher, Anne Jackovic discovered her unique talent at the age of two. She exudes passion and dedication through exquisite performances. Her first training was received at the Carnegie Mellon Preparatory School while studying violin privately. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in Violin Performance under the instruction of Cyrus Forough, she returned to obtain her Masters degree. Throughout her career, she has placed in many competitions throughout Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Keynotes Scholarship Competition, Pittsburgh Concert Society, WQED-FM, and Duquesne City Music Center recognized her talent and dedication through awards and Scholarships. Carnegie Mellon University chose Jackovic as the 2005 "Most Outstanding Senior", presenting her with the Harry G. Archer Award. Additionally, she was featured as a soloist in a royal concert for Prince Philippe and Princess Christine of Chimay, Belgium. Winning her first professional audition, Jackovic became a member of the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra in September of 2005. Since that time, she has also won section positions with the Pittsburgh Opera Orchestra, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, Assistant Concertmaster with the Erie Philharmonic

Jackovic teaches violin throughout the Pittsburgh community. While completing her Masters degree at Carnegie Mellon, she substituted as a Solfege instructor for several university level classes. In the summer of 2006, she was appointed to be the Solfege instructor for the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College students. She has recently been appointed Artist Lecturer in Solfege for the School of Music and is currently on the violin faculty for the String Preparatory School.


Elisa Kohanski

cello coach

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A native of Warwick, Rhode Island, Elisa Kohanski is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she studied with Pamela Frame.  Elisa received her Masters of Music from Carnegie Mellon University as a student of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Anne Martindale Williams and David Premo.  Ms. Kohanski is principal cellist in the Wheeling Symphony and performs with several other regional orchestras, including the Erie Philharmonic, and the Columbus, Youngstown and West Virginia Symphonies.  She serves as adjunct faculty at Seton Hill University teaching students ages five to 60.

Ms. Kohanski is an avid chamber musician and concertizes often with her fellow musicians in Warwick and Pittsburgh.  Recently she worked collaboratively with Mimi Lerner as part of the opera Theatre of Pittsburgh’s Holocaust Memorial Concerts and performed in a piano trio awarded first prize in the Silberman Chamber Music Competition.  She is a founding member of the Trio Twazami, a cello trio which presented over 75 multi-media concerts as part of a rural residency in Somerset and Pulaski Counties, Kentucky, a program which was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, Center for Rural Development and New Performing Arts.

Elisa resides in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood but travels extensively, having performed in an array of local and international venues, including the Schlossfestpiele in Heidelberg, Germany; the AIMS Opera Festival in Graz, Austria; Royal Albert Hall in London, England; Carnegie Hall in New York City; and locally at Carnegie Music Hall, Pittsburgh Playhouse and Hazlett Theatre.  She has performed with artists including Phil Keaggy, Robert Shaw, Garrison Keillor, John Tesh, and Olivia Newton John.  For the holiday season this year, Ms. Kohanski joined the Montovani Orchestra for a tour through America’s heartland from Texarkana to Long Island.


Daniel Meyer

Conductor, Philharmonic

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As Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Meyer conducts over 70 performances this season, including subscription, young people’s, community, and pops concerts. He leads “Symphony with a Splash,” an innovative series of concerts designed for professionals as well as the Sunday matinee series for families, “Popular Classics.” Committed to education and young audiences, Mr. Meyer has developed a new series of Tiny Tots concerts based on popular children’s books. He has been featured on WQED-FM, KDKA-TV, in Pittsburgh magazine, and has appeared as a guest lecturer at the Carnegie Mellon Business School. Last June he led the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony in a special performance at the first-ever National Performing Arts Convention, and in June 2005 he will lead the PYSO on its first international tour in fifteen years to Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. In December 2004, Mr. Meyer was named Music Director of the Asheville Symphony, only the fourth conductor to hold that position in the orchestra’s history.

Mr. Meyer was a full-fellowship Academy Conductor for two seasons at the Aspen Music Festival and winner of the 2002 Aspen Conducting Prize. His residency at Aspen culminated in a performance at the Blossom Festival, where he made his debut conducting the Cleveland Orchestra. In 2003 he served as Assistant Conductor to David Zinman in Aspen, and this past summer, he returned to lead a subscription performance. Highlighting his commitment to new music and contemporary composers, Mr. Meyer led several premiere performances while at Aspen. He was featured conductor on the “Adventures in Listening” new music series and also appeared on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

A native of Cleveland, Mr. Meyer was featured at the American Symphony Orchestra League’s 2003 National Conductor Preview with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. He has conducted the Cleveland Orchestra, Utah, Forth Worth, San Antonio, Syracuse, Tallahassee, Asheville, Mansfield, Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Wheeling symphonies. He has also led the Missouri Chamber Orchestra, Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati, Aspen Concert Orchestra, Academy of Conducting Orchestra and Contemporary Ensemble. 

Mr. Meyer is a graduate of Denison University and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He composed and conducted works for ensembles at both schools, including a Stabat Mater for soprano, chorus and orchestra. As a student at Boston University, Mr. Meyer received the Orchestral Conducting Honors Award. He also studied at the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Austria as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar.

Prior to his appointments in Pittsburgh, Mr. Meyer was Assistant Conductor of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the KSO Youth Sinfonia. He has prepared orchestras for Robert Shaw, Lukas Foss, Joseph Silverstein, and James Conlon, and choruses for two recordings with the Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel. As Assistant Conductor of Cincinnati’s Vocal Arts Ensemble, Mr. Meyer designed and conducted a series of ASCAP award-nominated educational concerts for inner-city schools. In addition to his work as a conductor and composer, Mr. Meyer has been active as a violinist, pianist, and vocalist.


MaryBeth Schotting

Director, String Preparatory Division; Director, Summer String Workshop

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MaryBeth G. Schotting serves on the violin faculty of Carnegie Mellon University as Artist Lecturer in Violin and Director of the String Preparatory Division, a program she was asked to create and has developed since 2002. She also teaches violin to undergraduates in the Music Extension Division of Carnegie Mellon. Since Ms. Schotting’s tenure as Director of the String Preparatory Division, she founded and is Director of the Summer String Workshop, a one week program of masterclasses and chamber orchestra. She also conducts and directs the Violin Choir of the String Preparatory School, a select group she created of young violinists that perform around Pittsburgh.

Ms. Schotting has taught extensively the past nineteen years, continuing the lineage of her renowned teachers. Her violin studies have been with Alan Bodman, Linda Cerone, Stephen Majeske, Syoko Aki, and Andres Cardenes, Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Before moving to Pittsburgh, Ms. Schotting taught at Connecticut College, Yale University, and was assistant to Isaac Malkin of the Manhattan School of Music. In the past few years, her students have placed in local competitions including the Duquesne Young Artist’s Competition, Westmoreland Young Artist’s Competition, and the Lois Streator/ Louis Smith Young Artist’s Competition. Many of her current students play in the youth symphonies of Pittsburgh, including the Symphonettes, Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony and have held principal positions.

Ms. Schotting also has extensive orchestral experience, and currently performs with the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras. She has played with a multitude of orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Akron Symphony, Westmoreland Symphony, and countless orchestras in Connecticut including the Waterbury Symphony, Connecticut Chamber Virtuosi, and New Music New Haven. She has also performed with the Music on the Edge series for the University of Pittsburgh. Ms. Schotting has performed at music festivals around the world including the Sunflower Music Festival , Breckenridge Music Festival, Colorado Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, Spoleto Music Festival USA and Italy, and at music festivals in Austria and France.

Ms. Schotting has a Bachelor’s and Master’s of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Yale University, and a Performance Residency Certificate from Carnegie Mellon University. She has played solo and chamber music recitals in New York City, South Carolina with Chamber Music Hilton Head, for the Tuesday Musical Club in Akron, Ohio and in Pittsburgh for the Steinway Society. She has received awards for her chamber musicianship from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, as well as performing for former President Clinton. Ms. Schotting has won numerous violin competitions, including the Tuesday Musical Club in Akron, Ohio, and has soloed with local orchestras including the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra and Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic.


Olga Taimanov

violin & viola coach

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Olga Taimanov is a native of Leningrad and attended the Special Music School for Gifted Children in Leningrad, Russia. She was graduated from Leningrad State Conservatory and earned her Artist Diploma from Duquesne University.

Mrs. Taimanov has held numerous orchestra positions, such as Principal Violist of St.-Petersburg Chamber Orchestra “Mozarteum”, Principal Violist of the State Symphony Orchestra “Klassica” and Associate Principal Viola of the Israel Kibbutz Chamber Orchestra.

Mrs. Taimanov’s orchestra experience also includes performances with the world well-known Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed under such great conductors as Zubin Mehta, Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, S.Harth, G.Herbig, Y.Temirkanov, M.Janson and many others.

Mrs. Taimanov’s chamber music experience includes performing at many international chamber music festivals such as “Abu-Gosh” in Israel, ”Villa Music” in Germany, ”The White Nights” in Russia and “Goetehanum” in Switzerland.

Mrs. Taimanov has received awards including winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition in 2001 and being nominated for the National All-American Scholar Collegiate Award in 2002.

Mrs. Taimanov continues to be an active performer and teacher. Her busy schedule includes solo, chamber and orchestral performances. In the past she performed with numerous orchestras around Pittsburgh, including Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet as well as Wheeling Symphony and Three Rivers City orchestra in WV.

Formerly, member of Erie Philharmonic, currently Associate member of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, OH.

Mrs. Taimanov is a well-known violin and viola teacher at the Great Pittsburgh Area. Mrs.Taimanov is a faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University and she has a large violin and viola studio at the Johnstonbaugh’s Music Center. 


Paula Tuttle

Cello coach

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A Pittsburgh native, Paula Tuttle (Cello) has traveled and performed throughout the US, Europe and the Far East as orchestral musician, soloist and chamber music artist. She played as Principal Cello for the internationally renowned Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, and the Festival of the Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy. She presented numerous recitals in France during three summers at the Acadamie Franco-Americaine in Vaison-la-Romaine, Provence.

She has been active as soloist and recitalist in the Western Pennsylvania region with the Slippery Rock Piano Trio since 2004. As a member of the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, she has been Assistant Principal as well as Principal Cello since 1987. In addition to providing private lessons, Ms. Tuttle teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. More information about Ms. Tuttle is available on her website at: