Mason Strings Camp

Orchestra summer camp students




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The Mason Strings Camp is designed for string players who want to expand both ensemble and solo playing skills. Led by the GMU Dewberry School of Music faculty, students will participate in both large and small ensemble coachings and small master classes. Participants will benefit from working with renowned professionals and form meaningful connections with other young string players. All students will participate in a final event.

Sample Daily Schedule:
Ensemble Coachings/Assisted Ensemble Rehearsals
Masterclasses on solo repertoire
Special Topics and Presentations such as faculty performances, open masterclasses, sightreading sessions, and lecture demonstrations.

To request assistance, please complete and submit our Scholarship Application as soon as possible.


Ages:  9 – 13
Dates:  July 5 – 9, 2021
Times:  9:00 am – 12:00 pm (M-F)
Tuition:  $278
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, deLaski Performing Arts Building
Audition Submission Deadline:  Monday, June 21
*After Care not available for Summer 2021



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Minimum Level Requirements: Sight-reading and play at a JS Bach Minuet level or above

Audition Material: 2 contrasting excerpts that best demonstrate your ability

All students meeting the minimum playing level will be accepted into this program. Audition material will be used to determine ensemble placement and repertoire. Please upload your video to YouTube as an unlisted video, then email the link to with “Mason Strings Camp_student’s name” in the subject line. All videos must be submitted by Monday, June 21.





Director/Violin Instructor: June Huang
Mason School of Music Professor
Read about Professor Huang

Professor June Huang serves as director of strings at Mason’s School of Music and holds a Masters of Arts in Violin Performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara, where she was a member of the Young Artist String Quartet. She earned a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music as an undergraduate. Professor Huang studied at the Meadowmount School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, Banff Centre for the Arts, and Kneisel Hall. Her primary teachers include Jens Ellerman, Stephen Clapp, Ronald Copes, and Marilyn McDonald.

An active performer in the Washington, D.C. area, she has performed with the National Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Wolf Trap Orchestra, Washington Ballet Orchestra, and Amadeus Orchestra. She is a frequent chamber music collaborator and has appeared in concerts with the Staunton Music Festival, Red Lodge Music Festival, Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia, and Virginia Virtuosi. A specialist on the baroque violin, Ms. Huang plays and records with Opera Lafayette, Four Nations, REBEL Baroque Orchestra and Mannheim Rocket. Leadership positions have included concertmaster of the Washington Bach Consort and the National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra.

Professor Huang is a passionate teacher and has a strong interest in furthering the field of violin pedagogy. She is a guest clinician at many camps, schools, workshops, and clinics. A teacher certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas and a recipient of a research grant from the Levine School of Music, she visited Matsumoto and studied violin pedagogy with Dr. Suzuki.

Professor Huang founded and directed the String Camp/Strings Plus at Levine Music in Washington, D.C. for 26 years.

Cello Instructor: Gerald Fowkes
Mason School of Music Professor
Read about Professor Fowkes

Gerald Fowkes is a 2001 graduate of Louisiana State University where he graduated summa cum laude in Cello Performance. His former teachers and mentors include Dennis Parker, Loran Stephenson, Wesley Baldwin and Pamela Frame. In addition, he has participated in master classes with cellists Gary Hoffman, Aldo Parisot, Erling Blöndal Bengtsson, and Paul Katz, amongst others. A Northern Virginia native, Gerald is an alumnus of the American Youth Philharmonic and a past Virginia Emerson Scholar at the National Music Camp at Interlochen, Michigan.

Mr. Fowkes is a frequent chamber music collaborator and a past fellow at the Hot Springs Music Festival and the Park City International Music Festival. A former member of the Baton Rouge Symphony, Gerald performs frequently as a freelance cellist throughout the Baltimore/Washington metro area having performed with the Virginia, Fairfax, and McLean Orchestras amongst others.

Mr. Fowkes is currently Director of Orchestras at Fairfax High School, Music Director and Conductor of the McLean Youth Orchestra, and on the artist faculty as the orchestra director of the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute. He has had the distinct honor of guest conducting honor orchestras throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a frequent guest conductor at the annual JMU Spring String Thing. He maintains a private cello studio at his home where he resides with his wife and four children.


Viola Instructor: Dr. Renate Falkner
Mason School of Music Professor
Read about Dr. Falkner

Praised for her versatility and creativity, American violist Renate Falkner leads an active career as an educator, recitalist, and orchestral and chamber musician, performing across the U.S. and abroad. Equally at home on both modern and baroque viola, she performs regularly with groups such as the Baltimore Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, and Artis-Naples, and is a former member of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. As a baroque violist, she has performed with Boston Baroque, Tafelmusik, the Yale Collegium Players, and Baltimore’s Pro Musica Rara.

A frequent chamber music collaborator, Dr. Falkner is Artistic Director of the Charm City Chamber Players, an ensemble designed to highlight original repertoire and transcriptions featuring the rich, dark sound of multiple violas and cellos. Having a keen interest in chamber music featuring the viola in more prominent roles, she has been a guest artist with the Fontenay Chamber Players and also frequently collaborates with colleagues in trios for flute, viola and harp or guitar. She has shared the stage alongside such artists as violinist Erick Friedman, violist Jesse Levine, harpists Rita Costanzi and Kayo Ishimaru, oboist Joe Robinson, flutists Sergio Pallottelli and Rhonda Cassano, and guitarist Jose Lezcano. She has been heard in venues as diverse as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book Library, in orchestras at Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Jordan Hall, as well as forums such as the American Harp Society and the National Association of Composers, U.S.A. Summer appearances abroad have included the Verbier Festival, Switzerland, the Spoleto Festival, Italy, and a faculty appointment at the Carvalho Festival of Music in Fortaleza, Brazil. She also performs annually at the Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington. She has recorded for the Chandos, Nimbus, and Rezound music labels. An accomplished educator, Dr. Falkner received her undergraduate training at the Oberlin College and Conservatory, earning degrees in both viola and Ancient Greek, studying with Roland Vamos. She completed her graduate studies at the Yale School of Music as a scholarship student and assistant to the late violist Jesse Levine, and holds a doctorate from the Florida State University, under the direction of Pamela Ryan. Her treatise examining York Bowen’s viola music in the context of the English Musical Renaissance was the first to focus entirely on the composer’s compositions for viola.

Dr. Falkner is an active board member of the American Viola Society, where she is currently Chair of the 2020 AVS Orchestral Excerpt Competition and Seminar. After nearly a decade at the University of North Florida’s School of Music, she and her husband, cellist Steven Thomas, recently relocated to Baltimore. She joins the faculty at the George Mason University School of Music as an Adjunct Professor of Viola and also coaches chamber music through the Peabody Institute’s Preparatory Program.


Dorotea Racz, Cello Lessons
Cello Instructor: Dr. Dorotea Rácz
Mason School of Music Professor
Read about Dr. Rácz

Croatian cellist Dorotea Rácz has concertized throughout Europe, United States, Central, and South America as a soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. Dr. Rácz has performed in prestigious venues such as the Mozarteum in Salzburg (Austria), the Teatro Naval in Buenos Aires (Argentina), the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and the Carnegie Hall in New York (USA). Recent festival appearances include International Festival “Umbria Classica”, International Tango Festival Medellin (Colombia), Festival Musica de Camera San Miguel de Allende (Mexico), and Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival (USA).

A passionate collaborator and advocate of 20th and 21st-century music, Dr. Rácz is the founder and co-director of Audeamus International Music Festival, a performance and teaching festival in Zagreb, Croatia. In addition to the annual festival in Zagreb, Dr. Rácz has directed auxiliary concerts under the auspices of Audeamus in the United States, including “100 Years of Croatian Classical Music” at the Kennedy Center. In 2017, Dr. Rácz has recorded chamber music of Robert Muczynski for a Dutch label Brilliant Classics.

In recent years, Dr. Rácz serves as the principal cellist of the Pan American Symphony Orchestra and a cellist of D.C.-based piano trio Tango Camerata. She has collaborated with Piazzolla protégé Martin Leon, and the tango quintets Forever Tango and F-21. Moreover, Dr. Rácz has presented various concerts of Central and South American music in association with the Latin American Music Center. Most recently, Dr. Rácz appeared as a soloist with the Pan American Orchestra at the Kennedy Center presents the North American premiere of Arturo Marquez Cello Concerto Espejos en la Arena.




This program has been made possible, in part, with support from ACMP Associated Chamber Music Players.

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My son came home each day very positive about his experience and was very eager to continue learning. Thank you for all your effort to make the experience worthwhile for him and the other students.” – Summer Strings Academy 2021 Parent

“I loved the large amount of time we got to play our instruments and the challenging music.” – Summer Strings Academy 2019 Participant

See More Testimonials

“My favorite part of camp was learning new techniques and meeting new people who play the same instrument as me.” – Summer Strings Academy 2019 Participant

“I loved working on chamber music with my coach. I also enjoyed the guest performance and instrument workshop.” – Summer Strings Academy 2018 Participant

“I liked the balance of work and fun, and how the instructors were funny.” – Summer Strings Academy 2018 Participant

“I loved that the kids were treated as professionals!” – Summer Strings Academy 2018 Parent

“I had the opportunity to play in the best orchestra I have ever been in.” – Summer Strings Academy 2017 Participant

“My favorite part was the chamber groups, and the conductor had fantastic energy and enthusiasm!” – Summer Strings Academy 2017 Participant

“Ms. Jackson was a great conductor and the cello sectional was amazing.” – Summer Strings Academy 2017 Participant

“I was impressed by how much they taught us in such little time.” – Summer Strings Academy 2017 Participant

“I enjoyed the rigor…the challenge…and the inspiration to stretch to be a better musician. The music choices were great!” – Summer Strings Academy 2017 Participant




Full Camp List