String Area


The CSU string area seeks to empower students with the knowledge, skills and experience needed for a successful career in music. One-on-one training with artist/scholars, chamber ensemble coaching sessions, rehearsals and concerts with the University Symphony and Sinfonia Orchestras promote the intellectual, creative and artistic growth of each student. We believe that total musicianship involves training the artists of the future to have a breadth of knowledge. Professional musicians today are performers, scholars, educators and active supporters of the cause of music. Our string program guides the aspiring musician towards the fulfillment of these goals.

POSTPONED Virtuoso Series Concert: Romina Monsanto, Cello

March 4, 2024 at 7:30 PM
New date TBD - thank you. Unexpected With Juhyun Lee, Piano, and Margaret Miller, Viola The expectations about music change according to history and individual perception, and over time, composers have been exploring sounds to create their musical language. This type of exploration can be an exciting experience for audiences. Faculty artist Romina Monsanto with [...]

String Chamber Music Concert / FREE

April 28, 2024 at 7:30 PM
The string area invites you to attend the spring concert of undergraduate and graduate students performing works from the extensive chamber music canon. String professors include Ron Francois, violin, Margaret Miller, viola, Romina Monsanto, cello, and Dr. Forest Greenough, double bass.

Graduate String Quartet

April 29, 2024 at 7:30 PM
Come join the Graduate Quartet for a program of the only string quartet by Maurice Ravel, and the first of Ludwig van Beethoven's late quartets.  

String News

Flowers in front of UCA

Viola Professor Margaret Miller was a prolific presenter in 2023


If you are a viola student or string instructor in the state of Colorado, you’ve most likely interacted with CSU viola professor, Margaret Miller. In 2023, the senior instructor of music coached, adjudicated, and performed at multiple conferences, academies, masterclasses, and camps across the Front Range and beyond. Here are some of Ms. Miller’s recent […]

The Duo Francois FICA21 Promotional Poster

Violin Professor Ron Francois and the Duo Francois travel to Mexico for annual festival


The Duo Francois – comprised of CSU faculty violinist Ron Francois and pianist Silvana Santinelli – will be featured at the FICA21 festival at the University of Veracruzana in Xalapa, Mexico. The International Camerata 21 Festival (FICA 21) of the Faculty of Music of the Universidad Veracruzana (UV) has been held uninterrupted since 1998. Founded by […]

Welcoming Romina Monsanto as CSU’s new cello professor


The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance welcomes our new cello professor, Romina Monsanto, to the faculty. Ms. Monsanto is active regionally as a teacher at Aims Community College, maintains a private studio, and is a frequent performer; she is “all but dissertation” status with the University of Northern Colorado’s doctor of arts program. Ms. […]


Mendelssohn Trio 2021 Promotional Photo

The Mendelssohn Trio: Formed in 1988, the trio is named for cellist Barbara Thiem's great grandfather, Franz von Mendelssohn, a nephew of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy and an important supporter of artists and musicians in the Berlin of the early 20th century. While performing the standard repertoire of the 18th and 19th centuries the trio has made an effort to introduce its audiences to works by 20th century American and European composers. The members give frequent concerts and work closely with students on chamber music projects.

Duo Francois Promotional Photo

The Duo Francois has been performing at National and International venues since 2008.  This dynamic and versatile duo are known for their interpretations of the classic repertoire and are champions of new compositions in the violin and piano genre.  Several pieces have been composed for the Duo Francois by some of the finest composers of the 21st century.

Their latest CD entitled "Mexico City Blues" featuring three commissioned works earned the Duo a silver medal in both the 'Duo' and 'Emerging Artist' categories at the Global Music Awards and also received regognition by the American Prize in the category of chamber music.

Since 2008, the Duo Francois has also provided masterclasses and lessons, nationally and internationally, to numerous prospective students, and many of these students have pursued graduate work at CSU as a result.

Graduate String Quartet Program

Prerequisites for Admission: Bachelor’s Degree in Music, variety of solo and chamber music repertoire.


  • Assistance in developing artistic and business-related aspects for a successful quartet career
  • Participation in LEAP courses is encouraged
  • Seminar Topics Include:
    • Outreach Program Development
    • Creative Programming
    • Commissioning New Works
    • Arts Leadership & Administration
    • Chamber Music literature/Pedagogy
    • Supervised Coaching Experience

Students will be Involved in the Following:

  • Daily Rehearsal Time
  • Dedicated ensemble rehearsal space in our new state-of-the-art teaching and performance facility
  • Weekly Coaching

Additional Professional Work Available:

  • Opportunities with four professional symphonies in Northern Colorado
  • Teaching Opportunities
  • Chamber Music Performances

For more information, please contact Margaret Miller.