Strings 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.


Study With

Ronald Francois

  • Professor of Music
  • Violin, Chamber Music
  • Coordinator of Strings Area

(240) 338-7343

Margaret Miller

  • Senior Instructor
  • Viola
  • Coordinator of Graduate String Quartet Program

(719) 660-0878

Alice Yoo

  • Instructor of Music
  • Cello

Forest Greenough

  • Associate Professor of Music
  • Double Bass, Music Theory

Leslie Stewart

  • Instructor of Music
  • String Pedagogy
  • Conductor of Concert Orchestra

(970) 219-5985

Strings Events

University Symphony Orchestra at CMEA

January 27, 2023 at 2:00 PM
The University Symphony Orchestra will perform at the annual Colorado Music Educators Association conference at the Broadmoor Hotel in Jan. The ensemble, under the direction of Maestro Wes Kenney will perform the following program: Sun Dagger by James David Symphony No. 3, Movements 1 and 3 (Juba.) by Florence Price The Planets: Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter by Gustav [...]

Guest Artist Concert: Basil Vendryes, Viola, and William David, Piano / FREE

March 20, 2023 at 7:30 PM
Made in America: Works for viola and piano  Basil Vendryes has been principal violist of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra since 1993. He is a former member of the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Rochester Philharmonic orchestras. As violist with the Aurora String Quartet (1986-95), Vendryes performed extensively, including recitals in New [...]

Classical Convergence: Borromeo String Quartet

April 12, 2023 at 7:30 PM
The award-winning quartet is admired for both its fresh interpretations of the classical music canon and its championing of works by 20th and 21st century composers. CLASSICAL CONVERGENCE CONCERT SERIES Building on the foundation of the classical music tradition, but with a contemporary edge, the co-produced season features world-class performers and ensembles, performing at the [...]

Strings News

Wes Kenny and USO students

Orchestra Alumni invited to play with the CSU symphony to celebrate Maestro Kenney’s retirement


Dear CSU Symphony, Sinfonia and Opera Orchestra alumni, It is my hope that you have continued to use the skills learned through the repertoire and ensemble playing you experienced at CSU. When I began my tenure at CSU’s School of Music, Theater, and Dance twenty years ago, it was my hope that we could build […]

Alice Yoo promo photo

Announcing Alice Yoo as CSU’s new cello professor


The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at Colorado State University is pleased to announce that Alice Yoo will join the music faculty this fall as instructor of cello. Ms. Yoo brings a wealth of experience to Colorado State University, including performances throughout the U.S., as well as in South Korea and Bolivia. She previously […]

Strings Blog

North Pacific Ocean Map

Our Korean Experience, Entry #9

Director of Orchestras Wes Kenney and Music Professor Leslie Stewart are spending two weeks in South Korea where Maestro Kenney will conduct the Changwon Philharmonic. These entries document their latest experience! Saturday, June 22 Four laps around the lake starts what will be a long travel day. We choose to have breakfast outside the hotel […]


Borromeo String Quartet promotional photo

Borromeo String Quartet: The visionary performances of the ensemble have established them as one of the most important string quartets of our time. The Chicago Tribune calls the Borromeo “a remarkably accomplished string quartet, not simply for its high technical polish and refined tone, but more importantly for the searching musical insights it brings.”

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.