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.

Pedagogy = The Art of Teaching

Did you know there are currently extraordinary opportunities for a career combining performance and teaching? Let us prepare you for the high professional demands of this rewarding field. At Colorado State University, we emphasize the importance of performing AND teaching.

Focus on Private Studio Pedagogy

This track prepares you to teach violin, viola, or cello in a private studio setting or music school. The curriculum follows guidelines established by the American String Teachers Association and includes comprehensive training in methods developed by renowned pedagogues such as Robert Gillespie, Paul Rolland, and Phyllis Young. Our award-winning, internationally recognized faculty will observe and guide you as you gain valuable experience teaching beginning and intermediate students.


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

Classical Convergence: Rachel Lee Priday, Violin, and Bryan Wallick, Piano

October 20, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Violinist Rachel Lee Priday is a consistently exciting artist, renowned globally for her spectacular technique, sumptuous sound, deeply probing musicianship and “irresistible panache.” (Chicago Tribune) Priday is joined by Bryan Wallick, one of the great American virtuoso pianists of his generation. CLASSICAL CONVERGENCE CONCERT SERIES Building on the foundation of the classical music tradition, but [...]

Guest Artist Concert: Brazil Trio / FREE

October 21, 2022 at 7:30 PM
Brazilian Gems for Violin, Viola, and Piano This exciting and varied concert highlights the breadth of the Brazilian classical music tradition. This program features works by important Brazilian composers including Carmargo Guarnieri, Flausino Vale, Brenno Blauth, Marlos Nobre, and Henrique de Curitiba.

String Chamber Ensemble / FREE

November 8, 2022 at 7:30 PM
The undergraduate string ensembles will present a variety of works in the fall concert. Concert programs are available in a virtual format only and may be viewed via a QR code at the performance when available.

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.