• ys2
    • April 25, 2015
    • April 25, 2015
    • Vivaldi
Erica Shirts

New Director for the Duke University String School!


Jane Hawkins, on behalf of the Duke University String School Director Search Committee: Eric Pritchard, Jane Hawkins, Scott Laird, Jonathan Bagg writes:


It is with great pleasure that we announce the appointment of Erica Shirts as Director of the Duke University String School. Director Shirts' appointment will begin on August 1, 2015. Erica brings to this position her deep knowledge of early string education, her extensive leadership experience and a forward looking perspective (a short biographical sketch of Erica is included below).


The Duke University String School Director Search Committee would like to express our deep gratitude to Stephanie Swisher for her leadership during the transition year. Stephanie's considerable experience as a teacher and administrator have served the DUSS admirably these past months and we look forward to her continued involvement with the school and the invaluable help we know she'll offer the new Director.


Of course, we can't make this announcement without mentioning the leadership provided by the Duke University String School's founder, Mrs. Dorothy Kitchen; without Dorothy's vision and determination this next step in the life of the school would not be possible. Dorothy and Erica have already met as have Stephanie and Erica so you can be assured the running of the School during this transition time will be smooth.


You can expect to hear from Erica quite soon and the DUSS faculty and the Search Committee are looking forward to introducing Erica at Orientation in the Fall.


You may read Erica's bio here.

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 Photos from our first camp. Students age 5 to 14 years came together for a week of playing, taught by DUSS teachers and assisted by DUSS teens.

 Our current newsletter can be read here.

Concerts: 2015 - 2016 Season

All Orchestra concerts are held in Baldwin Auditorium.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Sunday, May 1, 2016 

 


 
 

Welcome to the Duke University String School!

 

 

Orientation: August 28 and 29

Auditions: August 28, 29, 30

 

Friday, August 28 5-6:00 pm: Orientation for Beginner Violin and Beginner Cello, as well as Violin and Cello Choirs I and II.

Auditions (Beginner Group Classes for Violin and Cello do not audition)

6:00 - 7:00 Cello Choir I and II  Room 086

6:00 - 9:00 pm Violin Choir I and II Room 104

 

Saturday, August 29, 8:30-9:30 am, Bone Hall: Orientation for all students in the Youth Symphony, Concert String Orchestra, and Intermediate String Orchestra.

Auditions:

9:30 - 10 am: Percussion, Bone Hall

10am-2pm: Cello, Bass, and Viola, Rm 035

10am-5pm: Violin, Rm 041                          

Sunday August  30: 10am-3pm: Violin, Rm 041

3:10 pm-4 pm: Wind and Brass, Rm 042


Alternate Auditions for Violins:  Monday, Aug 31, 5:30 - 9 pm, DUSS Office, Rm 09

 

SignUp links for auditions will be sent out Wednesday Aug 19th. These will be emailed to all students who have registration.

Registration is now open for Returning and New Students.  Register 

Scholarship Assistance Information

A Letter from Our New Director, Erica Shirts

Dear Duke University String School parents and students,

I am thrilled to join the DUSS team and family beginning in August, and I am writing to introduce myself a little to the DUSS community.  Everyone I have met so far has been incredibly supportive and welcoming, and I am eager to get to know each one of you!

 My husband and I moved to the Triangle two years ago for his graduate studies in Analytics at NC State and we have quickly fallen in love with the area.  My husband currently works a data analyst, and we have really enjoyed getting to know Raleigh and Durham, as well as the rest of North Carolina.

 As some of you may have read from the letter sent out recently, I studied violin performance at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as well as the Jacobs School of music at Indiana University in Bloomington.  My most rewarding experience during these years was teaching in the IU String Academy, and I am excited to bring what I learned there to the DUSS.  Since moving to the area, I have been teaching with Kidznotes as the Violin Director of the program, which has included leading several group classes as well as writing the violin and viola curricula of the program both in Raleigh and Durham.  I am also currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Fayetteville Symphony and I regularly perform with the North Carolina Symphony, the North Carolina Opera, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle on violin as well as viola. 

 I am amazed by Dorothy Kitchen and her life work at bringing this program from just a few violinists 48 years ago to the full pre-college string program and mainstay in the Durham community that it is today.  As you all know, Mrs. Kitchen is an incredible woman and I am deeply humbled by her support as well as her kindness to me.  I am also very grateful to Stephanie Swisher for her great work in this past year of transition.  Ms. Swisher has been incredibly patient and thorough with me in our meetings to get me up to speed on the inner workings of the program.  I know that I could not do this job without either of these two incredible women and their hard work and passion for music education.

 I will be working over the next 6 weeks to get ready for orientation, auditions, and the start of the program in the fall.  I do not officially begin until August and will be on vacation with my family from July 21-August 10th, so please send any urgent questions you may have before then to either Ms. Swisher or Katharine Whitmore who will field your questions until I get back.

 I will be sending a follow-up email very soon with information regarding dates of orientation, the audition process, new ensembles, the scholarship application process, updated tuition rates, and several exciting new opportunities for the students of the DUSS as soon as this information is all in place. 

 I am looking forward to a great year of musical development and enjoyment!

With warmest regards,

Erica Shirts

 


 

 

Questions? Please email Katharine Whitmore: