Summer String Institutes



High School String Institute, August 4-8, 2014

Piotr Gajewski, Conductor

Middle School String Institute, August 11-15, 2014

Victoria Gau, Conductor


National Philharmonic created the Summer String Institutes in 1998 to nurture the skills and talents of young musicians and encourage their participation in classical music now and throughout their lives. This summer, join National Philharmonic principal players and other distinguished faculty for a challenging and exciting week of chamber and orchestral music. The Senior Institute Orchestra, led by National Philharmonic Maestro Piotr Gajewski, has been cited by the Washington Post as a “precise and elegant ensemble.” The Middle School Institute Orchestra, led by National Philharmonic Associate Conductor Victoria Gau, provides the same intense and high quality experience for younger students. While Summer String Institute students work on ambitious repertoire to develop true professionalism, they also enjoy camaraderie and the adventure of creating great music.

In a day-camp arrangement, each National Philharmonic Summer String Institute is an intensive week of orchestra rehearsals, chamber music rehearsals and coachings, private lessons, and movement classes, culminating with performances by the orchestra and chamber ensembles.


This year's Institutes are at Trinity Lutheran Church, 11200 Old Georgetown Road, North Bethesda, MD 20852 (just north of Tuckerman Lane)



9:00 Sectional Rehearsal
10:35 Coached Chamber Music
11:40 Private Lesson
12:45 Lunch
1:25 Movement Class
2:30 Chamber Music Practice Time
3:35 Orchestra Rehearsal
5:00 Dismissal


The Institutes’ schedules are filled with instruction and rehearsals and do not allow for much practice time. Therefore, it is imperative that students prepare assigned music ahead of time


Students are required to participate in all Institute activities, including the following concerts:
High School Institute – Friday August 8
1:30 p.m. – Informal Chamber Music Concert
7:30 p.m. – Evening Orchestra Concert

Middle School Institute – Friday August 15
1:30 p.m. – Informal Chamber Music Concert
7:30 p.m. – Evening Orchestra Concert

Isiah Johnson, music movement class. On the dance staff at the University of Maryland, Johnson is an active performer, composer, arranger, and piano teacher.

Lori Barnet, cello.   Principal cellist and coordinator of chamber music for the National Philharmonic, Barnet also plays with the Wolf Trap Opera Orchestra, the Contemporary Music Forum, and teaches at George Washington University.

Katherine Budner, violin. Member of the National Philharmonic for over 15 years, Budner is a former concertmaster of the US Air Force Symphony Orchestra and has soloed with that group. She is a free-lance musician in the DC area and teaches privately.

Douglas Dubé, violin. Concertmaster of Baltimore Opera Orchestra and Washington Concert Opera, Dubé also plays with the Washington Opera Orchestra, National Gallery Orchestra, and Wolf Trap Orchestra.

Jody Gatwood, violin. Concertmaster Emeritus of the National Philharmonic, Gatwood was a prize-winner in the Montreal International Music Competition. He has been a soloist with the Houston, Pittsburgh, and Montreal Symphonies and others, and is a faculty member at Catholic University.

Jeffery Koczela, bass. Principal bassist with the Washington Bach Consort and Alexandria Symphony. Koczela teaches at Howard University and performs with the Washington Opera, the Wolf Trap Orchestra, the National Symphony, and other ensembles in the DC area.

Mark Pfannschmidt, viola/violin. Violist with the National Philharmonic and other area ensembles, Pfannschmidt is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and Catholic University. He is a former member of the US Marine Chamber Orchestra.

Jennifer Shannon, violin/viola (MS only) Member ot the National Philharmonic for over 20 years.  Shannon maintains a private studio and helped found the College Park Youth Orchestra. PAst winner of the American String Teachers' Association Teacher of the Year Award.

Judy Silverman, viola/violin. Associate Principal violist of the National Philharmonic, Silverman has received the American String Teachers’ Association’s Teacher of the Year award and the MCYO’s Service to Students award.

Kerry Van Laanen, cello. Cellist with the Washington Opera, Baltimore Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Orchestra, and the National Philharmonic, Van Laanen also teaches privately in the area.

Julius Wirth, viola/violin. Principal Viola with the National Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Wirth is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory.



Mozart, Divertimento K 136

Bach, Concerto for Two Violins in d Minor

Tchaikovsky, Serenade for Strings


Rutter, Suite for Strings

Holst, Brooke Green Suite

McLean, Tango and Serenata


Click on FORMS and then application packet in left sidebar to download and send to:

National Philharmonic
Attn: Victoria Gau, Associate Conductor
The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane
North Bethesda, MD 20852-3385

Copyright © 2014 National Philharmonic