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CSS 2017 Festival & Camp Update

Festival in Three Rivers, California
Danielle BelenGreat music inspires, energizes and brings people together and that is what our performances in Three Rivers are centered around. Looking out at the audience and seeing the many faces of the crowd covered with enthusiasm, passion, curiosity and warmth is both comforting and invigorating to the artists on stage.

Over a span of just a few days in May, six musicians joined forces and performed masterpieces by Brahms and Beethoven juxtaposed with 20th century Swiss composer Frank Martin and even a premiere of a solo cello piece by Los Angeles based composer, George N. Gianopoulos, among many other works.

Center Stage Strings, which fondly remembers and celebrates Three Rivers as its original home, has an ever-present connection with our May Performance Festival. Student Alumni and Faculty from CSS are connected by their love for the Three Rivers community and playing music amongst the beautiful Sierras. This summer we invited Alum Adam Millstein, violin student at CSS in '11 and '12, to join us in Brahms Piano Quintet. Adam is finishing his performance degree at the University of Michigan, at the brink of beginning of his own professional career, and he blended right in with my colleagues.

We also continue the CSS tradition of providing educational opportunities for the public. We held an "open rehearsal", where the audience witnessed our behind-the-scene antics in a casual and candid setting. The small crowd had great questions and said they enjoyed it as much as the concert itself. My feeling was that we rehearsed even more effectively when we had a crowd to impress!

My colleagues Elbert Tsai, Jennie Jung, Lauren Chipman, Vardan Gasparyan and I had a fantastic time putting together the programs and seeing them come to life. I am humbled to have such talented and giving musicians as some of my closest friends, and to perform with them on stage for the audiences in Three Rivers is a total dream come true.

I am personally also looking forward to this Fall, when I will perform in Three Rivers alongside the Calidore String Quartet and CSS alumni favorite, Kevin Miura, in a final celebration concert for the Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute.

CSS Camp - Ann Arbor, Michigan
The first week of Center Stage Strings always goes by somewhat slowly. The kids are learning where they "fit in" at the camp, teachers are getting to know the students' individual needs, the cafeteria lines move like molasses as we all determine whether it's a hamburger or a salad kind-of-day. Soon enough, however, the days begin to disappear quickly with all the hustle and bustle of lessons, technique classes, and concerts. Over a four week span, our students attended nearly twenty live performances and half a dozen master classes. They rehearsed chamber music daily and performed proudly in their string quartets to enthusiastic audiences. Taking a break from the musical intensity, the campers went kayaking down the Huron River, staged an impromptu water balloon fight and even ran a competitive series of three-legged-races.

One of the highlights of CSS 2017 was the week-long intensive chamber music program with the vibrant Calidore String Quartet. Not only did our students coach with them and witness their tremendously inspiring performance, many of our CSS students were selected to work and actually perform "side-by-side" with the Calidores on stage. It was an experience everyone will remember for years to come.

We are already planning for summer of 2018 and anticipating a wonderful crop of new and returning gifted young artists.

Musically yours,
Danielle Belen
Artistic Director

TRPAI Announces Final Celebration Concert
October 21, 2017 Concert in Three Rivers

Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute (TRPAI) is holding a Final Celebration Concert in Three Rivers on October 21, 2017.  For more information and to purchase tickets, click below.

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Scholarships for Students
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We are proud to announce that this year was our strongest and most diverse applicant pool in our 8 year history of Center Stage Strings, outstanding in terms of level and enthusiasm. The applicants represented top students from across the country, as well as from South America and Asia.

Like any worthy venture, this comes with a price tag. Tuition for the institute is $4,050, which covers tuition, room and board. It is a competitive fee with other summer institutes of the same length, while offering more individual attention and performance opportunities.

Many of our CSS families simply cannot afford this fee, due to the financial demands of costly instruments, private lessons, and college audition tours, in addition to summer camp. We are well aware of these demands and never turn a deserving student away for financial reasons.

While some scholarship money is available through the MPulse Summer Institute, Center Stage Strings provides over $35,000 each summer to CSS Three Rivers Alumni, many of whom are from California.

Donations to our Scholarship Fund will make the difference for many of these deserving students to have a life-changing summer musical experience.

Center Stage Strings Summer Institute
June 18 - July 15

For detailed information, CLICK HERE.

Please browse our website for information on the camp as well as concerts and master classes presented by world class guest artists.

View high quality videos from the CSS Music Camp and Festival on the Center Stage Strings YouTube Channel

We'd love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments. Please visit our Contact Page. We are also on Facebook so you can become a friend of Center Stage Strings today!

Center Stage Strings - In The News   Photos from the 2015 Summer Camp in Three Rivers

Center Stage Strings is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donations are 100% tax deductable. Your contributions will help make it possible for us to continue to provide this unique experience to deserving students. Donate Today.

For further information, please email