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CSS Staff:

  • Danielle Belen, CSS Founder and Artistic Director
  • Rudy Nesmith, Administration
  • Deniese Nesmith, Administration
  • Bill Haxton, Three Rivers Community Liaison

History of CSS Summer Music Camp:
Center Stage Strings was founded in 2010 by prize-winning violinist and passionate teacher Danielle Belen to develop the talents of young classical music students in the areas of solo and chamber music performance. Set in Three Rivers, California, at the foot of the Sequoias, the natural beauty of the surroundings and the music intertwine to create a unique summer experience. During the camp, students received daily private lessons, participated in Master Classes, attended Guest Artist Recitals open to the public, all of which culminated in Sunday Student Concerts each week. The energy of the Three Rivers community was essential to the growth of Center Stage Strings and for the initial years many families generously opened their homes to our students to stay during the camp.

Because of the success of the first six years of CSS, and the outpouring of suppport from the town of Three Rivers, the camp has grown to have a national presence.  

With the need for expanson, CSS has now moved it's camp east, to the beautiful music campus of the University of Michigan.  The CSS Summer Institute joins the lineup of great summer institutes already available through MPulse in the School of Music Theatre and Dance.  MPulse Center Stage Strings Summer Institute is now four weeks long and continues its growth and leadership under Danielle Belen.

Center Stage Strings will also continue to operate as a nonprofit, providing scholarships and support for students to attend MCSS.  CSS also provides a one-week Performance Festival in Three Rivers, CA, continuing to enrich the cultural diversity of this incredible town that has done so much for young classical musicians. 

Click to view our 2015 Introductory Video and the Documentary
Welcome to Center Stage Strings  (10 min)

Documentary  (15 minutes)

Robert LipsettRobert Lipsett

Master Class Instructor
Faculty, The Colburn School
Arnold SteinhardtArnold Steinhardt

Guarneri Quartet
Gloria de PasqualeGloria de Pasquale

Philadelphia Orchestra

Danielle Belen
  CSS Artistic Director
  Faculty, Univ. of Michigan SMTD
  Faculty, The Colburn School

Kathryn Crask
  2010 Los Angeles ASTA award for
  School Teacher of the Year.

William Haxton
  Three Rivers Performing Arts Institute

Dr. Kouros Azar
  Surgeon and Amateur Violinist

Robert Lipsett
  Jascha Heifetz Chair The Colburn School

Rudy Nesmith
  Camp Administration