String Society 2021

For String Players Ages 13-18

Calling young artists to the stage!

We’re excited to perform with you live this summer! Cultivate your musicianship skills and connect your passion for performing with a side-by side experience with sought-after performing artists.

Students will immerse themselves in chamber orchestra rehearsals, sectionals, and private lessons. Students will have the opportunity to share a solo piece in the performance class and gain insights into various musical topics in the seminar workshop. The week will culminate in the Grand Finale Concert, which will feature the students and faculty performing various chamber orchestra pieces and is open to family and friends.

Auditions will be on Zoom:
Monday, 5/3/21 and Tuesday, 5/4/21 3:30-6:00 p.m.*

*If a live audition on zoom is not possible, video submissions will be accepted up until Tuesday, 5/4/21. Please email videos to Annaliesa Place:

Audition requirements:

  1. scale (2-3 octaves)
  2. arpeggio (2-3 octaves)
  3. solo piece (piano accompaniment not required)

Open to violinists, violists, cellists, and bassists ages 13-18

Sample schedule:

  • 9:00-9:45                     Chamber Orchestra/Sectional
  • 9:50-10:35                   Chamber Orchestra/Sectional
  • 10:40-11:25                 Yoga/Sports/Practice Sign-up
  • 11:30-12:00                 Hearty Snack
  • 12:05-12:45                 Private Lesson
  • 12:50-1:30                   Seminar/Performance Class

Grand Finale Concert is Friday, July 30 12:30 p.m. at Hajjar Auditorium.


  • Annaliesa Place, violin/viola
  • Diego Garcia, conductor/cello
  • Ella Heifets, violin/viola
  • Ani Kalayjian, cello
  • Pedro Giraudo, bass

About Directors: Annaliesa Place, violin/viola and Diego Garcia, cello/bass

Diego Garcia (Associate Director of Strings/Conductor) (Cello) Born in Cali, Colombia, he entered the Antonio Maria Valencia Conservatory at the age of five, where he began his musical studies in piano, cello, and conducting. This set the stage for a multifaceted career as a performer, conductor, and educator. Over the past decade, Diego has become a sought-after composer for instrumental and choral works. His music has been broadcasted several times on NPR’s ‘Live from Hochstein’. Recent commissions have included the original score to the independent film Heart of Tango, Rochester Oratorio Society, and Gibbs & Main. Currently, Diego is a conductor and cello instructor at D-E and he also serves as Orchestra Director of the JCC Thurnauer School of Music Symphony Orchestra.

Annaliesa Place (Director of Strings) (Violin) is a passionate performer and educator.  She performs across the United States and abroad with various ensembles including the East Coast Chamber Orchestra (ECCO).  She is featured on recordings with Absolute Ensemble for Sony Classical, ECCO for EOne Records, and Sting’s album Symphonicities.  She is also featured in the 2019 Warner Bros. Movie, Western Stars with Bruce Springsteen. Annaliesa has also performed and recorded with Peter Gabriel, Stevie Wonder, The Roots, Michael Bublé and Paul McCartney, among others.  Ms. Place was featured in the Cleveland Orchestra’s first video conference with Alan Gilbert and was hailed by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as ‘the epitome of poise and intelligence.’ She is the Director of Strings at the Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, New Jersey where she founded StringJam, a conductor-less string orchestra.  As a curriculum consultant and lead teacher for Juilliard’s Global K-12 Programs, Annaliesa teaches at Summer Arts with Juilliard in Geneva, Switzerland. Along with her husband, cellist Diego Garcia, they formed Bowstruck and made their debut on top of Aspen Mountain in June 2014. Ms. Place received a B.M. from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and a M.M. from The Juilliard School.  Her principal teachers have included Vasile Beluska, David Russell, David Updegraff, Victor Danchencko, and Robert Mann.