Join us on campus for our Honor String Orchestra October 6-8, 2023. String players in grades 9-12 are eligible to be nominated for this enriching orchestral experience.

Info Flyer


Apply to attend the High School Honor String Orchestra weekend below. Application due date: Sept 15, 2023.

Application Procedure

Honor String Orchestra Highlights

  • Making music in an artistically rigorous and nurturing environment with exceptional string musicians from across six states
  • Rehearsing and performing challenging repertoire under the direction of our director of orchestral activities, Dr. Kevin Sütterlin.

Guest Conductor

Dr. Mathias Elmer

Dr. Mathias Elmer, a native of Switzerland, is the Director of Orchestral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Prior to this position, he served as Director of Orchestral Activities at Connecticut College in New London and at the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music. In 2017, he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Memphis under Maestro Pu-Qi Jiang. Further studies in conducting led Dr. Elmer to Michael Stern (USA), Karl Anton Rickenbacher and Johannes Schlaefli (Switzerland), and Mark Ensley (USA), among others.

Elmer received his master’s degree in orchestral and operatic conducting at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts School of Music in Switzerland under Maestro Ralf Weikert. Together with his colleague Dr. Kevin Sütterlin, Elmer is Co-Music Director and founder of Sinfonietta Memphis, a Tennessee-based chamber orchestra focusing on historically informed performances of music by Viennese Classical composers. Another focus of his work as a conductor is his passion for works by underrepresented composers, and he has led seminars and given lectures on how to incorporate this repertoire into a University orchestra concert program. Elmer has performed music by Florence Price, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn, Louise Farrenc, as well as pieces by living American composers, including Scott Hines from Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Elmer is the winner of The American Prize in Conducting in the College/University Orchestra division for 2017/2018.


Dr. Matthew Winarski

Manager of Instrumental Ensembles Music