Join us for our Honor String Orchestra on campus Oct. 11-13, 2024. String players in grades 9-12 are eligible to be nominated for this enriching orchestral experience.


Apply to attend the High School Honor String Orchestra weekend below. Application due date: Sept. 27, 2024

Application Procedure

Honor String Orchestra Highlights

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

Guest Conductor

Alexander Fokkens

Alexander Fokkens’ extensive experience, both local and international, his professionalism, and his intense passion for music have led to him becoming one of the most sought-after conductors in South Africa.

He has spent the last 20 years exploring ways to make music with people from all walks of life and a variety of backgrounds.

His conducting has seen him on many different podiums ranging from those in front of professional orchestras all over the world to string ensembles made up of 12-year-old musicians. In each performance, residency, or workshop, he strives to achieve his goal of creating a sense of community in music-making and engaging the souls of the performers in the final performance. People find the answers that they seek in life in the music that they experience, be it playing or listening. He believes that, as an artist, it is his responsibility to help people on their individual journeys to find their answers.

After graduating from Texas Christian University in 1999 with a master’s degree in double bass performance and extensive graduate theory study, he was appointed director of orchestra activities and instructor of strings at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. In 2005, he and his family returned to South Africa where he was involved in many different areas of classical music in South Africa, holding a number of posts including artistic director and CEO of the Free State Symphony Orchestra, conductor of the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Symphony Choir of Cape Town, music director and conductor of the University of Cape Town String Ensemble and Symphonic Band, and resident conductor of the University of Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.

He has also performed in La Turbie, France; Ravenna, Italy; the Millennium Centre, Cardiff, Wales; the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London, U.K.; the Hippodrome, Birmingham, U.K.; and has been invited as a guest speaker and conductor to Grinnell College (Iowa), Concordia College, Moorhead, and Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, where he also served as a sabbatical replacement for Dr. German Gutierrez.

In 2021, he accepted the position of music chair at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and now resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where he has also been appointed conductor of the Alabama Youth Symphony.