Youth Strings

Chamber Music, String Orchestra, and Fun!

For Grades 7 through 12th Grade Graduates

June 10–16, 2018



Be a part of the Summer Arts Festival at idyllic Eureka College!

Maestro David Commanday, Director of Instrumental Music at Eureka College, directs the Summer program and the orchestra, joined by a faculty of Heartland Festival Orchestra’s principals, who will coach and play side-by-side in the orchestra for the final performance.

Every day’s schedule includes orchestra and small group rehearsals, performance and theory classes, and free social time.

Resident campers stay in double rooms in the new, state-of-the-art Ivy Residence Hall on the Eureka campus.



Jose Valencia, Barbara Hedlund, David Commanday, and Sarah Gentry

David Commanday Summer Arts Director, Conductor, Cellist,

Director of Instrumental Music at Eureka College, and Artistic Director of the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Maestro Commanday has a distinguished career performing with both professional and student orchestras. He is currently also Conductor of the Central Illinois Youth Symphony and of the Young Peoples Symphonic Orchestra at Webster University, St. Louis.

Sarah Gentry, Violin

Professor of Violin at Illinois State University, and Concertmaster of the Heartland Festival Orchestra.

José Valencia, Violin

Principal 2nd Violin of the Heartland Festival Orchestra and Founding Music Director of the cutting-edge Indianapolis Orkestra Projekt.

EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks, Violin & Fiddle

EmmaLee is on faculty at the University of Massachussetts, Dartmouth and the Birch Creek Summer Performance Center.  EmmaLee takes the lead in string bands across New England and in the Midwest where her lively fiddle music drives the spirited old-time dancing.

Diane Wuthrich, Viola

Principal Viola of the HFO, and an active private studio teacher, orchestral player and chamber musician in Central Illinois.

Barbara Hedlund, Cello

Principal Cello of the HFO, Champaign-Urbana Symphony,and  Danville Symphony, and active free-lance and chamber musician, music publisher, and events coordinator and contractor.


5-Day Residency: $505 (Includes 3 meals, snacks, Ivy Hall residence dorms)
$475 if paid in full by May 1, 2018
All-Day Student: (9am–8:30pm) $380 (Includes lunch, dinner, snacks)
$360 if paid in full by May 1, 2018
*Limited need and/or merit scholarships available to qualified students.

Typical Daily Schedule

8:00 Breakfast Commons
9:00 Sectional Rehearsal (Day students arrive) Ivy Hall
10:30 Orchestra Rehearsal Chapel (McAlister Hall)
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Chamber Music ‐ coached Ivy Hall
2:15 Break
2:30 Class ‐ Varied musical and string topics Chapel (McAlister Hall)
3:45 Free time Ivy, Campus
5:00 Dinner Commons
6:00 Orchestra Chapel
7:00 Chamber music ‐ rehearsals Ivy Hall
8:15 Fun Time ‐ movie, games (Day students depart) Ivy Hall
10‐10:30 Snack ‐ then in rooms Ivy Hall
11:00 Lights out Ivy Hall
Download the daily schedule

Application Process

String-playing students from 7th through 12th grade are welcome

Complete the application by clicking on the button below. Upon approval, you will be sent a link and code to enroll for Youth Strings Camp. At this time, a non-refundable deposit of $50 per person will be due by June 1, 2018. Make checks payable to Eureka College with memo “Youth Strings at Eureka.”

Pre-Register online