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University of Memphis Honors String Orchestra and String Quartet Festival

October 23-25, 2024

The 2024 Honors String Orchestra and String Quartet Festival is a unique musical experience sponsored by the University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music.  The Festival runs for four days and is held on the campus of the University of Memphis. Participating students will benefit from masterclasses, sectionals, and instruction led by University of Memphis string faculty members. 

The Honors String Quartet is an exceptional opportunity for advanced students passionate about chamber music. This program provides individualized instruction and a platform for these talented students to explore and develop their skills in a string quartet setting. Selection for the Honor String Quartet requires a nomination and audition video submission. Selection for the Honor String Quartet requires a nomination and audition video submission.

Nominations open in early September.

The highlight of the Festival is the Concert Finale featuring the Honors String Orchestra and Honors String Quartets and the Festival Banquet Dinner.

Students will also enjoy special performances from The University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

Instruction will be led by The University of Memphis string faculty members:

  • Marcin Arendt, Assistant Professor of Violin
  • Kimberly Patterson, Assistant Professor of Cello + Area Coordinator of Strings
  • Lenny Schranze, Professor of Viola
  • Timothy Shiu, Associate Professor of Violin


Honors String Orchestra and String Quartet Festival Nominations

The nomination period is now open! The Honors Festival String Orchestra comprises select high school students nominated by their high school orchestra directors or private studio teachers.  Students may self-nominate. However, a student may only nominate themself.

Honors String Quartets Division

Nomination + Video Submission—Due by October 16, 2023

Eligibility String Quartet Division:

  • Nominated high school students in 9th-12th grade must submit an audition video with their nomination form for consideration.
  • Before completing the nomination form, upload the audition video submission to YouTube and copy the unpublished URL to include in the nomination form.
  • Selected students will be placed in an Honors String Quartet and the Honors Orchestra.  
  • Participating students must submit a University of Memphis Parental Consent Form.

Honors Orchestra Division Only

Nominations—Due by October 20, 2023

Eligibility Honors Orchestra Division:

  • Nominated high school students in 9th-12th grade students must submit a nomination form.
  • Chair seating will be based on auditions held on the Festival's first day. 
  • Participating students must submit a University of Memphis Parental Consent Form.

Fees and Payments

Once you have been notified that your nomination(s) have been accepted to the Festival, please submit the $40 payment by the October 15, 2023 deadline.

Strings Festival Music

Honors String Quartet Auditions Excerpts


Violinists may choose which part they audition on with the understanding that depending on acceptance and groups being formed they may be put on either part depending on the ensemble's needs.


Honors Orchestra Seating Audition Excerpts

Honors Orchestra Complete Concert Repertoire

Violin I Honors Orchestra
Violin II Honors Orchestra

Viola Honors Orchestra

Cello Honors Orchestra

Bass Honors Orchestra

2023 Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 25
Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center

6-7 PM

Honors String Quartet Festival Registration & Orientation

7-9 PM Honors String Quartet—Rehearsal No. 1



Thursday, Oct. 26
Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center

1-3 PM Honors String Quartet—Rehearsal No. 2
3:15-4 PM Honors String Quartet—Orchestra Seating Auditions
4:15-5:30 PM Honors String Quartet—Dinner (Please bring dinner, leaving the SFPAC is not encouraged.)
4-6 PM Honors String Orchestra—Orchestra Seating Auditions
5:30-7 PM Honors String Quartet—Rehearsal No. 3
6-7:15 PM Honors String Orchestra—Dinner (Please bring dinner, leaving the SFPAC is not encouraged.)
7:30-9 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra—Concert:
University of Memphis Symphony Orchestra                        
Harvey Felder, conductor
9:15-9:30 PM Posting of Seating Audition Results Outside Plough Performance Hall.  Pick up music.    










Friday, Oct. 27
Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center

 A banquet dinner will be provided on Friday, October 27.

8:30-9:45 AM Honors String Quartet—Rehearsal No. 4
8:45-9:45 AM Honors String Orchestra—Technique Classes
10 AM-Noon Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra.    
Orchestra Rehearsals No. 1 
12:15-1:15 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra.                  
Lunch - (Please bring lunch, leaving the SFPAC is not encouraged.)
1:30-3:30 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra.    
Orchestra Rehearsals No. 2 
3:45-5 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra--Sectionals
5:15-6:15 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra—Banquet
Dinner provided for all participants
SFPAC, lobby











Saturday, Oct. 28
Scheidt Family Performing Arts Center

8:30-9:15 AM Honors String Quartet—Rehearsal No. 5
9:30-11:30 AM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra.      
Orchestra Rehearsals No. 3
11:40 AM-12:30 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra.                        
Lunch - (Please bring lunch, leaving the SFPAC is not encouraged.)
1-2:30 PM Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra—Concert:  
Honors String Quartet & Honors String Orchestra Perform,    
Plough Performance Hall

Festival Faculty

Marcin ArendtMarcin Arendt (DMA), Violin

A native of Poland, Marcin Arendt is an active chamber musician, soloist, & teacher. He recently joined the faculty of the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music at the University of Memphis where he is a member of the Ceruti String Quartet. Marcin is part of the violin faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp, and he plays with IRIS Orchestra under the baton of Michael Stern where he regularly holds the Isaac Stern Concertmaster Chair. He also works as the Community Involvement Coordinator for IRIS Orchestra.

Dr. Arendt was a member and frequent concertmaster of Colorado's premiere conductor-less string orchestra, The Sphere Ensemble, & the featured violinist with the nationally touring crossover-fusion band FEAST. The prize winner of several national & international competitions,
He has performed alongside many renowned artists including Itzhak Perlman, Gil Shaham, Jaime Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Martin Short, Edgar Meyer, Clay Aiken, Dawn Upshaw, Joshua Bell, & Harry Connick, Jr.

Marcin holds Bachelor degrees in both philosophy & music from Stetson University, a Master of Music & Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Colorado at Boulder, as well as a post-graduate performance certificate from the Stanislaw Moniuszko Academy of Music in Gdansk, Poland. He plays on a Jan van Rooyen original violin modeled after the Guarneri "Carrodus," and uses a bow made by the award winning bow maker David Forbes.

Tim ShiuTim Shiu (M.M.), Violin

Timothy Shiu, Associate Professor of Violin and a member of the Ceruti String Quartet, received his principal training from the Juilliard School, the Peabody Conservatory, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Yale University, where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in English. Mr. Shiu brings together in his artistry a diverse lineage of influences from his various principal mentors. As a result of his early formative years of study with Louise Behrend, he traces a line through her teacher, Louis Persinger, to the Franco-Belgian school of Eugène Ysaÿe. In addition, his work under the tutelage of Donald Weilerstein connects him to the highly influential school of Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay. Further study with Victor Danchenko has brought him into contact with the Russian school of David Oistrakh. Other major teachers include Sindey Harth and the late Joseph Fuchs, who himself was a pupil of the legendary Franz Kneisel.

An active recitalist and chamber musician, Mr. Shiu has concertized extensively throughout the United States in venues including Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater, the Aspen Music Festival's Harris Hall, the Interlochen Arts Institute's Corson Auditorium, the New School's Schneider Concert Series, and Chamber Music Northwest. International engagements have included performances in Italy, Japan, Korea, Canada, and Brazil. Mr. Shiu is currently a member of the Ceruti String Quartet and was also previously a founding member of the Maia Quartet, with whom he played for thirteen years. In addition, he has collaborated with members of the Guarneri, Muir, and Borromeo String Quartets, as well as with violist Roger Chase, cellist Patrick Demenga, pianist Ann Schein, and the late flutist Samuel Baron.

Mr. Shiu has previously taught on the faculties of the University of Iowa School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory; and his current summer teaching engagements include the Interlochen (MI) Arts Institute and the Five Seasons Music Festival (Cedar Rapids, IA), of which he is a founding member. He was formerly Coordinator of the Summer Chamber Music Fellowship Program the Garth Newel Music Center (Warm Springs, VA), and has taught as well at the Austin (TX) Chamber Music Festival, Conservatory Music in the Mountains (Durango, CO), the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts, and the Snowmass (CO) and University of Memphis Suzuki Institutes.

Lenny SchranzeLenny Schranze (M.M.), Viola

Violist Lenny Schranze is an award-winning chamber musician and educator. A native of Philadelphia, he is a member of the Ceruti String Quartet and professor of viola at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music of the University of Memphis. He is a Valade Fellow and coordinator of strings and the advanced quartet program at The Interlochen Center for the Arts. As a chamber musician, Lenny has performed in concert halls around the country, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City, and has performed internationally in Switzerland, South Korea, and Brazil. His solo recordings include the works for viola and piano by Robert Schumann, and the sonatas of Johannes Brahms. Reviews describe Lenny's viola playing as "passionate and beautifully resonant." Mr. Schranze has garnered awards from Chamber Music America for "excellence in chamber music instruction," and is a recipient of the Dean's Creative Achievement Award from the University of Memphis. He earned his degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the New England Conservatory, studying with Heidi Castleman, Heiichiro Ohyama, Dorothy Delay, Max Aronoff, and Evelyn Jacobs. Recent projects include the MSR Classics release of Quartets by Brahms and Debussy (http://www.msrcd.com/catalog/cd/MS1424), reviewed in the awards issue of Gramophone Magazine.


Kimberly PattersonKimberly Patterson (DMA), Cello

Hailed by the Chicago Sun Times as a "superb cellist," Dr. Kimberly Patterson has earned recognition for her artistry as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. Dr. Patterson was the founding cellist for the Tesla Quartet, winners of the 2012 Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as well as prizewinners of the 2012 London International Quartet Competition and the 2013 Bordeaux International Quartet Competition. She has given chamber recitals in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, London's Wigmore Hall and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center and has held chamber music residencies with Strings Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Bravo! Vail Valley, Chamber Music Tulsa, and a quartet residency at the University of Colorado at Boulder with the Takács Quartet.

Dr. Patterson is the Assistant Professor of Cello at the University of Memphis and the cellist of the Ceruti Quartet, Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Memphis. She is also the cellist of the Patterson / Sutton cello and guitar duo. Their debut album, "Cold Dark Matter: Music for Cello & Guitar," was released by MSR records in 2013. The Patterson / Sutton duo have presented lectures at the International Guitar Research Center in Surrey, UK and the Guitar Foundation of America National Convention. In addition, Dr. Patterson's lecture paper was published as the cover article in the February 2016 edition of Soundboard Magazine, an academic journal. Their performances have been broadcasted on American Public Media's, Performance Today, in addition to Radio New Zealand and South Africa's Fine Music Radio among others.

As a soloist, Dr. Patterson has appeared with the Manila Symphony of the Philippines, toured nationally with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company performing a solo piece by David Lang, and presented solo recitals in the Netherlands, Afghanistan and throughout the United States. Festival appearances include the Verbier Festival, Strings Music Festival, Holland Music Sessions, Aspen Music Festival & School, Sarasota Music Festival & the Miyazaki Festival. In addition to her extensive chamber music career, Dr. Patterson was a member of the Colorado Symphony. She has performed as principal cellist with Verbier Orchestra in Switzerland and world tours and the Juilliard Orchestra. She has also performed with the Utah Symphony, Iris Orchestra, Central City Opera, the New Haven Symphony and was personally invited by Charles Dutoit to perform with the Miyazaki Orchestra in Japan. Dr. Patterson is a strong believer in the transformative power of music education. Kimberly was a graduate assistant to the renowned Takács Quartet at the University of Colorado at Boulder and has given chamber music masterclasses around the country at institutions such as the University of Denver, Colorado Mesa University, University of Utah, Ball State University, Colorado State University and University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg. In addition to collegiate teaching, she has instructed inner-city students as a fellowship recipient of her alma mater, the Juilliard School, as well as students of the Aspen Music Festival and School's M.O.R.E Program. With support from the United States' State Department, Dr. Patterson taught and performed as a guest artist at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul in early 2014. She has also instructed cellists of the Manila Symphony Orchestra in the Philippines. Dr. Patterson serves on the board of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestras.

Dr. Patterson's students have won positions with Orchestra Iowa and the Guangzhou Symphony. In addition, students have attended Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra, the Tanglewood Institute, All-National Youth Orchestra, and Colorado and Tennessee All State Orchestras. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music with academic honors, Dr. Patterson earned her Master's of Music Degree at the Juilliard School and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her teachers include Richard Aaron, Andras Fejer, Judith Glyde and Stephen Geber.

Robert Katz, (PhD) Double Bass

Jonathan ColbertA native of Queens, NY, Dr. Robert Katz, has spent his career dedicated to music performance and higher education. Retiring after a 30-year teaching career as professor of music (history, double bass, music appreciation, popular music) and humanities, and as Chair of Undergraduate Research at Tulsa Community College, he moved to Memphis in 2022.

Katz started playing double bass during his freshman year in college at SUNY Albany studying with David Cobb, former principal bass of the Albany Symphony. He returned to NYC to work with Julius Levine at Brooklyn College and then moved to St. Louis to study with Henry Loew at SIU Edwardsville where he received a degree in performance and music theory/composition. Katz also studied with Ralph Jones of the Atlanta Symphony and David Neubert at UT Austin. After winning a position with the Tulsa Philharmonic Katz earned a master’s in music theory and continued his academic work earning a Ph. D. in historical musicology with concentrations in 20th-century music and Medieval and Renaissance music theory, writing his dissertation on Stravinsky’s theater works under the direction of renowned Bartók scholar Dr. Elliott Antokoletz.

Combining performance with academic activities, Katz has worked as a professional double bassist for 40 years as part of such ensembles as the Tulsa Philharmonic Orchestra, Flagstaff Festival of the Arts, Chautauqua Festival, Inspiration Point/Opera in the Ozarks, Alabama Orchestra, Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Tulsa Symphony, Tulsa Opera Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. In addition to teaching and playing, Katz writes program notes for orchestras and chamber ensembles.

Harvey Felder, (M.M.) Director of Orchestral Activities

Harvey FelderHarvey Felder brings to the podium a refreshing combination of talents. He is known for his deeply moving performances of the great "Classical" repertoire as well as his entertaining performances on "Pops" stages across this country.

Mr. Felder has distinguished himself as a leader among his generation of conductors. "Felder is widely regarded for his effective and quality programming and performances" (Saint Louis Star). He has been characterized as having an affable and magnetic podium demeanor which helps audiences feel immediately welcomed, comfortable, and connected to his performances.

Mr. Felder is Conductor Laureate of the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra (TSO), a position he accepted after having served as its music director for twenty-years. Under Mr. Felder's leadership the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra realized artistic goals before unimagined and developed into one of the finest professional symphonies in the Northwest. Mr. Felder's artistry, professionalism, and passion helped to craft the TSO into one of the Pacific Northwest's true artistic treasures.

Mr. Felder has served as assistant conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony, Resident conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony, regular guest staff conductor with the Atlanta and Chicago Symphonies, and artistic adviser/conductor of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Additionally, Mr. Felder has held the post of music director with the Tacoma Symphony (WA), Fox Valley Symphony (WI), Johns Hopkins Symphony (MD), and the Ann Arbor Summer Symphony (MI).

During the 1991 "Carnegie Hall at 100" celebration, Mr. Felder was invited to make his Carnegie Hall debut, conducting the American Symphony Orchestra. The success of these performances led to the beginning of an exciting and active guest conducting career. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Delaware, Grant Park, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Kansas City, National, New Jersey, North Carolina, Saint Louis, San Antonio, Spokane Symphonies; Dayton, Florida, Rochester, Orange County Philharmonics, as well as the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra (OH), the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, the Missouri Symphony Society, Chicago Sinfonietta, San Francisco Bay Brass, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Costa Rica, the New Japan Philharmonic, St. Michel City Orchestra of Finland, and the Osaka Telemann Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Felder comes with a long list of engagements; but perhaps more telling, he also possesses a long list of reengagements.

Mr. Felder has held teaching positions on the faculties of Eastern Michigan University, Haverford College, Bryn Mawr College, Johns Hopkins University, West Virginia University, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Memphis where he currently serves as director of orchestral activities.

Mr. Felder's ability to communicate sophisticated musical ideas to young people, his public speaking ease, and his engaging professional demeanor have made him a valued asset to the organizations he has represented. "Audiences like his style...a reserved and dignified conductor who knows the score and what he wants to do with it" (Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel).

Mr. Felder has garnered Mayoral Proclamations, Citations of Excellence, Outstanding Citizenship Awards, all of which attest to his involvement in the community. As an advocate for arts education, Mr. Felder served on the Kennedy Center/Getty Center's Commission—a nonpartisan body organized to study the role of the arts in educational reform. He has become recognized for his forward thinking as it relates to the presentation of "Classical" music and his desire to broaden its appeal.

Mr. Felder has studied conducting with Elizabeth Green, H. Robert Reynolds, Zdenek Macal, Kurt Mazur, Gustav Meier, Seiji Ozawa, Gennady Rozdestvensky, Max Rudolf, Gunther Schuller, Michael Tilson Thomas, Otto-Werner Mueller, and David Zinman. He attended the Festival at Sandpoint, the Conductors Guild Summer Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Felder holds degrees in music from The University of Wisconsin-Madison and The University of Michigan.