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Festival Celebrates Strings, Ends With Concert

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StringFest, a week-long music camp for middle- high-school and college students who play stringed instruments, culminates with a free concert Saturday, June 11, at the University of West Florida.

“We are trying to figure out how different age groups work together,” Leonid Yanovskiy said. “It’s very beneficial. We learn from each other and create some beautiful music.”

Yanovskiy, a UWF professor who is also director of strings and the orchestra, is one of the leaders of StringFest. Catherine McConnell, who is orchestra director at Tate High School and Ransom Middle School, is another.

About 30 participants have been rehearsing from 9 a.m. to noon every day this week. They are enthusiastic about the chance to hone their craft.

“StringFest is really important because it gives me the opportunity to improve my violin playing in a way that is more than just playing in a classroom,” said Samantha Brown, who is a senior at Tate High School.  
 Audiences can hear the results of their week-long intensive rehearsals at a free concert at 2 p.m. Saturday. It’s in the Music Hall inside Building 82, the Center for the Fine and Performing Arts on UWF’s Pensacola campus.

“For us, it’s amazing to see how far each group progressed during one week,” Yanovskiy said. “But for audiences it will be exciting to see different levels of performances and enjoy all of them.”

Yahnovskiy also said he hopes StringFest can become an annual happening that includes more students from around the area in the future.