Now enrolling for July: Baroque Strings Festival!

Short programs with something for everyone

Are you curious to try out music of the Medieval, Renaissance, or Baroque eras? These offerings are just for you! Ages and music level ranges vary per program from late-beginner kids to advanced high school performers.

Jul 29-Aug 2: Baroque Strings Festival

For rising 8th-12th grade students of violin, viola, and cello, intermediate to advanced

Monday-Friday, 9:45am-3:15pm, plus Friday night presentation

Registration is now open! Spaces are limited, so early registration is highly recommended.

Discover the thrill of Baroque style — where everyone's sound matters! The sparkle, refinement, and momentum of the music comes to life with a period bow in your hand. You'll come away not only with an understanding of Baroque repertoire but with new finesse in articulation and shaping that benefits everything you play.

Together we'll bring out the small shapes that give orchestral and chamber music from the late 17th through early 18th century its vitality and elegance. Professional basso continuo accompaniment inspires you to take your playing to a new level. We'll also explore some of the context that musicians brought with them in the Baroque era, including a firsthand experience of the dance meters that drive so much Baroque music. Tuition includes use of a Baroque bow for the week. Participants play on their own instruments, tuned at modern pitch (A=440). 

Sample daily schedule

  • 9:45 welcome & setup
  • 10:00 Chamber orchestras by level
  • 10:50 BREAK
  • 11:00 Chamber orchestra or sonata coaching
  • 11:50 LUNCH
  • 12:30 Fun activity (such as historical fencing)
  • 1:15 Sonata workshop with continuo
  • 2pm BREAK
  • 2:15 Chamber or full orchestra with continuo

Music levels & registration requirements

For intermediate to advanced students. Minimum level guidelines: Intermediate participants need to have their basics well in place. Please be able to play with agility and excellent intonation in keys up to three sharps or two flats (in first position or first through third), and to use all parts of the bow skillfully so that you can follow articulation instructions. Intermediate students should have daily practice habits of 20 mins or more and should be reasonably comfortable reading music together. 

Unless you're a continuing student with SHAK's Early Music Youth Academy, please submit audition materials with your registration as described below. The audition is for placement purposes and is not meant to exclude anyone who meets or exceeds the minimum level requirements described above. 

We ask you to a) show your overall skill level in a recent/current solo video performance, and b) perform the simple reading excerpt below with a focus on clarity and shaping. Please either submit links to your videos in your registration form (eg YouTube post, Google Drive file, iCloud file), or we can send you an upload link. AUDITION MATERIALS: Violin ~ Viola ~ Cello

Taught by SHAK founder/director Shulamit Kleinerman with returning guest artist coaches:  John Lenti, theorbo, appears with Baroque orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the US and beyond, as well as with opera companies including the Seattle Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. Meg Brennand, cello, performs on Baroque and modern bellow with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Gallery Concerts, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and many more.