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strings

 

If you're a violinist, violist, cellist, or double-bassist looking for high-level classical technique as well as exciting genre-bending music, the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival is for you. 

Jazz improv, bluegrass fiddling, classical Franco-Belgian technique and more are all taught by a diverse faculty with a wide range of experience from Nashville fiddlers to Juilliard alumni.

We take string players out of the practice room and on to premier stages with other enthusiastic performers. The settings and styles we offer include:

  • Fiddle Ensembles

  • String Quartets

  • Jazz Ensembles

  • Symphony Orchestra

  • Virtuosic Solos (if you can earn one)

The Festival gives you an extraordinary experience - performing exciting music in great venues with like-minded musicians.


faq

“Who will I be studying with?”

The players of the Annie Moses Band head up the string faculty at the Festival. Alongside AMB, we bring in top-notch teachers from leading conservatories across the country. Our goal is to challenge you technically and stylistically.

“Is the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival a classical camp or a bluegrass camp?”

Both! We give you rigorous classical technique through private lessons and challenging performance repertoire, as well as fast and high energy Celtic and bluegrass music.

“How much technique will I get at the Festival?”

The Festival provides students with private lessons in their given instrument as well as challenging repertoire. For players who want to receive maximum one-on-one attention and coaching in live performance, we offer a special “prequel” to the Festival: The Summer Woodshed. Over several days, the members of Annie Moses Band rub shoulders with you and fifty other players in a series of master classes and private lessons. It’s perfect for someone who wants to take their prowess to the next level.

“I’m tired of practicing. How much will I get to perform at the Festival?”

Our number one goal at the Festival is to put you on a stage. We believe that the thrill of live performance is too rare for many young musicians. We equip you with tailor-made moments that fit both your skill level and your artistic desires.

“Is string playing at the Festival very advanced?”

Our in-house arrangers give us the ability to give you a part that fits your skill level, whether you are a beginner or a long-time performer. We do require that you have at least one year of study in your chosen instrument. Our vision is to give you a part that will challenge you and be thrilling to play.

“What kind of music will I be learning?”

Everything! From Celtic to Bluegrass, to Jazz to Classical. Each of our shows features a specific range of genres that enables us to give you a variety of moments that fit your personality.

“What does it take to earn a solo?”

Our casting process is based on your audition videos. For more information on how to film a great audition video, see the "Auditions" page. It’s important that we see that we see the best you have to offer as a performer. And if there is something out of the ordinary you really love to do, please let us know! 


Violin faculty

ANNIE WOLAVER DUPRE

Annie Wolaver is a renowned violinist, Juilliard pre-college graduate, and recording artist with a diverse musical and stylistic background. She was born in 1983 in Waco, Texas. After her parents moved to Nashville, TN, she started violin lessons at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. Annie's connection with the violin was immediate. In the spring of 1995, at the age of twelve, she made her solo debut with orchestra as the winner of the Nashville Youth Symphony's Concerto Competition, an accomplishment she would repeat in 1996 and 1998.Annie also began participating in the Aspen Music Festival, an intense summer program for serious classical musicians from around the world, where she was a scholarship student for five years. In 1996, she was awarded the national title at the Music Teacher's National Association's Junior High String Competition. In addition, she was the winner of the Blount Concerto Competition, performing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, at thirteen years of age, a pleasure she would repeat the following year as a featured soloist on the MSO's Outreach Concert Series.

Annie's drive, combined with her parent's continued encouragement, support and vision, soon led her to the Cincinnati Conservatory, and ultimately to New York City and the violin studio of Masao Kawasaki at The Juilliard School in 1999. That same year, Annie was awarded the national title at the Music Teacher's National Association's Senior High String Competition. She served as concertmistress of the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra, and as a chamber musician has performed in Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Annie was also privileged to be one of 13 violinists awarded scholarships upon acceptance into the Juilliard School's Collegiate Division.

In the year 2000, she founded the Annie Moses Band with her family as lead singer and violinist. Nine years later, with over 10 albums to their credit and performing 90 concerts a year, the Annie Moses Band continues to spread its message of artistic and spiritual excellence to audiences across America. The flagship enterprise for their mission is the Annie Moses Music Festival, a two week intensive program culminating in an original Broadway style performance, offering students a high level of skill and a diverse array of styles. Annie feels profoundly blessed to be part of the Annie Moses Band and looks forward to a bright future as a musical leader.


GRETCHEN WOLAVER

Gretchen Wolaver is a multi-talented professional musician, performing as a violinist, mandolinist, guitarist, and singer. As a member of the Annie Moses Band, she has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry House.  At the age of four, she began her studies in violin at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. After her family moved to Connecticut, she continued her studies at The School For Strings in Manhattan. At the age of twelve, she began touring the country professionally.

Gretchen has been featured in two PBS specials including the Emmy-nominated The Art of the Love Song. As a member of the Annie Moses Band, she performs over 80 concerts a year. 


KIRSTEN WISSINK

Kirsten Wissink is an active performer and committed teacher, dedicated to developing the musicality and technique of her violin students. She graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in violin performance, having received a scholarship from the Hixson-Lied College School of Music. Her violin teachers have included Rebecca Fischer, David Neely, and Lisa Watkins, and she also studied chamber music for four years with the Chiara String Quartet, the quartet-in-residence at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. She has been in numerous recitals and university productions as a soloist and chamber musician, including the Bach B-Minor Mass with the Chiara String Quartet in 2011. In addition, she has been privileged to play on such acclaimed stages as Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry House. 

In addition to her love of collaboration, Kirsten is passionate about teaching violin. She received a UCARE grant through the University of Nebraska for a thesis project exploring film music and its pedagogical uses for violin teaching. Since 2011, she has taught private and group classes at the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival in Nashville, TN. She credits Dana Meyer, a teacher at the Festival, for guiding her initial pursuit of pedagogy. Kirsten is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and attends practicum courses and Suzuki teacher training with Ronda Cole. She currently coaches chamber groups and teaches in her private studio in Lincoln, NE, and has taught at Concordia University in Seward, NE. A member of a local string quartet, she has had opportunity to give concerts in the area, and also plays and records for local composers. She performs with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra and the Conservatory Camerata through the Omaha Conservatory, and also teaches private lessons as an Artist Faculty member at the Omaha Conservatory of Music. Since 2013, she has been privileged to be an assistant and lead teacher for an Omaha Conservatory pilot program called String Sprouts, which provides group classes for beginning 3 to 5-year-olds. In every way, Kirsten is blessed to do what she loves best—thriving in work that God has given her to do. She is continuously filled with wonder at the gift of knowing and loving each child. 


STEVEN BOWMAN

Steven Bowman is a violin and fiddle teacher, performing artist and indie music producer from Phoenix, AZ. He enjoys working in multiple styles and genres, ranging from bluegrass to church music. He received his Bachelor of Music in 2010 from the University of Memphis in Violin Performance, and holds a Masters of Christian Education degree at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Steven has studied violin with Cande Schumann, Pak-Chung Cheng and Timothy Shiu as well as performing in master classes with artists such as Brian Lewis, Joy Brown Weiner, Masao Kawasaki of New England Conservatory and Stephen Clapp of Juilliard. In addition, Steven has studied Suzuki Teacher Training with Kimberly Meier-Sims, Libby Armour and Carrie Reuning-Hummel. Steven currently has an extensive violin studio in Memphis, but also works frequently with the Annie Moses Band in Nashville. He has taught violin, fiddle and bluegrass ensembles since 2007 for the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival in Memphis, Nashville and Raleigh, NC, and a performance with the Annie Moses Band in 2012 at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Although Steven has a heavy background in classical violin studies, his true musical passion lies in alternative styles of string playing such as bluegrass, Celtic and jazz fusion fiddling. Having worked with various fiddle experts such as Andy Carlson and Crystal Plohman, Steven now teaches fiddle for the Memphis Suzuki Institute and Bellevue Baptist Church’s Alternative Music Camp, as well as Faith Music Academy and Kirby Woods Baptist Church Music Academy. From 2006 to 2010 he performed with the newgrass band Will Tell, which he cofounded with Ellen Appleton Story. Will Tell released two records and performed heavily in West Tennessee. Steven currently performs produces and tours with the indie band Loser’s Way Home. LWH is currently working on their fourth studio album in Nashville, which is being produced by Matt Odmark of Jars of Clay. Loser’s Way Home has performed extensively across the south, performing on shows such as “Thacker Mountain Radio” in Oxford, MS and “DittyTV” in Memphis. Steven does a fair amount of session work, appearing on albums by artists such as Phil Wickham, Roger Mexico, and Lauren Strange.

While music has always been a passion, Steven recognizes a call to ministry on his life, so he currently enjoys finding ways to marry the two. He currently leads worship for Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis and coaches and disciples young musicians in their student ministries. Steven also works heavily with the Faith Baptist and Kirby Woods Baptist music academies; organizing ministry ensembles and recitals, teaching group classes, and teaching young musicians how they can glorify God and minister to their community through their gifts. Currently, he is writing and teaching Bible study curriculum that teaches Biblical truths through musical examples and experiences. Although music and ministry make up a great portion of his life, Steven is a coffee connoisseur and film buff, and loves spending time with family and friends.


LISABETH WISSINK

Recently completing a degree in K-12 Music Education, Lisabeth graduated with Highest Distinction from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015. While at UNL, she held leadership positions as president and section leader of University Singers, UNL’s flagship choral ensemble, and president of the Student Advisory Board in the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Lisabeth studied voice under Kate Butler and Katie Mozack. As a vocalist, she records for and has appeared on recitals for local composers. She teaches vocal music at Park Middle School and is Assistant Vocal Music Director at East High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Lisabeth has been playing the violin for 15 years and studied under Lisa Nielsen. She has taught at the Fine Arts Summer Academy since 2014 and performed with the Annie Moses Band at Carnegie Hall in 2012. In 2015, she appeared in the Annie Moses Band’s PBS special, “Art of the Love Song,” which was filmed at the Grand Ole Opry.

During college, Lisabeth completed an undergraduate thesis focusing on how children’s lives can be transformed by the power of music. Part of this research included observing Music Camp International, a non-profit organization that works with underprivileged children in Romania and Ukraine. Lisabeth finds great joy in performing and teaching music, and she believes the music has a unique ability to reach into the heart of every child and give them a powerful voice.


Viola faculty

ALEX WOLAVER

Alex Wolaver is a singer/songwriter/producer living in Franklin, Tennessee with his wife, Berklee Wolaver, and their children, Audrey and Evangeline.  Alex travels as a singer/violist with the Annie Moses Band, performing over 80 concerts annually before approximately 100,000 people.  The group has multiple successful specials performing on Christian TV as well as PBS and LeSea Broadcasting.

A Juilliard School alumni, Alex has won prodigious competitions such as the Curb Concerto Competition and has performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.  He has produced several award-winning albums, including 'Through the Looking Glass', 'This Glorious Christmas' (reaching top ten on Billboard Magazine's classical crossover chart), 'Pilgrims & Prodigals', and is currently working in Nashville, TN.


cello faculty

BENJAMIN WOLAVER

Benjamin Wolaver began his cello studies at the age of 4 at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music. At the age of 10 he auditioned and was accepted to the Juilliard Pre-college Program where he studied under Ann Alton.  He tours professionally as a cellist with the Annie Moses Band, performing 80+ concerts annually. With the Band he has recorded over 10 albums including the chart-topping American Rhapsody and This Glorious Christmas as well as two PBS specials including the Emmy-nominated The Art of the Love Song. Benjamin has also performed with the Annie Moses Band at Carnegie Hall and been a frequent guest at the Grand Ole Opry.

A writer and author, Benjamin is a graduate of the University of London's English Literature Distance Program, where he earned the Academic Achievement Award for his essays in Renaissance Comedy. He is the author of an original children's musical The Flight of the Fiery Chariot and is currently working on a historical novel. Benjamin shares his thoughts on literature, art, theology and history at The Wakefire.com.  He is a show writer for the Annie Moses Summer Music Festival.