Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Lycoming College Summer Stringfest

July 20 - 25, 2020

Young Artist
For Violinists, Violists, Cellists Ages 13 - 23
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

For Violinists, Violists, Cellists Ages 6 - 12
9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Artist Faculty

  • Dr. Kenneth Sarch, Young Artist Director, Violin, Viola
  • Dr. Emily Rolka, Intermediate Director, Violin, Chamber
  • Dr. Amanda Gunderson, Piano, Performance Class
  • John Paul Tobin, Viola, Chamber Music, Baroque
  • Linda Kanski, Cello, Chamber Music

The Lycoming College Summer Stringfest is two concentrated programs featuring lessons, supervised individual practice, performance classes with pianist, chamber music, music theory, group activities and special topics culminating in a public recital. Young Artist participants are scheduled to perform the National Anthem at our local Minor League Baseball Stadium. Students enrolled will receive a DAILY lesson with an artist teacher, an assigned practice room supervised by experienced staff, Performance Classes with a piano accompanist, Music Theory Review and Special Topics or Group activities and Discussions with a featured Public Recital at the end of the week. Students will be expected to practice each morning and will perform regularly with the pianist in Performance Class. Ensemble experience will be offered in the form of Chamber Music or Group performance in various combinations and levels. For students who are serious about playing the violin or viola, Stringfest offers a unique summer music study opportunity. The tuition for the WEEK is $325 for Young Artists and $200 for Intermediate, which includes lessons, supervision, pianist, classes and use of the Lycoming College music facilities.


Stringfest is open to violinists, violists, and cellists who are looking for a summer music experience designed especially for them. An audition or teacher recommendation will be required for admission if the staff does not know the student's playing and level.


Monday through Saturday, July 20 – 25, 2020
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Intermediate) or 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Young Artist) daily
Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Recital Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

Students are required to be present arriving each day at 8:45 a.m. through 12:30 or 3:00 pm and Saturday 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Young Artists will play the National Anthem for the Crosscutters at Historic Bowman Field Saturday evening!


Lycoming College cannot provide on-campus housing. Contact the Director for assistance in arranging housing.

Family Discount

If you are enrolling two or more family members, we will offer a $50 DISCOUNT for each student when two or more family members enroll!


Young Artist $325; Intermediate $200 inclusive.
Tuition in full is due by June 20, 2020. Tuition includes a $75.00 deposit which is non-refundable after June 20, 2020. Students bring their lunch daily from home. Tuition fees may be paid by check or online by credit card. Please make checks payable to "Lycoming College" with "Stringfest Registration" and the participant's name on the Memo line.

Young Artist Sample Schedule

Time Mon-Thur
9:00 Supervised Practice
10:00 Lesson
11:00 Supervised Practice
12:00 Lunch
12:45 Performance Class / Special Topics
1:45 BREAK then chamber music

Intermediate Sample Schedule

Time Mon-Fri
9:00 Group Class
9:45 Practice / Lessons
10:15 Break
10:30 Practice / Lessons
11:00 Performance Class w/ piano
11:45 Special Topics or Group activity

For Information please contact Dr. Sarch at 570-323-5630 or email:


Deadline to apply: June 20, 2020

To Register by mail:
Dr. Kenneth Sarch, Stringfest Director
Lycoming College Music Dept.
One College Place
Williamsport, PA 17701-5192

Stringfest Artist Faculty

Kenneth Sarch, Director, Violin, Viola enjoys a legacy of International accomplishments as violinist, conductor, composer and teacher. Dr. Sarch is currently Violin Professor at Lycoming College in Pennsylvania. He previously taught at Mansfield University, New England Conservatory, Shenandoah University Conservatory and eight years as Assistant to Roman Totenberg on the faculty of Boston University. Dr. Sarch has extensive recital appearances throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Central and South America, and the Middle East. He was invited seven times by the U.S. Information Agency through the Arts America Program to teach, conduct and perform in Venezuela, Panama, Israel, Jordan, and Brazil. In addition, Dr. Sarch was awarded Fulbrights to the Federal University in Brazil as Visiting Professor and to begin a new symphony orchestra in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. He was invited twelve times to conduct the Panama National Youth Orchestra. Dr. Sarch is a graduate of the Juilliard School, earned the Artist Diploma from New England Conservatory and his Doctorate at Boston University. He served as Concertmaster of the Williamsport Symphony for 14 years. He played in the Hartford Symphony, New Jersey Symphony and the American Symphony under the legendary maestro Leopold Stokowski. He currently serves as Concertmaster of the Bloomsburg University Symphony and the Lycoming College Community Orchestra.

Amanda Gunderson, Pianist, Theory serves on the piano faculty at Lycoming College as assistant professor. She has presented research and lecture recitals at state conferences for Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association and published in "American Music Teacher," the bi-monthly journal of Music Teachers National Association. Her most recent article, entitled "The Well-Crafted Question: Inspiring Students to Connect, Create, and Think Critically" earned the 2017 "Article of the Year Award" from MTNA. Her performances also range widely from solos in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall (2008) to chamber music performances at the Beijing National Library (2015). Gunderson holds the BM, MA, and MM degrees from Penn State University and a DMA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the recipient of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery's "Emerging Interfaces Award", a UW-Madison "Graduate Student Mentor Award", and first prize in the Irving Shain Duo Competition. In 2017 she was named "Teacher of the Year" by Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association. Her primary teachers include Jessica Johnson, Timothy Shafer, and Christopher Taylor.

Emily Rolka, Violin, Chamber Music is an acclaimed teacher and performer who made her solo debut with the Toledo Symphony in 2003 as a winner of the Toledo Youth Competition. Since then she has performed across the country, Italy, and toured Bulgaria. Dr. Rolka is currently the director of the Suzuki Talent Education Program at Robert M. Sides Family Music Center in Williamsport and adjunct professor at Lycoming College. Dr. Rolka has taught at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Conservatory of Music in Minnesota, Hillsdale College in Michigan. Dr. Rolka has received a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Michigan studying with internationally acclaimed violinist, Yehonatan Berick. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa in violin performance under the tutelage of Dr. Scott Conklin and a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in violin performance from the University of Minnesota Suzuki teacher Mark Bjork. Currently she is a member of the Williamsport Symphony.

John Paul Tobin, Viola, Violin, Baroque serves as the director of the Lycoming College String Ensemble and the Young Artist Baroque Orchestra at Lycoming College. Tobin also serves as Principal Violist with the Lycoming College Community Orchestra. He is Principal Violist of the Williamsport Symphony and the Williamsport Chamber Choir and Orchestra, and regularly serves as Principal 2nd Violin of the Mansfield Opera Theatre. He performs with numerous ensembles in New York and Pennsylvania including The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, The Cantata Singers, Susquehanna Valley Chorale, and the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra. Now based in Pennsylvania, John Paul Tobin worked as a studio musician, soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and teacher in Los Angeles, appearing regularly as a guest musician on television broadcasts such as "American Idol" and "The Voice." Tobin received a B.A. in Musical Studies from The Pennsylvania State University and M.M. in Viola Performance from The California State University, Fullerton.

Linda Kanski, Cello, Chamber Music studied with cellists Peter Kuchirko and Nancy Shook Bidlack at the Lancaster Conservatory of Music. Linda studied Suzuki Pedagogy at the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute and the Ithaca College Suzuki Institute. She has performed since 2000 as cellist in the Williamsport Symphony. Linda maintains a private cello studio and has taught cello since 2003. She has performed in various ensembles including the Williamsport Chamber Players, Williamsport Chamber Choir and Orchestra, Bucknell University and Lycoming College Choir Orchestras as well as numerous trios and quartets. Additionally, she has performed as a studio musician in recordings and stage performances.