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

Lycoming College Young Artist Summer Stringfest

Lycoming College — July 22 – August 3, 2019
For Violinists, Violists, Cellists Ages 11 – 23

Artist Faculty

  • Dr. Kenneth Sarch, Director, Violin, Viola
  • Dr. Emily Rolka, Violin, Chamber Music
  • Dr. Lisa Caravan, Cello, Chamber Music
  • Dr. Amanda Gunderson, Piano, Performance Class
  • John Paul Tobin, Viola, Chamber Music, Baroque

The Lycoming College Young Artist Summer Stringfest (LCSF) is a concentrated program of Lessons, Supervised individual Practice, Performance Classes with Pianist, Chamber Music, Music Theory and Special Topics culminating in Public Recitals. 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 and Discussions with featured Public Recitals at the end of each week. Students will be expected to practice a minimum of 2 hours each morning and will perform regularly with the pianist in Performance Class. Ensemble experience will be offered in the form of Chamber Music in various combinations and levels. For students who are serious about playing the violin, viola or cello, the LYCO STRINGFEST offers a unique summer music study opportunity. The tuition for the TWO WEEKS is $500 (option to attend one week IF SPACE PERMITS - $350), which includes lessons, supervision, pianist, classes and use of the Lycoming College music facilities.


LYCO STRINGFEST is open to violinists, violists and cellists who are looking for a summer music experience designed specially for them. An audition and interview will be required for admission if the staff does not know the student’s playing and level.


Monday through Saturday, July 22 – August 3, 2019
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 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 3:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Tuition is $500 inclusive. A $75.00 Deposit is required to hold a place; space in the program is limited to 16 students. Students may bring their lunch from home or arrangements can be made to have lunch delivered daily for a modest cost. Registration and Tuition fees may be paid by check or online by credit card. Please make checks payable to "Lycoming College" with "LCSF Registration" and the participant’s name on the Memo line. (If you need Housing, Contact the Director for information.)

Registration deadline: June 28, 2019

Register Now

Sample Daily Schedule

Time Mon, Wed Tue, Thur Fri Sat
9:00 Practice Practice Practice ------
9:45 Lesson Lesson 10:00 Recital Rehearsal Recital Warmup
10:45 Practice Practice ------ ------
12:00 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
12:45 Music Theory Perf Class w piano Special Topics 1:00 RECITAL
1:45 Chamber Music 2:00 Chamber Music Recital Dress Reh -----
3:00 DISMISS ------ ------ -----

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

To Register by mail: LCSF, Dr. Kenneth Sarch, Director; Lycoming College Music Dept.; 700 College Place; Williamsport, PA 17701

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. He has presented Master Classes at many universities and music schools...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 and previously as Concertmaster of the Maryland Symphony. 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 faculty at Lycoming College as assistant professor, teaching courses in applied piano and music theory. Her diverse research interests include biomechanics (especially for small-handed pianists) and asymmetrical meter in pedagogical repertoire. 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, where she attended as a University Fellow. 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, Dalcroze) is an acclaimed teacher and performer who made her solo debut with the Toledo Symphony in 2003 after being 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 Masters 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. With interests in many genres of music, Dr. Rolka studied Jazz improv and film music at the Henry Mancini Institute in Los Angeles, and recorded a CD with the orchestra in the Warner Brothers Studios. As a chamber musician, she was a member of the Graduate Piano Quartet and Center for New Music at the University of Iowa and continues to hold a passion for chamber music and performing contemporary compositions. Currently she is a member of a Baroque period ensemble called Cat Behavior Specialists and the Williamsport Symphony in Williamsport, PA.

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, and Violist with the Lycoming College Faculty String Quartet. 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." As a conductor, he has worked extensively with young musicians across the United States, and has served as Principal Conductor and Artistic Director for two youth orchestras within the Harmony Project Los Angeles system. 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.

Lisa R. Caravan (Cello, Chamber Music) is a string pedagogue, conductor and cellist who currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Music at Bucknell University. She has been invited to work with orchestra ensembles regionally, nationally and internationally in London, England and Perth, Australia. She was the music director for three years of the Tiger Strings Youth Orchestra Program in Auburn, AL. Dr. Caravan has presented her research at state, regional and national conferences including the American String Teachers Association, College Music Society, Suzuki Association of Americas Conference, and National Association for Music Education Eastern Division Conference. Dr.Caravan performs regularly with the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. Recently, she recorded with Paragon on their latest CD, Black Manhattan, Volume. 3. Dr. Caravan presently holds the position of principal cellist with the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra and has previously served as the assistant principal cellist in the Binghamton Philharmonic. She has performed with numerous orchestras including Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Symphony (GA), Charleston Symphony and the Mercury Opera Orchestra. Dr. Caravan has collaborated with notable performers including pianists Kevin Moore and Sar Shalom Strong, and organist Todd Wilson, Head of the Organ Department at The Cleveland Institute of Music; violinist Jo Nardolillo in the premiere performance of Cutting Contest by Mark Olivieri; and performed Kamran Ince’s MKG Variations for solo cello and other compositions at Heidelberg College’s New Music Festival. She has also toured internationally with the Weis Trio in Paris and London. Dr. Caravan received the Master of Music degree in performance and literature, the Orchestral Studies Diploma and the Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education degree from the Eastman School of Music.