Spring Strings Logo

February 18-19, 2022

Deadline: February 4, 2022

The Spring Strings Honors Orchestra is offered at no cost to students who are invited or nominated. To nominate a student to participate, please contact Dr. Hans Sturm: hsturm2@unl.edu

spring strings recording session

Dawn Harms

GKSOM Spring Strings Honors Orchestra

With special guest conductor Dawn Harms.

Dawn Harms' diverse career ranges from being a chamber musician, violin soloist, concertmaster, to being a music director and conductor.  She is a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, Associate Concertmaster for the New Century Chamber Orchestra, and Co-Concertmaster with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.  She also records regularly at Skywalker Studios for movies and video games. She is the co-founder and music director of the Music at Kirkwood chamber music festival, and currently serves on the music faculty at Stanford University.

After an extensive search, Ms. Harms was recently appointed music director and conductor of the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony. Her inaugural gala concert in September featured Frederica von Stade as soloist.

Harms was chosen as a Fellow at the exclusive American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival, where she worked with some of the top conductors of the world. Her recent guest conducting engagements include appearances with the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra, Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra, the Livermore Amador Symphony, Chattanooga Festival Honor Orchestra, Texas Regional Honors Orchestra, and Symphony Parnassus. She was also invited to conduct the extra shorts on the film Ratatouille, which is exclusively found on the DVD.

Her recent solo appearances include Folsom Symphony, Paradise Symphony, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, Sacramento Symphony, Symphony Parnassus, and the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. She has appeared in chamber music concerts with Frederica von Stade, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Lynn,Harrell, Eugenia Zukerman, Zheng Cao, and has premiered works with and by Jake Heggie.

A strong advocate for music education, she was music director and conductor of the Amarillo Youth Orchestra. She designs and performs her own family show throughout the United States, New Zealand, and Japan. Dawn recently performed her one-woman family show with the Lincoln Symphony in Nebraska, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, and the Napa Youth Symphony. Dawn plays on her cousin Tom Waits's CDs "Alice" and "Blood Money. Dawn also has two solo CD's, "The Black Swan" and "The Hot Canary".

For ten years Dawn was first violinist with the Harrington String Quartet, winners of the Grand Prize at the prestigious Fischoff and Evian International chamber music competitions. She played first violin for five summers with the Santa Fe Opera.

About Spring Strings

The Spring Strings Festival will be held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Students will work directly with UNL’s award-winning string faculty including violinist and Albany Records recording artist David Neely, Lincoln's Symphony Orchestra Principal Violist Clark Potter, cellist with the Trio Nuovo, and Concordia String Trio Dr. Karen Becker, and EMI and Innova recording artist Dr. Hans Sturm. Students attending the festival will have the opportunity to perform in the Honors String Orchestra and perform in solo masterclasses with the UNL string faculty.

Applications/Festival Acceptance

To attend the Spring Strings Festival, students must either be invited or nominated by their private teacher or orchestra conductor. Students must complete the online registration form by the application deadline: February 4, 2022.

Are you interested in majoring or minoring in music? If so, check out the audition requirements for the Glenn Korff School of Music.


Tentative Festival Schedule (subject to change)

Friday, February 18, 2022 (also an undergraduate audition day for music majors and minors entering Fall 2022) *
 9 AM Festival Registration - Kimball Lobby
10 AM Orchestra Rehearsal – Kimball Hall
10-Noon * UNL String Auditions – WMB 206
NOON Lunch Break
1 PM Orchestra Rehearsal – Kimball Hall
3:15 PM Break
3:30 PM Master Classes – Violins (Kimball), Violas (WMB 104), Celli (WMB 105), Basses (WMB 109)
5 PM Faculty Recital – Kimball Hall Stage
Saturday, February 19, 2022
 9 AM Practice on your own (WMB 3rd floor)
10 AM Orchestra Rehearsal – Kimball Hall
11 AM College Talk – Kimball Hall
NOON Lunch Break
1 PM Masterclasses – Violins (Kimball), Violas (WMB 104), Celli (WMB 105), Basses (WMB 109)
2:15 PM Break
2:30 PM Orchestra rehearsal – Kimball Hall
3:30 PM Orchestra concert
* February 18, 2022, is an Undergraduate String Audition Day. Students wishing to audition may do so and participate in Spring Strings 


Questions? Contact Dr. Hans Sturm, 234 Westbrook Music Building, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-0100 hsturm2@unl.edu