University's String Music Program Receives National Support Following Successful Start

Pacific University's Strings Music Project, under the direction of assistant professor Dijana Ihas, continues to grow. Ihas, director and master teacher, has received a grant from the National String Project Consortium to further develop the highly successful program that provides string music instruction to local elementary and middle school children. The first installment of the grant is $24,650.

In 2011-12, the project served 14 school children. This past year, the number more than tripled to 45.

"The project is also an opportunity for us to attract music students and nurture the development of our music programs," School of Arts & Humanities director David DeMoss said, noting that the opportunity to teach in the project is open to all Pacific students regardless of major or minor. 

Teaching at string project

"Of five teachers-in-preparation this past year, three majored in disciplines other than music," DeMoss added. "Pacific University is the only school in Oregon that provides this opportunity to its students."

In February, Pacific sent three teachers-in-preparation to the American String Teachers Association National Conference in Rhode Island where they presented our program in poster and lecture format. 

The presentation was received with great enthusiasm and was a factor contributing to the decision that we receive the grant. 

In addition, one of those students, Justin Redona, received the honor of being selected to perform in the collegiate viola master class during the conference.

"With careful budget planning, we have launched our string project with modest internal funding support for the past two years," DeMoss said. "This grant from NSPC will enable us to continue to expand and support the project for the next five years. As the program grows, we expect it to become self-sustaining."

Sunday, June 23, 2013