Student Festivals

Student Festivals

Registration has been extended through Wednesday, September 18th


The SAWS Strings Festival will be

Saturday, October 5th 2019 from 8:30 – 4:30 at CWU in Ellensburg 

Strings Festival:

The festival theme for the strings festival this year will be Creative Ability Development” – featuring the method of developing creativity and musicality created by Alice Kay Kanack.  Students will receive a class from Kanack or cellist Andrew Barnhart in Creative Ability Development as well as a Suzuki repertoire class and a technique class. This is a unique and very exciting opportunity for students to get an introduction to the art of making creative choices in their playing. Please click here for more information on Kanack’s “Creative Ability Development” method.

Strings students need to be past Lightly Row to attend the festival, however, younger siblings who can play Twinkle are welcome to join the group for the final concert (and they can attend the Suzuki Early Childhood Education Class).

Ages 6 weeks-4 years old: We are offering a 60-minute  Suzuki Early Childhood Education (click here for info about SECE) class for infants, toddlers and an accompanying parent or caregiver. It is an interactive multi-age group class full of variety: singing, finger-play, rhythm, dancing, bonding, taking turns, and exploring instruments. This class prepares children for future instrumental study by developing basic musical skills, learning skills, and social skills. Participants will benefit most by listening to the class music found here beforehand. Please note that a parent should also stay with your older Suzuki student during his/her classes. The class will be held at the 9am or 10am and costs $12. You will find the registration for SECE on the student registration form. For questions please email us:

About the Clinicians:

Alice Kay Kanack is founder & director of the Kanack School of Music in Rochester NY and author of the CAD series.  Her workshops & tour groups are internationally sought after; her alumni are leading international ensembles, sitting as “composers in residence” for acclaimed symphony orchestras, and active at all levels of music education.  She worked with Dr. Suzuki in the 1980s. He nicknamed her “Mozart’s Mother” for her ability to nurture creativity and artistry.

Andrew Barnhart   Joining Alice for the Student Festival on Saturday is Cellist Andrew Barnhart.  He is a native of the Detroit, Michigan area and holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree, Performer’s Certificate, and Orchestral Studies Diploma from the Eastman School of Music where he is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts.  Andrew serves as Principal Cello for the Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes in Corning and Elmira, NY and of the Colgate University Symphony Orchestra where he is also on faculty.  As a chamber musician he has performed with the Michigan Chamber Players, the Eastman Chamber Music Society, and the Eastman Virtuosi.  He is a member of the Half-Six Piano Trio with pianist Toni James and violinist Man Yui Kitty Cheung.  His major teachers have been Richard Piippo, Erling Blöndal Bengtsson, and Alan Harris.

For more information & inspiring videos:


Piano Festival: There will be no piano student festival this year. Piano teachers are invited to attend the all-instrument teacher workshop Friday, October 4th with Alice Kay Kanack for a full day training in her Creative Ability Development method, and to observe classes on Saturday. 

Guitar festival: There will be no guitar festival this year. Please check back with us next year. 

Costs & Deadlines

Registration is $75 for all students.  One full and four half tuition wavers are available to families who can commit to a couple important volunteer jobs we need done at the festival. Please email the director for more information: (please put ‘parent volunteer inquiry’ in the title)

Register a younger sibling for SECE for $12 on the same form.

The final registration deadline is Friday, September 13.

Register Online:

Student Registration


Saturday Schedule:

8:15-8:45 Registration at McIntyre Hall (music building) at CWU. All students will pick up their schedules at check-in.

9:00 -10:00 1st Class

10:15 – 11:15 2nd Class

11:15 -12:10 Lunch    

12:20 -1:10  Parent Talk / Refresh Room / Graduation Rehearsal / SAWS Annual Meeting 

1:25- 2:10 Graduation Concert: Student Union Theater Room 210

2:25- 3:25 3rd Class

3:35 -3:45  Final Concert tuning/ organizing by performance group

3:45-4:35 Final Concert


There will be a lunch for students and parents in the Hertz Lobby, pre-registration required (more information soon). Also lunch can be purchased at the food court in the Student Union Building or at  restaurants around town or you can bring a bag lunch with you. (a tuition waver is available for a parent willing to organize the group lunch).

Final Concert Repertoire List (students need to review the pieces on this list that they know)

Cello Repertoire:
Breval Sonata in C Major, mvt. 2
Bach Gavotte in G Minor (cellos play up
– please practice this with your students)
Handel Bourree
Long Long Ago Theme in G Major – no variation
Perpetual Motion
Go Tell Aunt Rhody
French Folk Song
Twinkles in A – (cellos/violas play up)
“Down Puppy Up Puppy”, “Taka Taka Ti Ti and Theme

Violin Repertoire                                                                                                                                                                                         Book 5: Country Dance Book 4:  Vivaldi A minor mvt. 1
Book 3:  Bach Minuets, Bach Gavotte in G Minor
Book 2: Long, long ago Theme and Variation (book 2)
Book 1: Minuet I
Perpetual Motion D Major – (Violins play down)
Go Tell Aunt Rhody D Major – (Violins play down)
Twinkles: “Down Puppy Up Puppy”, “Taka Taka Ti Ti and Theme

Viola Repertoire:Viola Repertoire:
Book 4: Telemann Presto
Book 3: Bach Gavotte in G Minor
Book 2: Long Long Ago Theme & Variation in G Major, Two Grenadiers
Book 1:
Bohemian Folk Song
Perpetual Motion D Major
Go Tell Aunt Rhody D Major
Combined – French Folk Song D Major
Twinkles in A – (violas play up or harmony) “Down Puppy Up Puppy”, “Taka Taka Ti Ti and Theme


Directions to the McIntyre Music Building at Central Washington University

Take the first Ellensburg exit to the corner of Main and University Way.  Travel east on University Way (5 stop-lights) to Alder and University Way.  Turn left on Alder, (north) and proceed approximately 6 blocks.  Entrance to the McIntyre Music Building is just before the first stop sign.

Hotel & Lodging

There are many hotels in Ellensburg. Please be sure to reserve early.

We could not get a group booking rate at Best Western this year due to limited room availability though they offered a discounted rate if you call and ask for the “Best Western rewards member discounted rate”. This does require setting up a rewards program account.  Book as soon as possible, since there are limited rooms, and there are other events going on in Ellensburg the same weekend.

Best Western Plus Lincoln Inn & Suites
211 W. Umptanum Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 925-4244

Price:         $119 plus tax for single kings or double queens
Dates:        Fri (Oct 4) and Sat (Oct 5) 2019
Ask for “Best Western rewards member discount rate”

There are many hotels in Ellensburg. Due to other events in town we could not set up any group rates. Please be sure to reserve early.

Please email us with any questions: