Auditions open for new string ensemble

Sep 17, 2013

Voices in the Laurel announced the addition of “Laurel Strings,” a new string ensemble directed by Sarah Smith.

The ensemble is open to students in grades 2-12 in area counties who are currently taking private lessons in violin, viola, cello or bass or have taken at least two years of lessons in the past. Auditions will be held by appointment from Sept. 17 through Sept. 27 and the first rehearsals will begin on Tuesday, Oct. 1 in Waynesville.

Smith would like to create more opportunities for string players in the area to come together and perform as an ensemble.

“I consider playing with a group to be very important to a child's musical education,” Smith said. “The opportunity for students to play together as a group and for them as a group to play with Voices in the Laurel choirs, is a very unique and valuable one. I want to help students in our area to expand their musical experience and learn to love many different styles of music and performance, I want it to be a fun and educational experience for students.  It is not a group lesson, but rather an opportunity to use what they learn in their lessons and expand upon it by performing with both other string students and with the choirs.”

The ensemble will meet on Tuesdays at First Baptist Church in Waynesville and will perform both a winter and spring concert in conjunction with Voices in the Laurel as well as perform at the Voices in the Laurel “I ❤ Disney” Valentine Concert in February 2014.

Smith has been teaching private lessons in Haywood County since arriving from the Raleigh area over two years ago. She has a bachelor’s degree in music education from Huntington University in Indiana and spent 12 years teaching public school choir, drama and music and has taught violin and piano privately for the last 17 years.

It has always been a dream of hers to direct a string orchestra but there were no string programs in the counties where she taught school. Martha Brown, founder and artistic director of Voices in the Laurel says, “Voices in the Laurel is very fortunate to have Sarah Smith join our music staff. The addition of Laurel Strings is only the beginning of new performance opportunities Voices in the Laurel will offer the young musicians of Western North Carolina.”

For more information or to set up an audition appointment, call or text Smith at 919-272-1359 or email at

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