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Violin Fest


November 17-18, 2023


The WKU Violin Fest is an exciting event that brings together violinists and teachers of all ages. The Violin Fest features an offering of masterclasses, group classes, and special topic lectures from world-renowned guests.  All classes will be held on the campus of Western Kentucky University, in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Artist-Faculty includes: James Przygocki (University of Wyoming), Sherry Sinift (University of Wisconson-Milwaukee), Christina Hightower (Indiana University), Aram Arakelyan (Indiana University), and Ching-Yi Lin (Western Kentucky University).

Check in is Friday 5:00PM in front of Fine Arts Center Recital Hall. There will be a table set up and people there to answer any questions that you have. You will get a packet of useful information for the weekend. You will receive an invoice by early December in the mail.

wku violinfest 2023

Click Below to download PDFs of the Group music

Group Music - Violin part

Group Music - Violin+Piano



Friday, November 17

5:00pm - Check in at FAC Recital Hall (google maps link)

6:00pm - Faculty Recital in FAC Recital Hall

            Featuring: Jim Przygocki, Sherry Sinift, Ching-Yi Lin, Christina Hightower, Andrew Braddock, and Aram Arakelyan.

Saturday, November 18

 9:00am - 5:00pm - Masterclasses, group classes, lectures, and more.

  • Masterclasses with Dr. Przygocki and Dr. Sinift
    • 9:00 - 12:00
    • 1:30 - 4:30
  • Group Class Schedule
    • 9:00-10:00am: Beginner Class
      • Ant Song, GDG, AEA with bow
      • Teacher:
    • 10:00-11:00am: Suzuki Book 4
      • Seitz Concerto no. 5, mvt 1
      • Teacher:
    • 11:00-12:00 noon: Violin Ensemble
      • Shostakovich Duet - Praeludium and Gavotte
      • Teacher:
    • 1:30 - 2:30: Suzuki Book 3
      • Gavotte Martini & Gavotte in G Minor
      • Teacher:
    • 2:30 - 3:30: Suzuki Book 2
      • Musette and Hunter's Chorus
      • Teacher:
    • 3:30 - 4:30: Suzuki Book 1
      • Twinkle, Long Long Ago, Allegro
      • Teacher:

5:00pm - Violin Fest recital, featuring participants and students of WKU


Travel and Parking

Park in the lot labeled  “Gated Hilltop Lot” at the corner of Colonnade Dr and State Street. There is massive construction going on, so the only way to access the Gated Hilltop lot is from State Street. Don’t trust your phone navigation if it navigates you through the campus on Hilltop or Colonnade drives. 

This map pin is placed across the street from the parking lot. Use your GPS app to navigate to it, and it will avoid the construction: https://goo.gl/maps/Dvq2WpG1GRAZdgrU8  


Hotel Information

We have a special group rate at the Hyatt Place, which is within walking distance to the music building. Click here for the reservation information.


For more information, contact Dr. Lin at strings@wku.edu or (270) 745-5939.


Registration Form

Registration is $25 for all students. If you would like to play in a master class, you will be billed an addition $50. An invoice will be mailed to you at the address you provide on your registration form below.

Leave blank if you are 18 or older

See above for the repetroire

Masterclass Performance

Select Yes if you are interested in performing in one of the masterclasses. If you are selected to perform, a $50 masterclass fee will be added to your invoice.

Type the title and composer of the piece you'd like to perform.

Policy Information

By registering myself or my child for this program, I understand that photographs and videos may be taken to document activities. I give my permission for photographs and/or videos to be taken of me or my child during the Violin Fest to be used for educational and/or promotional materials for the Department of Music and its faculty.




Faculty Members 


Sherry Sinift


Sherry Sinift is currently an adjunct faculty member of the University of Wyoming Department of Music. Her activities include performances with the Summit Chamber Players, directing the String Academy of Wyoming, acting as the Administrative Coordinator of the University of Wyoming String Project and teaching private violin lessons. In the summer she serves on the faculty of the Indiana University Summer String Academy. Previously she has served on the faculties of the String Academy of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Conservatory and the Lawrence Conservatory. She received her violin training from Tadeusz Wronski, Mimi Zweig, and Gerald Fischbach. Ms. Sinift holds a Masters degree in violin performance from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Western Michigan University.

Jim Przygocki


James Przygocki is Professor of Music and Chair of the String Area at the University of Wyoming. He teaches viola, violin, and music education and pedagogy courses and conducts the UW Chamber Orchestra. In addition, Prof. Przygocki serves as Principal Violist with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra, teaches at the String Academy of Wyoming and is Director of the University of Wyoming String Project. In the summer Prof. Przygocki serves on the faculties of the Indiana University Summer String Academy and the Rocky Ridge Music Center in Estes Park, Colorado. 

Prof. Przygocki's education includes a Bachelor's degree in Music Education and violin from Western Michigan University and a Masters in Viola Performance from Indiana University. He has studied viola with Mimi Zweig and Jerry Horner, violin with Gerald Fischbach, chamber music with Rostislav Dubinsky and pedagogy with Mimi Zweig. He has also studied chamber music with the Fine Arts Quartet and at the Banff Center for the Arts. 

Prof. Przygocki is an active performer as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. His experience includes performances in Europe, China, Brazil, Canada and around the U.S. He plays chamber music with the Summit Chamber Players, a faculty ensemble at the University of Wyoming. He has also performed at various festivals including Colorado's Music in the Mountains and the Indiana University Summer Music Festival. Solo appearances included performances with the Goias (Brazil) Philharmonic, the Wyoming Symphony Orchestra, the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and the University of Wyoming Symphony and Chamber Orchestras.  

He has recorded a CD of music by Louise Talma on the CRI. His recording of Camargo Guarnieri's Viola Sonata is on a CD that accompanies Guarnieri's biography, published by Indiana University Press. He also appears on a recent Summit Chamber Players' CD recording of the music of Felix Draeseke and Arnold Krug entitled Homage to Stelzner on the AK/Coburg label. 

As a teacher, Prof. Przygocki's experience is wide and varied. He has worked with students of all ages and levels from graduate level university students to the youngest beginners. In addition to teaching college students, Prof. Przygocki teaches young students through the String Academy of Wyoming, a Suzuki-based program for pre-college students.  

Prof. Przygocki's interest in teacher training led to the establishment of the UW String Project in 2000 funded by the American String Teachers Association. He serves as Director of the String Project which employs University of Wyoming music students as teachers under the close supervision of mentor teachers. The String Project provides group and private instruction to students beginning in the third and fourth grade and pedagogical training and experience for their teachers. 

Much of Prof. Przygocki's work is inspired by his interest in string pedagogy. He has contributed to the book Teaching Music through Performance and to the journal, American String Teacher. He currently serves as editor of the Violin Forum for that publication. Several of his viola transcriptions have been published by One World Strings. These include the recent publication of Dvorak's Four Romantic Pieces which he arranged and edited. A collection of pedagogical pieces is forthcoming. 

Prof. Przygocki is a frequent clinician and guest conductor at numerous schools and festivals. He is the conductor of the High Plains Sinfonia, a youth orchestra for young string players based in Laramie. He has served as Music Director of the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra and the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has given numerous teacher workshops as well and made presentations for various professional organizations including the American String Teachers Association. In the summer he teaches at Indiana University in the Retreat for Professional Violinists and Violists.  

Prof. Przygocki is also an enthusiastic advocate for the viola and for string education. He is currently President of the Rocky Mountain chapter of the American Viola Society and is a founding board member of this organization. He has also held leadership positions with the American String Teachers Association, the Wyoming String Teachers Association, the Music Educators National Conference, Music Teachers National Association and the National String Project Consortium.


Ching-Yi Lin


Violinist Ching-Yi Lin’s recent performances and masterclasses have taken her to the Barratt Due Institute of Music in Norway, the Shenyang and Xi’an Conservatories in China, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of British Columbia. She’s also performed in New York on the Museum of Modern Art’s Summer Garden Series, at Sejong Center in South Korea, and in Taiwan at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.

Her recent album on MSR Classics features sonatas for violin and piano by Charles Ives, William Bolcom, and John Corigliano. In reviewing the album, Gramophone noted the “panache and warmth” of Ms. Lin’s playing and described her interpretations as “a series of tender, lively, and challenging conversations.”

A dedicated and creative teacher, Ching-Yi Lin is Associate Professor at Western Kentucky University and also serves on the faculty at the Indiana University Summer String Academy and the WKU Summer String Institute. Previously, she served on the faculty of the Sommersymfoni i Kristiansand in Norway and Chicago Chamber Music Festival.

In 2013, Ching-Yi was presented with the prestigious Jefferson Award for Public Service in Washington, DC, recognizing her work in bringing music into the lives of young people throughout her community. And in 2017, Ching-Yi received a Sisterhood grant from Western Kentucky University to direct student teachers and volunteers in teaching the violin to refugee children in Bowling Green, KY. In 2020, this program developed into a non-profit organization called Bridging Cultures with Music. The program offers college music majors an opportunity to teach, inspire, and make an impact in a global classroom setting.

Ching-Yi regularly presents at the American String Teachers Association National Conference and is an active clinician and adjudicator. As a board member for the Daraja Music Initiative, a non-profit organization in Moshi, Tanzania, Dr. Lin founded a beginning strings program for students of the Majengo Primary School in 2016. Over 60 string instruments were donated from across the United States for this endeavor. She also currently serves as the Secretary and on the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Dr. Lin holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and she undertook additional studies at the Vienna Conservatory. She plays on a violin made in 1863 by Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.


Andrew Braddock


Violist Andrew Braddock’s teaching and performing career has recently taken him to the Sejong Center in Seoul, South Korea, the National Concert Hall in Taipei, Taiwan, and the International Viola Congress in Rotterdam.

A passionate educator, he has given masterclasses at Vanderbilt University, the Chinese Culture University in Taipei, Taiwan, Bowling Green State University, and many others. He teaches at Western Kentucky University (WKU) and is the co-director of the WKU String Academy. In the summers, he teaches at the Indiana University Summer String Academy and directs the WKU Summer String Institute, an intensive summer camp for students ages 4 to 18 based around chamber music and orchestral performance. His creative teaching led him to co-found Bridging Cultures with Music, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports various pedagogical and outreach programs in his community and abroad.

Research, writing, and intellectual discovery are central to his artistic mission. His writings have appeared in publications such as The Strad and the Journal of the British Music Society. He is currently the editor of the American Suzuki Journal, a quarterly publication of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. From 2017 to 2021, Dr. Braddock was the editor of the Journal of the American Viola Society, the most prominent peer-reviewed publication for viola scholarship. The journal presents musicological and music theory research relating to the viola, in addition to pedagogical insights and current reviews. Dr. Braddock spearheaded an issue devoted to the 40th anniversary of George Rochberg’s viola sonata, examining it from various musicological, historical, and theoretical perspectives. He previously served as the journal’s New Music Editor and on the board of the American Viola Society.

He is the principal violist of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, and he regularly plays with the Nashville Symphony and the Nashville Opera. He holds degrees from Indiana University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Kentucky. His principal teachers are Atar Arad, Kathryn Plummer, and John Graham. He plays a viola made by Giovanni Pistucci, ca. 1920.

Visit his personal website for his recordings, research, and arrangements for viola: andybraddock.com


Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 11/29/23