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Starling Foundation awards grant to Louisville String Academy

by Erica Walsh, communications and marketing last modified Apr 15, 2014 12:16 PM

A string program at the University of Louisville can now count itself among some of the most elite groups in the nation thanks to a gift from a foundation that supports the art of violin.

The Louisville String Academy at the UofL School of Music is the latest recipient of funding from the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The Houston-based Starling Foundation’s mission is to support classical violin study at the highest level. The Louisville String Academy, directed by UofL violin professor Brittany MacWilliams, is home to elite pre-college violinists in the region.

The foundation gifted UofL $240,000 over three years to support Louisville String Academy student scholarships, expanded performance opportunities and the hiring of guest artists.

“The goal of the Louisville String Academy is to train and inspire these dedicated students and to prepare them for professional performing careers. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Starling Foundation to grow our program,” MacWilliams said.

UofL is one of only a few university string programs to be supported by the Starling Foundation, which also supports the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and the Indiana University String Academy. MacWilliams, who received the first Dorothy Richard Starling Teaching Fellowship in 2001, has seen first-hand what its support can do for strings players.

“The process of becoming a professional musician requires thousands of hours of training and a tremendous amount of resources,” MacWilliams said. “The Starling Foundation provides the crucial means necessary to take talented students to musical heights that otherwise just wouldn't be possible.”

The Louisville String Academy will host its final spring 2014 recital at 1 p.m., April 19, in Comstock Hall, School of Music. The event is free and open to the public. 

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