"I remember the first year of the NKU String Project and its humble beginnings! The NKU String Project was founded in 2012 after a competitive grant process to be selected as on of 40 String Projects in the nation. While we were selected to be a site, the funding was not scheduled to begin for at least another year. With no intention to wait, my colleague, Amy Gillingham, and I began seeking alternative funding. It was the ESI grant at NKU that allowed us to begin, but it required that we tie all of the first year String Project programming to the environment. It was also President Mearns' first year.
Within a few weeks of beginning their instruments, the NKU String Project Prelude Class performed the Rocky theme song at the Mearns 5-Mile Race as runners passed by. It was a blast! The best part for the students was that Victor Viking showed up to take a picture with them after their cold, long performance (see picture).
Today, the NKU String Project is in its sixth year and going strong. It has been recognized on a national level as one of the leading string music education programs in the nation, was awarded Outstanding String Project of the Year in 2015 by the American String Teachers Association, and is changing the landscape of string music instruction in our community, campus, and world for the better."
My wish for the next 50 years...
My wish for the next 50 years is that the NKU String Project continue to impact our community and beyond in such a way that our educational neighbors and administrators recognize the value of string music education, the desire that their students have to experience it, and develop orchestra/string programs in their daily school curriculum. I want the NKU String Project to lead the way for how a multi-purpose university program (training undergraduates to be future teachers and providing the community with high quality string music education) can impact a community. In 50 years, I expect the ripple effect of the NKU String Project to be monumental!