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Student David Mixer performing on violin in the DUCViolin section during a University Symphony Ochestra performanceStudent Heather Walkover performing on cello in a University Symphony Orchestra concert
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Featuring a first-rate faculty, strong chamber music and orchestral programs, and frequent performance opportunities, the string program at the Conservatory of the University of the Pacific is committed to preparing students for a successful career in music.

Private lessons

Student-centered learning is a vital characteristic of the string program. By recognizing that every student is unique and requires an individualized approach, each applied faculty member adapts his or her teaching methods to meet the student's needs. In addition, the applied faculty members have a holistic approach to teaching, helping their students develop both technically and musically.  Through weekly private lessons, students develop invaluable problem-solving skills that enable them to identify and subsequently solve problem areas in their playing.


As members of the University of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, all string students perform orchestral repertoire ranging in style from Classical and Romantic master works to exciting world premieres.

String performance majors and other interested string players cultivate their collaborative skills through participation in the chamber music program.   During their time at Pacific, these students play in a wide variety of ensembles, allowing them to learn the intricacies of working with pianists, winds, brass, and other string players.

Performance program

Students in the performance program are held to the highest level of achievement on their instruments. The program offers juniors and seniors the unique opportunity to receive two hours of private instruction per week, as opposed to only one hour per week, which is the custom at most institutions.  This extra hour is vital to preparing the students for their degree recitals and graduate school auditions.  During their freshman and sophomore years, performance majors receive one hour of private lessons per week.

Other majors

Many students are studying music education, music therapy, music management, or composition with a string instrument as their primary instrument.  Based on the students' goals and abilities, the applied teachers tailor the private instruction to provide the students with the skills that will be most helpful as they continue their careers beyond Pacific.

Double Majors

Many students love performing but are interested in another area as well, such as music education, therapy, management, composition, or other academic subject. Many Pacific students choose to double major, thereby fulfilling their desire to study both.  Many double majors require at least an extra year of study.


Students gain fundamental performance experience through Conservatory-wide solo classes, regular orchestra concerts, chamber music performances, and degree recitals (performance and education majors).  Faculty members and the Trio 180 inspire the students by performing recitals regularly.

Strings Faculty

Ann Miller, Program Director for Strings
Associate Professor of Violin, 2008
B.M., Rice University
M.M., D.M.A., Julliard School of Music
Student of Ronald Copes and Kathleen Winkler 

Igor Veligan
Lecturer in Viola and Violin, 2006
M.A., Odessa State Conservatory
Student of Zoja Istomina and Galina Gritzenko  

Vicky Wang
Visiting Lecturer in Cello, 2017
B.M., M.M., Juillard School
D.M.A., City University of New York
Student of Zara Nelsova, Darrett Adkins, Joel Krosnick, and Marcy Rosen.

Thomas Derthick
Lecturer in Bass, 1988
B.M., M.M., California State University, Sacramento
Student of Abe Luboff, Stuart Sankey, Murray Grodner and Dennis Trembly; his conducting studies were with Leo Eylar and Peter Jaffe

B.M. Music Performance Strings 4-Year Plan