Music Department

Cabrillo Youth Strings

Fall 2020 Semester and beyond

The Cabrillo Youth Strings has not been able to meet for the Fall 2020 Semester due to the health risk related to the Corona Virus. Because it is very difficult to hold string classes using distance learning, such as Zoom, we feel it is better to delay our classes to a time when it is safer. Although we are hopeful that it might be possible in the late Spring 2021, we may need to wait until Fall 2021 or Spring 2022. We will update our website as we have more information.

Cabrillo Youth Strings

String Orchestra Program, ages 7-18:

9 week session, concert the last week of class, Samper Recital Hall, 7:00 Friday evening

4th-6th Grade Beginning Strings focuses on developing ensemble playing for the entry level violin, viola, or cello student. Students must bring their own instruments and purchase 2 books. Time: 4:00-5:15 Fridays, VAPA5137, Nancy Kvam/Don Adkins

Festival Strings* is suited to beginning and intermediate violin, viola, cello and bass students who are able to read music and have had an introduction to basic music theory. Time: 4:15-5:45 Fridays, VAPA5156, Renata Bratt, with Adkins/Kvam

Cabrillo Strings* is for more advanced violin, viola, cello and bass students with good reading and ensemble playing ability. Time: 4:15-5:55 Fridays, VAPA5141, with Adkins/Kvam

*Auditions will be held for these groups prior to the first rehearsal, Friday, 3:45-4:15. For audition materials or questions, please email us at or call us at (831)479-6101.

Chamber Ensembles Program, ages 7-18, Fridays 4:15-5:30.

5 Week session, recital the last week of class, VAPA5148, 7:00 Friday evening

This Chamber Ensembles Program is designed for students with note-reading skills and will begin the week following the Orchestra Concert. Classical, Jazz, Fiddle styles. Our recital will include solos and chamber music ensembles. 

**Registration for each program is requested one week before classes begin.

All registration is due on the first day of class. Please register online through Cabrillo Extension or by calling (831) 479-6331. There will be no refunds.


"This program is a wonderful introduction to the world of classical music for students of all ages. The dedication and enthusiasm of the teachers is infectious. I am always amazed with the professional quality of the final concerts. We are so fortunate to have this amazing resource in our community."

—Sara Puhl, parent


"The instruction in this program is outstanding! The selection of music is really superior! The faculty takes time to select top rate and new types of music with new techniques. We really enjoy this. The thing I like most about this program is the camaraderie of music students with like interests."

—Elaine Forrester, parent


"It's the gem of music education in our county. It is a highly acclaimed training ground for children to explore the study of music."

—Michele Rivard, Emeritus Division Chair of Music, Cabrillo College

Cabrillo Youth Strings Music Program
Private String Instrument Instruction

Private String Instrument Instruction, ages 5-18, arranged with Faculty

Instruction is offered by our Cabrillo Youth Strings Faculty for violin, viola, cello and string bass, students ages 5-18. Weekly lessons are arranged with the individual instructor (please see the faculty list for contact information). Many of our faculty have training in the Suzuki Method. Students have the opportunity to perform in the recital held at the end of each semester. Our instructors are performers in local music groups: Santa Cruz Symphony, Chamber Music Ensembles, Jazz Ensembles and other groups.

For further information contact faculty Nancy Kvam or Don Adkins in the Cabrillo Music Department .

Instrument Sale/Rental/Repair:
  • Dennis English, (Soquel), (831) 475-8072
  • Jansen's Music, (Aptos), (831) 724-4798
  • Sylvan Music, (Santa Cruz), (831) 427-1917
  • Ifshin Violins (El Cerrito), 1-800-522-1099,
  • Kamimoto Strings (San Jose), (408) 298-8168

Cabrillo Youth Strings Faculty
Contact List for Private String Instruction
  • Nancy Kvam 426-6443
    Artistic Director, Violin, Viola, Chamber Music, Beginning Strings Director, Sectional Coach/Conductor for Festival and Cabrillo Strings, Administration
  • Don Adkins 423-9808,
    String Bass, Beginning Strings, Coach/Conductor for Festival and Cabrillo Strings, Chamber Music
  • Renata Bratt 461-0584
    Cello, Festival Strings Director, Chamber Music
  • Caleb Murray 435-6630
    String Bass, Cabrillo Strings Director, Chamber Music
Other Cabrillo Youth Strings affiliated string teachers
  • Aria Di Salvio 466-9936
  • Kristin Garbeff (805) 217-6851
  • Debora Grosjean 761-8228
    Violin, Viola
  • Astrid Huala 335-3469
    Violin, Viola
  • Judy Roberts 462-5420
  • Polly Malan 469-3088
    Chamber Music
The Cabrillo Youth Strings serves as the starting point for a lifelong journey of creative development for so many youth in the Monterey Bay Region. We are honored to host this outstanding program at Cabrillo College.
John Graulty, Ed. D, Dean of Visual, Applied and performing Arts, Cabrillo College