Professional Consultants

We are grateful to the following people who have provided us with feedback and endorsements for our string academy program here at the Community Center for the Arts!  

Mimi Zweig is currently a professor of violin and director of the Indiana University String Academy. Since 1972 she has developed pre-college string programs across the United States. In the spring of 2006, American Public Television released the documentary, “Circling Around—The Violin Virtuosi” which features IU String Academy students. Her students have won numerous competitions, and teach and perform worldwide.

 Brenda Brenner is Associate Professor of Music Education in the IU Jacobs School of Music and Co-Director of the IU String Academy. She specializes in the area of string music education, teaching applied violin and courses in violin and string pedagogy. Her String Academy students have been featured in concerts in major venues throughout the United States and Europe. 

Indiana University String Academy

Stacia Spencer is a senior lecturer at the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music in Evanston, Illinois, and string coordinator for the Northwestern Academy.  She also teaches violin, viola, and chamber music in Northwestern’s National High School Music Institute.  Prior to moving to the Chicago area Spencer taught at Indiana University School of Music as an assistant professor of music where she taught seminars in violin and viola pedagogy and was the assistant to Mimi Zweig for the Young Violinist Program. 

Dr. Julie Gunn is a pianist, music director, vocal coach, and song arranger. In her faculty appointment at the University of Illinois, she works with singers, pianists, songwriters, and chamber musicians. She has served on the music staff at the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, Wolf Trap Opera, St. Louis Opera Theatre, Southern Methodist University, Opera North, Theaterworks, Chicago Opera Theater, Cincinnati Opera and Illinois Opera Theater, and given master classes at universities and young artists’ programs all over the United States, including the Ryan Young Artists’ Program, Houston Grand Opera Studio, and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Santa Fe Opera and the Aspen Festival.  She looks forward to a tenure as artist-in-residence at the Glimmerglass Festival in the summer of 2013. Dr. Gunn is also the founder and artistic administrator of the University of Illinois School of Music Academy, a chamber music program for talented pre-college pianists and string players. Link to full bio:

 Dmitry Kouzov is currently professor of cello at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has performed on four continents with orchestras, in solo and duo recitals, and in chamber music performances. He has appeared with such orchestras as the St. Petersburg Symphony (Russia), National Symphony of Ukraine, South Bohemian Chamber Philharmonic (Czech Republic), and Johannesburg Philharmonic (South Africa), to name a few. Mr. Kouzov has been a winner of several prestigious competitions and is a founding and active member of the award-winning Manhattan Piano trio, with which he has toured extensively throughout the United States. Link to full bio: