Résumé- Cheri Collins Violin Studio

Dr. Cheri Collins graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where she earned a Bachelor of Performance on violin. She attended on full scholarship and was one of only two freshmen chosen that year to study with the Russian-born violin professor, Raphael Bronstein.

Dr. Collins launched her career as an orchestral performer, playing in the first violin sections of the São Paulo Symphony in São Paulo, Brazil and the Florida Orchestra in Tampa, Florida (formally the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony). She moved to Northern Virginia to begin a varied and successful freelance career. Some highlights of her freelance years include performances with:

  • Washington Chamber Orchestra
  • National Symphony Orchestra
  • Baltimore Opera

She also performed as first violinist in the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Canterbury String Quartet, Fairfax Symphony, and as a recording artist for National Geographic’s Discovery series.

Uncovering her passion for teaching

From 1990 to the present, Dr. Collins’ has focused her career on her passion for teaching. She was a strings teacher in the Fairfax County School System receiving “Superior” ratings at Orchestra Festivals, as well as subsequent state and national competitions, receiving outstanding recognitions from Virginia Music Educators Association, American String Teachers Association, National America Orchestra Festival, and more. She was a string adjudicator for District Festivals throughout Virginia and is still in demand as a clinician.

Dr. Collins completed a Master’s degree in Conducting and a Doctor of Art's degree in Higher Education and Violin Performance at George Mason University. Her dissertation, "Connecting Science and the Musical Arts in Teaching Tone Quality: Integrating Helmholtz Motion and Master Violin Teachers’ Pedagogies", focuses on the physics of the vibrating string and its relationship to tone production.

Raising the bar―Dr. Collins and The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras

In 2010 Dr. Collins and her husband created The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras, (TCSYO). Initially it was a small two-week summer camp with 30 string players. It quickly grew into TCSYO Chamber Orchestra, TCSYO Symphonic Orchestra, TCSYO String Ensemble and TCSYO Prelude Orchestra. The Symphonic Orchestra was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall and a European performance tour was scheduled for the summer of 2020 to Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria.

It wasn’t long before Dr. Collins and her top-performing TCSYO were catching the eye of famed composer Hans Zimmer. Zimmer was seeking a top-tier youth orchestra to perform his film score, Planet Earth II, premiering at Microsoft’s INSPIRE 2017 International Convention in Washington D.C. According to his staff, Hans reportedly only needed 20 seconds listening to TCSYO to know he found his orchestra. It was a top honor, and for the young talent making up her orchestra, the first of undoubtedly many more successes.

Dr. Collins contributes to Ovation Press String Visions, an on-line resource center that aims to inform and inspire contemporary classical musicians through the latest news and discoveries. Her articles are also published in the American String Teachers Association Magazine.


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