Starling Foundation awards grant to Louisville String Academy


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A string program at the University of Louisville can now count itself among some of the most elite groups in the nation thanks to a gift from a foundation that supports the art of violin.

    The Louisville String Academy at the UofL School of Music is the latest recipient of funding from the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The Houston-based Starling Foundation’s mission is to support classical violin study at the highest level. The Louisville String Academy, directed by UofL violin professor Brittany MacWilliams, is home to elite pre-college violinists in the region.

    he foundation gifted UofL $240,000 over three years to support Louisville String Academy student scholarships, expanded performance opportunities and the hiring of guest artists.

    “The goal of the Louisville String Academy is to train and inspire these dedicated students and to prepare them for professional performing careers. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Starling Foundation to grow our program,” MacWilliams said.

    UofL is one of only a few university string programs to be supported by the Starling Foundation, which also supports the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and the Indiana University String Academy. MacWilliams, who received the first Dorothy Richard Starling Teaching Fellowship in 2001, has seen first-hand what its support can do for strings players.

    “The process of becoming a professional musician requires thousands of hours of training and a tremendous amount of resources,” MacWilliams said. “The Starling Foundation provides the crucial means necessary to take talented students to musical heights that otherwise just wouldn’t be possible.”

    The Louisville String Academy will host its final spring 2014 recital at 1 p.m., April 19, in Comstock Hall, School of Music. The event is free and open to the public.

    Erica Walsh
    Erica Walsh is the marketing director for the Office of Communications and Marketing. Her job lets her share UofL’s good news in all avenues of communications including UofL Magazine, advertising, content marketing and branding. Walsh joined UofL in 2014 after previously serving as the public relations specialist at Indiana University Southeast. Prior to her career in higher education communications she was an award-winning newspaper reporter. Red is one of her favorite colors and it’s a good thing, too, because she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Western Kentucky University and her master’s in communication from UofL.