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Winter Festival of Strings

The Doane Winter Festival of Strings will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2014, in Heckman Auditorium on the Crete campus.  This festival will feature a select string orchestra led by Tracy Hanson Sands, director of strings at Doane College.  Mrs. Sands joined the Doane faculty in 1999.  She is a frequent performer on cello as a soloist, chamber player, and symphony musician.  Presently, Sands is assistant principal in the Lincoln Symphony, a regular at Third Chair Chamber Concerts, and a member of the Summit String Quartet and the Bachman Trio.

This year, in addition to the Festival's string orchestra, we are excited to announce a solo competition.  Three players will be selected to perform an accompanied solo at the Festival's final concert. 

In addition to this performance opportunity:

  • first place winner will receive $200.
  • second place winner will receive $100.
  • third place winner will receive Doane gifts.

Interested students must submit a tape or CD of the solo they intend to perform at the concert with piano accompaniment.  Recordings are due Saturday, November 30, 2013.  Winners will be contacted by phone.




9:00 a.m.  Registration (coffee and doughnuts for attending teachers
and orchestra directors)
9:30 a.m. Rehearsal begins
Noon Lunch
12:30 p.m. Optional tour of Lied Science, Mathematics, and Information 
Science Technology Building,Whitcomb Lee Conservatory, 
and Hansen Leadership Hall
1:15 p.m. Rehearsal resumes
3:00 p.m. Soloists may warm up with their accompanist
4:00 p.m. Final concert



Selection of Students

All participants must fill out an application. Former participants are automatically invited to play in the Winter Festival of Strings.  Selection of new students for the Winter Festival of Strings is based on three criteria: quality of audition, instrumentation needs, and representation from as many schools as possible.  All participants must be in high school. All new participants must submit an audio audition either in CD or mp3 format. Audition requirements are a 2-3 octave D major scale and a 3-minute solo or etude. 

On Saturday, January 18, high school seniors will have the opportunity to audition for a Doane music scholarship.  The scholarship awards are based on the following criteria: musicianship, academic and/or music potential, and needs of an ensemble. The money is highly variable.  In order to audition, a student must have applied for and been admitted to the college. Please contact Dr. Jay Gilbert at 800.333.6263 for more information.

In order for me to properly prepare for the festival, I will need two pieces of information. Please duplicate the enclosed student application form and distribute it to your students. The students should complete the top portion of the form and have their parents sign the second portion.  You should then rank each student according to their ability when compared against other nominees.  I will try to follow your ranking, although the audition will have greater weight.  Secondly, I would like you to send your student's audition recordings.  I will return them to you at the festival.  Please consult the enclosed audition tape procedure form for any questions.  Audition materials and recordings are due Saturday, November 30, 2013.

Fees and Expenses

Total cost for each student is $15.  This covers lunch, honoraria, duplication, and mailing costs.  For directors and teachers who send participants, you are strongly urged to attend.  We will provide lunch free of charge.  Students pay the fee on January 18 at registration. 


The deadline is Saturday, November 30, 2013.  Selected students are notified immediately and music will be sent by mail.

If you have any questions, please call Tracy Sands at 402.423.9246, or by e-mail at  We hope to see you January 18th. 


Tracy H. Sands
Director of String Music