Dorothy Gerber Strings Program Now Accepting Fall Enrollment

Great Lakes Center for the Arts’ Dorothy Gerber Strings Program (DGSP) is now accepting student enrollment for the 2023/24 session of in-school strings classes, individual lessons, and its youth orchestra program from now through the end of September.

Open to students four years of age to 18-year-old high school seniors in Emmet, Charlevoix, and Antrim counties who are interested in playing violin, viola, cello, or bass, the DGSP is an excellent opportunity for students to hone musical talent and build life skills – as program director Dr. David Reimer puts it: “Study strings, cross-train for life.”


Now in it’s 23rd year, the DGSP is an accessible and affordable gift to Northern Michigan students and their families, and it’s not just for youth focused on a future in music – all students can benefit from music education. The DGSP helps students prepare for life regardless of education or career goals by developing mental, physical, emotional, and social skills that come with learning to play an instrument.


“Now is a great time to sign up for the school year, as classes will be starting up in Alanson, Boyne City, Central Lake, Charlevoix, East Jordan, Ellsworth, Elk Rapids, Harbor Springs, and Petoskey,” shares Reimer. “And we’re adding a new Home School class this year, taking place in Boyne City.”


Middle school student Marshall Herford joined the DGSP 18 months ago, and his mother Meghann Herford is greatly impressed with the program:


“Marshall has made so much progress. He receives private lessons weekly. Last school year he participated in the Junior Orchestra at Boyne City School with other Dorothy Gerber Strings Program students and this fall, he will join the Youth Orchestra.”

“We think having this program and sharing it amongst so many Northern Michigan schools is an incredible opportunity for students that might not otherwise have the chance to learn orchestral instruments and music,” Meghann adds.


Dr. Reimer, Assistant Director Benjamin Wu, full-time teachers Greg Binger and Rodrigo Quintana, and a team of dedicated instructors provide exceptional instruction based on musical excellence and decades of experience.


“We have several professional musicians with advanced degrees providing this education, including full-time teacher Rodrigo Quintana, who just finished a Masters Degree in Violin Pedagogy from Oklahoma State University and just moved to Charlevoix,” adds Reimer.


With registration now open, families can enroll their returning strings student or a new student, and a DGSP staff member will reach out to confirm and place your student in the appropriate class. Dr. Reimer recommends students rent instruments before buying.


To register for the 2023/24 Dorothy Gerber Strings Program or learn more about the current offerings, visit For any questions related to the program, contact Dr. Reimer at

The DGSP is generously supported by the Cummings Family. The program is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Arts and Culture Council, and the Charlevoix County Community Foundation.