Oakland Unified School District middle school string teachers from the following schools choose an ensemble of deserving students to participate in the HOUSE program:


  • Brete Harte

  • Claremont

  • Edna Brewer

  • Montera

  • Roosevelt

  • Westlake


This year, HOUSE coaches include Cathy Allen, Andy Butler, Hande Erdem, Ilana Matfis, Paul Rhodes and Sara Usher, all consummate professional musicians and educators eager to make a difference in Oakland. HOUSE ensembles receive 18 weekly ensemble coachings, 9 weeks each semester along with extra individual attention during their orchestra time at school.


In addition, HOUSE participants enjoy three Musicianship Workshops as an important part of the program. They will enhance their musicianship skills with Carl Orff concepts presented by Zack Pitt-Smith, special guests like Thersa Wong, international performing artist, and the Out of Bounds String Quartet to learn about improvisation and alternative musical styles..


HOUSE motivates talented students to take their playing to the next level.


For more information, contact us at

Strings in Schools

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