Are you a string student looking for a challenging atmosphere where you can have fun and improve your skills? Join us this summer for the SMI String Camp at BGSU and meet many string players just like you! As a violin, viola, cello or bass player, you will receive individual guidance from our talented faculty and guests. Each student is assigned to one of two chamber orchestras, one for intermediate and one for advanced students. A typical day includes rehearsals and coaching of small ensembles, improvisation, an individual lesson, technique classes, performances by faculty and staff, and recreation time. Students will have the opportunity to perform in the final orchestra concert and/or with smaller ensembles.


String camp is designed for students aged 12-18 with at least one year of middle school and/or high school string instruction. For any exceptions, please contact the director of the camp. Students will receive their small ensemble music in advance. In addition to the assigned repertoire, they should bring solos, scales and etude books.

Honors String Quartet:

Advanced students are encouraged to apply for the Honors String Quartet, two violins, one viola, and one cello, who will receive specialized coaching with our faculty, and a full scholarship, including housing and meals.

Students wishing to apply for the Honors String Group must register and pay in full for the camp and submit a video recording (YouTube link) of a solo performance via email by TBA to Professor Penny Thompson Kruse ( If selected, the student will receive a full refund of their fees.


Scholarships are available to help defray the cost of the camp. The Dorothy M. Price Scholarship requires an application form. Please check the Scholarships page for complete information.




Faculty and Staff Bios

Penny Thompson Kruse, professor of violin, has performed extensively as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. Prior to her BGSU appointment in 2000, Kruse was on the faculty of William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, for eight years. For five seasons she was a member of the Kansas City Symphony, serving as associate concertmaster during the 1989-90 season. Currently she performs with her husband, violist Steven Kruse as the Kruse Duo and with violinist Ioana Galu as Treble Trouble.

Kruse has been featured as soloist with several orchestras in the Midwest, including the Bowling Green Philharmonia, Eastern Festival Orchestra, Hutchinson Chamber Orchestra, Independence Symphony, Kansas City Camerata, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Liberty Symphony, Lima Symphony, Northland Symphony, Overland Park Orchestra, Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia of Kansas City, and the Toledo International Youth Orchestra. Internationally, she has soloed in Hanoi with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Orchestra and the State Philharmonic of Sibiu in Romania. Her performance of Chen Yi's Chinese Folk Dance Suite, with the Bowling Green Philharmonia, is available on Albany Records.

She has performed in numerous music festivals, including the Colorado, Peninsula, Spoleto and Grand Teton. As first violinist of the Escher Quartet, she was an artist-in-residence at Music at Penn's Woods at Pennsylvania State University. Currently, Dr. Kruse serves as a member of the violin faculty at Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. As a member of the International Women's String Quartet, she performed at the 2002 National Women's Day in Hanoi, Vietnam, as well as presented master classes and recitals in Tainan, Taiwan and Hanoi. She has performed in the American Romanian Festival with concerts in the U.S. and in Timisoara, Romania, as well as the Romanian American Festival sponsored by the Foundation "Societatea de Concerte Bistrita,” giving concerts in Bistrita and Cluj, Romania. In March 2011, Kruse appeared with the Counterpoint Ensemble in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Kruse has also performed at numerous state, national, and international conferences including the 2000 College Music Society: Musical Intersections; 31st International Viola Congress in Kronberg, Germany; 37th International Viola Congress at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa; 39th International Viola Congress in Würzburg, Germany; 2006 Percussive Arts International Conference; and was a panelist and clinician at the 2006 and 2011 American String Teachers Association Conferences.

Trained at Northwestern and Yale Universities and earning a D.M.A. in violin performance from the University of Missouri—Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and Dance, Dr. Kruse has co-authored articles in American String Teacher, the Strad and Journal of the American Viola Society with her husband, Steven Kruse. In 2001, Dr. Kruse was named Professor of the Year by the BGSU students of Ashley/Batchelder Residence Halls. In 2008, she received the Pro Musica Award for Exceptional Service to the students of BGSU.

Cecilia Johnson earned her B.M. and M.M. in violin performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, studying violin with Jens Ellerman and Makoto Kaneshiro. In addition to keeping a large violin studio at home, she has served as a violin instructor at area colleges for over twenty years: Adrian College, The University of Toledo, Ohio Northern University, and Siena Heights University. She has extensive orchestral experience, having performed for many years with the Toledo Symphony, the West Virginia Symphony, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Lakeside Symphony, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Ballet Orchestra.

Currently, she serves as concertmaster of Toledo's Sono Novo Chamber Ensemble, as concertmaster of the Ballet Theatre of Toledo Orchestra, and as first violinist of Toledo's Scandia String Quartet. Ms. Johnson is a contractor of musicians in NW Ohio and collaborates with many area artists on creative performing and recording projects. In 2010, Ms. Johnson received critical acclaim as a featured soloist, performing all four of Vivaldi's Four Seasons in a major collaboration between Sono Novo and Ballet Theatre of Toledo. In the summer of 2018, she performed Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending as soloist with Sono Novo in collaboration with the Toledo Museum of Art.

Ms. Johnson was the founder and co-director of Community Youth Motivated by Arts Learning (CYMBAL), an arts-based after school program for the children of Toledo's central city from 2002-2010. She conducts an annual workshop for area amateur adult string players entitled Summer Strings. In addition, she currently serves on the international board for Friends of Music Education for Haiti and spends part of each summer teaching the violin to children at the New Victorian School of Port-au-Prince, Haiti as part of its Summer Arts Camp.

Jennifer Eyink is Vice President & co-founder of The School of Strings. In addition to her role as lead teacher of the level one & two programs, she also plays a key role in the Alternative Strings program at the annual Bluegrass Blowout and the MACC  festival by providing leadership onstage and behind the scenes.

She studied violin and received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Wright State University. In addition to 25 years of teaching in the Centerville City Schools, Jennifer was also the high school director in the West Carrolton City Schools and the program director in the Troy City schools for four years. She served as the conductor of the Centerville Honors Orchestra for 14 seasons.

Dr. Steven Kruse has more than thirty-five years of experience as a professional musician and educator. Dr. Kruse has served as principal violist of the Kansas City Symphony, Windsor Symphony, and Flint Symphony, and has performed as soloist with orchestras throughout the world. Dr. Kruse served on the faculty of the University of Missouri–Kansas City for 12 years and coordinator of strings for four years. In addition, he has taught at the University of Notre Dame, University of Toledo, West Virginia University, and for twenty years at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Kruse also served as string specialist in the Ohio and Brooke County Public Schools in West Virginia. He earned Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from Manhattan School of Music and a Doctorate from Ball State University, studying with Lillian Fuchs, Jerzy Kosmala, Robert Slaughter, Robert Becker, and Lynne Ramsey.

Robin Bloomberg, cellist, completed her Bachelor of Music degree in music education at the University of Michigan, and her Master of Music degree in cello performance at The Ohio State University. She taught orchestra, grades 5-12, for the Mona Shores Public Schools in Michigan, at the Wellington School in Ohio, and most recently at Meadow Montessori School, also in Michigan.

Robin has been active in Michigan and Ohio as a cellist, private teacher, and string clinician. She has served as music director for string camps in Michigan, Ohio, and Alaska. She served as director of the Capital University Community Music School Chamber Orchestra and also of the Monroe Youth Orchestras. As a cellist, Robin enjoys doing freelance work in SE Michigan and NW Ohio. Currently, Robin is a sales and service representative for Cincinnati’s Baroque Violin Shop. She is a past president of the Ohio String Teachers Association.  

Douglas Eyink, President and founder of the School Of Strings, is also a veteran music educator in the Centerville City Schools. Doug grew up playing folk and bluegrass music while studying classical cello. His passion for folk, bluegrass, and jazz led to the creation of the Alternative Strings Program. For the past 20 years, Doug has successfully incorporated these styles of music into his teaching, writing, and performing. His Alternative Strings have shared the stage with many of the top performers in the bluegrass industry including: Cherryholmes, Nothin’ Fancy, Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, Special Consensus, Sierra Hull & Highway 101, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers. Alternative Strings collaboration with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver can be heard on IBMA’s recorded event of the year, “Life Goes On.” 

Doug’s education includes a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and a Master of Music in Music Education with emphasis in composition from Wright State University. He has also been recognized for innovative teaching by earning the Excellence in Teaching Award from Hadley Watts Middle School and the Notre Dame Society of Dayton, Ohio. 


June 14-19, 2020
Resident (includes housing and all meals): TBA

Commuter (includes all meals): TBA