String Project Faculty
The String Project is led by Daniel Allcott, Cello Professor and Conductor of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra and Sarah McKelvie, String Project Director and Master Teacher.
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For more than 20 years, Dan Allcott has been conducting daring collaborations, outstanding symphonic concerts, and leading opera and ballet productions with international stars. Professor of Music at Tennessee Tech and Music Director of both the Oak Ridge Symphony and the Bryan Symphony orchestras in Tennessee, he regularly conducts Tennessee's finest musicians (members of the Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga Symphonies).
Allcott holds a Master of Music degree in cello performance from Indiana University where he completed his coursework towards the Doctor of Music in both conducting and cello performance before he left graduate school to become Music Director of Atlanta Ballet.
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Sarah McKelvie received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The University of Memphis Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, respectively.
A native of Columbus, Indiana, McKelvie joined the faculty at Tennessee Tech University in 2014 as an Adjunct Instructor of Music Appreciation, to lead The String Project, and pre-college string instruction.
She has taught private and group classes on the violin and viola for over 15 years. Prior to moving to Cookeville, she developed music programs in schools, as well as directed the McKelvie String Studio, an active, private studio serving more than 35 talented young string players.
From 2001 through 2014, she served as principal violist of the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic under the direction of David Bowden. She collaborates with Cookeville area musicians, local churches, and the Bryan Symphony Orchestra. McKelvie has been a member of orchestras in Europe including the Esternach Festival orchestra, and served as principal violist in the Lucca Opera Festival Orchestra in 1997.
As an undergraduate, she was a member of the Caricato String Quartet as both second violinist and later violist. This chamber group was a semi-finalist at the internationally acclaimed Fishoff Chamber Music Competition in 1995. She was also a Fellow at both the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival and the Brevard Music Center. While in graduate school, Sarah was a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.
She began her musical studies on the violin at the age of five. Her passion for the lush sound of the viola was sparked in high school.