Junior String Ensemble

 Nicole Parks, Conductor

Junior String Ensemble provides an introduction to ensemble playing to young string players. The repertoire is chosen and arranged to suit the abilities of the individual students to promote inclusion and the understanding of the importance of all members of an ensemble. Weekly rehearsals focus on the basics of rhythm, intonation, left hand facility, and dynamics in a stimulating social context.



Saturdays, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

2017-2018 Performances

Saturday, November 4 (Performathon)

Other TBD

Audition Requirements

One Octave Scale (G Major, D Major, A Major) Optional Two Octave Scale (G Major)
One piece from the beginning repertoire – Suzuki Book 1 or Equivalent


One Octave Scale (C Major, G Major, D Major) Optional Two Octave Scale (C Major)
One piece from the beginning repertoire – Suzuki Book 1 or Equivalent


One Octave Scale (C Major, G Major, D Major) Optional Two Octave Scale (C Major)
One piece from the beginning repertoire – Suzuki Book 1 or Equivalent


Inquire about specific requirements


Complete THIS FORM to schedule an audition.

Contact: Will Fickes, Artistic Director – fickes@cmcb.org or 617-482-7494


Goals and Expectations

1) ensemble playing: listening to others, both within and across sections; adjusting pitches and learning to tune to the ensemble; beginnings of dynamics as an ensemble; starting to develop strong sense of individual rhythm within the group; learning to voice and balance within and across the ensemble; learning to follow conductor’s beat patterns.

2) individual techniques: working on aspects of intonation, rhythm, bowing, and good posture according to individual ability; applying concepts from private lessons into rehearsals

3) practicing: practicing JSE music on a regular basis during the week; working to retain key concepts and instructions from rehearsal to rehearsal; taking music to private lessons


There are no evaluations for JSE, though students are expected to be able to play their parts individually for the group regularly with the support of their peers.


  • Arrive on time: Everyone in the ensemble has a task to help get the rehearsal started promptly. To be early is to be on time – to be on time is to be late!
  • Arrive prepared: It is crucial to the success of the ensemble that everyone practices their parts individually, outside of Saturday rehearsals. Bring your music and a pencil to each rehearsal- don’t assume your stand partner will bring the music!
  • Ask Questions! If there is anything that you don’t understand about the music we’re playing, its better to ask right away, either before, during or after the rehearsal. Asking questions is a necessary part of the learning process!



Conductor: Nicole Parks

Nicole Parks, born in Minnesota, moved to Boston in September of 2010 to attend The Boston Conservatory where she is currently working toward a Master’s Degree under the tutelage of Sharan Leventhal. She began playing violin at the age of 11 in the public school system in the suburbs of Minneapolis. Until her move to Boston, she stayed active in the school systems. She has acted as President and Associate Concertmaster of the St Olaf Orchestra. Nicole is an avid orchestral and chamber musician as well as conductor. In Minneapolis, she was part of numerous local orchestras including the Metropolitan Symphony, Mankato Symphony, The Northern Symphony Orchestra and acted as Concertmaster and soloist with the Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra and the Anoka Community Theater’s Pit Orchestra. She was co-founder and violinist in the Urthema String Quartet, a group dedicated to performing classical music alongside other genres.  She founded and music directed The Lirica Chamber Ensemble, a group of musicians under 30 who shared a passion for making high quality music without the stereotypes of professional organizations. She has a propensity to take risks with musical ventures which has given her many opportunities for performance and outreach that have given her a high level of diversity. She is currently a freelance violinist in the Boston area and faculty member at CMCB.