student playing violin

Sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra

Mission Statement

The mission of the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program is to increase access to string instruction for underserved students. Key objectives of the project are: to provide string instrument instruction free of charge, to nurture and develop students’ creative talents, and to prepare students for challenging opportunities in music and life. The secondary goal, which has the potential to positively impact music education in Greensboro and the state of North Carolina, is to provide music education majors with the opportunity to explore and develop as teachers in a diverse setting.


The Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program (LRBS) was founded by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in 2000. In 2008, the partnership expanded to include the University of North Carolina Greensboro. The program provides string instruction to students in grades 4-5 at Clara J. Peck Elementary and Caesar Cone Elementary schools. Both schools serve diverse student populations with 99% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Participation is voluntary and enrollment ranges between 80 and 100 students annually. Students who enroll receive lessons during the school day twice per week in a group setting. UNCG Graduate students assisted by UNCG preservice teachers provide the instruction to the elementary students.


The Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program is currently possible through the joint efforts of the University of North Carolina Greensboro, the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Clara J. Peck Elementary School, and the Caesar Cone Elementary School. Program directors, Dr. Rebecca MacLeod – Professor of Music Education at UNCG and Mr. Peter Zlotnick – Education Manager for the GSO, work together to create a sustainable string outreach program that provides elementary students with the opportunity to study a string instrument.

News and Events

Adopt a String Student Day

Monday December 2, 11:30 AM
Tew Recital Hall, UNCG School of Music

Greensboro Symphony Pops Concert

Peck Alumni Leaders with the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program
Saturday, March 28, 2020, 8:00 PM
Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts,
300 N. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27401

Ode to Joy


Dr. Rebecca MacLeod

Program Director; Professor of String Education

Dr. Rebecca MacLeod is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she directs the string education program and conducts the UNCG Sinfonia. Prior to joining the UNCG faculty, she was the assistant artistic director and conductor of the Tallahassee Symphony Youth Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra in Tallahassee, Florida. A native of Pennsylvania, she taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestra in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and was orchestra director and chair of music activities in Beaver, Pennsylvania.

Dr. MacLeod is a frequent guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States. An advocate of increased access to string instruction for all students, she has served on the American String Teachers Association National Board and is currently the North Carolina ASTA state president. Her research on working with underserved populations, vibrato technique, music teacher education, and music perception has been presented national and internationally. Dr. MacLeod received her undergraduate degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and her MME and PhD from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.

Peter Zlotnick


Education Manager of the Greensboro Symphony

Peter Zlotnick is a North Carolina-based musician and teacher. Peter is the principal timpanist of the Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Salisbury Symphony Orchestras. In addition to being a founding member of Amphion Percussion, Peter has performed as a member of the Philidor Percussion Group and on varied new music programs in North Carolina. Peter serves as Percussion Instructor at the Music Center of Greensboro and Catawba College. He is also Education Manager for the Greensboro Symphony, and a member of the music faculty at North Carolina Governor’s School West.

Heather Lofdohl

lofdohlHeather Lofdahl is a string teacher, conductor, and violist who is pursuing a PhD in Music Education at The University of North Carolina Greensboro. Ms. Lofdahl teaches orchestra classes through the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program and at Guilford Preparatory Academy. She is the conductor of the Greensboro Symphony Youth Strings and also has a private violin and viola studio at The Music Academy of North Carolina, where she was awarded the Mary Elizabeth King Brown Teaching Excellence Award in 2014. Prior to moving to Greensboro, Ms. Lofdahl taught orchestra in Cobb County (GA). She has also taught elementary through university orchestra students in Illinois and North Carolina. She serves on the faculty of the Florida State University String Orchestra Camp every summer.

Ms. Lofdahl holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance from Augustana College and Master of Music degrees in Music Education and Viola Performance from The University of North Carolina Greensboro. She is an active guest conductor, clinician, and violist throughout the United States.

Roland Forti

fortiRoland Forti is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Music Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Prior to joining UNCG School of Music, he taught public school orchestra and chorus in Cape Coral, FL. While directing the Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Concert Orchestra, he was named “Outstanding Teacher” by the Cape Coral City Chamber of Commerce in 2018. In 2012, Mr. Forti was awarded the New Teacher Award from the American String Teachers Association. Mr. Forti served the Florida Music Education Association as Middle School All-State Orchestra Chair for two years. Roland Forti earned his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Music Performance from the Bower School of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University where he studied with Judy Evans and Patrick Neal, taught Pre-kindergarten violin instruction at MusicScores! in underserves schools, and was the founder and past-president of the FGCU student chapter of ASTA. Mr. Forti is currently a student for Dr. Rebecca MacLeod and Margorie Bagley at UNCG. Mr. Forti currently holds teaching positions with the Lilian Rausch Beginning Strings Program at Peck and Cone Elementary Schools, Coordinator of the Peck Alumni Leadership Program, and Conductor of the Naples Summer Music Camp.

Matt Laird

Matt LairdMatt Laird is a recent graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Instrumental Music Education, and is currently working on a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Jazz from the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program also at UNCG. Laird is an active performer across the region on violin, viola, bass guitar, and upright bass, playing with local symphonies, various chamber ensembles, and many bands, including Greensboro based pop-funk group Reliably Bad. Additionally, Laird is currently on the board of directors for the non-profit “Creative Strings,” and is an active member of the American String Teachers Association.

See what we do


The Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program is run through private donors. We are constantly seeking additional funding. If you are interested in contributing to the program, please contact Dr. Rebecca MacLeod, A little money can go a long way.


Will purchase books, rosin, and new strings.
Can supply a student with a new bow.
Funds an activity bus for one of our annual field trips
Purchases a violin for a student to use.
Purchases a cello for a student to use.
Will allow us to repair damaged or worn instruments in our inventory.

No contribution is too small. We also accept donations of instruments and other supplies.