Gail V. Barnes is Professor of Music Education and Director of the USC String Project at the University of South Carolina. An active clinician, she has presented workshops at the state, national and international level. She edited Applying Research to String Teaching and Playing for the American String Teachers Association and has developed an Online Community for String and Orchestra Teachers, presenting best practices in string and orchestra teaching through video in an online forum. She is also the administrator for a Facebook group that provides an open forum for thousands of orchestra teachers. She has eighteen years experience as a school music educator and has prepared numerous teachers for the profession.


Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer and conductor. His music has been performed throughout the world, including commissions by groups ranging from elementary orchestras to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Miami Symphony Orchestra and others. His music was performed as part of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service with President Obama and Vice President Biden in attendance. As a conductor, Mr. Balmages enjoys regular engagements with all-state and regional ensembles. He has been a guest clinician at numerous string workshops throughout the country and has enjoyed appearances at venues such as Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the Kennedy Center.


Carrie Lane Gruselle received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and a Master of Music Education degree, Suzuki Emphasis, from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She currently teaches strings for the Appleton Area School District in Appleton, Wisconsin. In addition, she is lead teacher and coordinator of the Lawrence University String Project. Ms. Gruselle is past orchestra coordinator for the Wisconsin School Music Association Middle Level Honors Project, and is currently a member of the WMEA Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance Committee. Her arrangements and compositions for beginning and developing string players are performed across the nation and abroad.


Michael Trowbridge maintains an active bass studio ranging from beginning to advanced students. For 33 years, he taught public school string orchestra at the elementary, middle and high school levels. During his tenure as orchestra director at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Virginia, he earned the honor of "Outstanding Orchestra Program" from the Virginia division of the American String Teachers Association. Mr. Trowbridge is a graduate of James Madison University where he earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Music Performance in bass.