Would you like your child to learn violin, viola, cello or bass? Registration is now open. Join VPA Strings today!

VPA Strings gives 3rd–12th grade students the chance to learn a string instrument! Families from all areas are welcome to participate in this Sherwood-based orchestra.

This program offers multiple levels for student progression, from beginner through high school. Musicians are taught posture, technique, ear training, rhythm stepping, sheet music literacy skills, performance etiquette and so much more. Students play orchestral arrangements and perform throughout the local community. 

Quality instruction and positive motivation are essential to success! Our instructor has a Master of Education degree and 25 years experience teaching orchestra in public, charter, and private schools.

Parent participation and observation is welcomed and encouraged, but not required.

Watch this short video to learn more about VPA Strings.

You can view photos of past concerts here.

History of the Program

The Voices for the Performing Arts Foundation provides musical opportunities in the city of Sherwood that are not offered as an extension to the schools and other nearby local outlets. First founded in 2011, the VPA Strings program has provided instruction for eight years to the community of Sherwood as well as students from Wilsonville, Tualatin, Newberg, Tigard and King City.


No auditions are required to participate in this group. Class level is a decision made together by the director and parents.


All students are expected to practice a minimum of 30 minutes per day, 5 days a week. Students are expected to improve on their lessons between every rehearsal.


Students are expected to bring these items to class:

  1. Correctly sized instrument (usually rented from a violin shop for correct sizing – bring your child with you to the shop!)
  2. Shoulder rest for violinists and violists, rockstop for cellists and bassists. (these are often provided with the rental)
  3. Cleaning cloth (any small washcloth-sized towel will work)
  4. Rosin (often provided with the rental)
  5. Pencil

VPA Director will provide the students with:

  1. Music binder with all sheet music
  2. Digital tuner to use in class

Concert Attire

Maroon polo shirts with the VPA logo are to be worn during all performances. Students supply their own black pants or skirt with black shoes and socks for performances. Polo shirts are $15 in addition to the tuition but students can reuse them each year.


The yearly tuition for this program is $400 for Beginning Strings and $460 for the Intermediate/Advanced Orchestra. Financial aid assistance is available; apply on the website under “Who We Are” link. Tuition should be paid in full by the second week of class with a grace period of one week. All tangible items (binder, music, books, T-shirts) need to be withheld until this non-refundable tuition is paid.

Parent Volunteer Hours

Parent volunteers are a large part of our program’s marketing team and their time and work is greatly valued and appreciated! Parents work closely with the director to design and distribute signs and fliers, post on our Facebook page, help with setup and takedown of class equipment, and many other small but essential tasks. Please let us know what your specialties are and what you may be willing to contribute. We find the more everyone is involved, the closer knit our community becomes!


Rehearsals take place Wednesdays, after school, at the Marjorie Stewart Senior & Community Center.

Students are expected to arrive on time and attend all orchestra rehearsals with no more than TWO absences per term for sicknesses – attendance is essential for group progress.  Director notification required prior to the absence.

Marjorie Stewart Senior & Community Center
21907 Southwest Sherwood Boulevard, Sherwood, OR 97140


Beginning Strings is a 75-minute class for students with little to no experience (0-2 years). The Intermediate/Advanced Orchestra is a 90- minute class for students with 2 or more years experience. If you have questions regarding which Orchestra class to register for, please email STRINGS@VPAFOUNDATION.ORG to discuss with the director your child’s experience for accurate placement.

Orchestra 1 (0-1 years experience)

  • 3-12th grade
  • Wednesdays 3:45-5:00 pm (75 minutes)
  • Class size: 10-20 students
  • Starting date: October 3rd, 2018
  • Tuition: $400

Symphony Orchestra (2+ years experience)

  • 5-12th grade
  • Wednesdays 5:15- 6:45 pm (90 minutes)
  • Class size 10-20 students
  • Starting date: September 19th, 2018
  • Tuition: $460


Our students get many opportunities to perform around the city! Past concerts have included the following events:

  • Barnes & Nobel
  • Oregon Symphony Prelude
  • Sherwood Art Walk
  • Sherwood Center for the Arts
  • Art in the Burbs
  • Sherwood Community Library
  • The Great Onion Festival
  • Cornerstone Christmas Gala
  • VPA Theater Performances
  • Paul’s Lutheran Church
  • Portland Opera invitational guests


Mrs. Anna Mersereau  – please contact her anytime at strings@vpafoundation.org