Improve your rehearsals by focusing on these three priorities: pitch, pulse and phrasing!
Frank Lestina: “While few would argue that pitch and pulse are two of the most important aspects in a rehearsal, some may wonder why phrasing is included. While the musical line will always be a top priority for me in rehearsal. We will explore new ideas and techniques that will really help with the intonation of your ensembles. While the focus will be on string intonation, we will also discuss intonation with wind instruments. We will talk about new ways to teach rhythm to your students but more often it is pulse that must be addressed in rehearsal. The key is to teach rhythm and pulse simultaneously. Bowing in orchestra rehearsals receives a great deal of attention. I prefer to talk about phrasing and then determine the best bowing to create a musical phase. Non-string players will find this approach just as helpful as string players.”
Please bring instruments (secondary instruments are fine) so we can explore some of these ideas using standard repertoire. Also feel free to bring a score and parts of a piece you would like to discuss in class.

Instructor: Frank Lestina


Frank Lestina received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Roosevelt University and his master’s degree in administration from the University of Illinois. Lestina started his teaching career in Danville, IL, where he taught orchestra at Southview Middle School and Danville High School. In 1986, Lestina accepted the Orchestra Director position at Libertyville High School, where the program grew from one orchestra of 30 students to two orchestras with 90 string players. The orchestra was invited to perform at the Midwest Clinic in 1991 and again in 1996. In addition, the Libertyville orchestras traveled extensively, including three tours to Europe. In the fall of 2000, Lestina accepted the position of Fine Arts Supervisor and Orchestra Director at Vernon Hills High School in Illinois. The string enrollment there grew to 150 students in three orchestras, more than 10% of the total school enrollment.  Lestina and the Vernon Hills orchestras performed at the ILMEA All-State Conference in Peoria in 2004, the Music Educators National Conference in Milwaukee in 2008, and the Midwest Clinic in 2009, in addition to overseas tours to China in 2001, Spain in 2006, Italy in 2008, and Prague/Austria in 2012. Lestina retired from Vernon Hills High School in June of 2013. 
Lestina recently joined the part-time faculty of DePaul University, where he teaches bass pedagogy. He is a member of American String Teachers Association and was very active in the Illinois Music Educators Association where he served on the ILMEA State Board as the District 7 President for two terms. Lestina remains very active as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator, and has served as guest conductor for many of the ILMEA District Orchestras at both the middle and high school levels. He conducted the ILMEA All-State Orchestra for the 2014 Conference in Peoria, and most recently conducted the Southwest Regional Orchestra in Cincinnati.

VanderCook College of Music - (312) 225-6288