Dr. Robert Saunders, Director

The Sand Hills String Band is for intermediate to advanced instrumentalists with an interest in playing American, European, and other world folk and popular music. Adult and older youth members perform together, utilizing their creative abilities to create unique arrangements of the selected music. Membership is not limited to string instrumentalists, as the name of the ensemble might suggest, and all traditional acoustic folk instruments are welcome! Instrumentation includes, but is not limited to:

  • Violin
  • Viola
  • Cello
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Mandolin
  • Ukulele
  • Penny Whistle
  • Accordion
  • Recorder

Come Join Us!

Multi-instrumentalists are welcome. Arrangements for the ensemble are created by the members with support and documentation by Dr. Robert Saunders. The group will prepare repertoire for several concerts throughout the year, each designed around a theme connecting the selections for each performance.

Semester Fee: $100

Spring 2024 Schedule

Rehearsals will begin on January 21st 

Spring 2024 Concert Date:  

May 5th 6:00 Recital Hall - Fine Arts Center


summer camp
Augusta Mandolin Ensemble

Augusta Mandolin Ensemble

Dr. Robert Saunders, Director

For all you mando-heads and mando-dablers, the Augusta Mandolin Ensemble premiers this summer. The group will be comprised of mandolin family instruments (mandolin, mandola, mandocello) with bass, guitar, and a uke or two, playing classic Italian, Irish, and American music. All sheet music and instruction on the mandolin will be provided. Instruments are available to borrow and use during the summer session and interested folks should have prior experience reading music on an instrument of any sort. Rehearsals will be on Sundays at 5-6pm and there will be a concert in August to showcase the work everyone has accomplished throughout the summer.

There are limited instruments available for a $10 rental fee for those who need one.

Spring 2024 Rehearsal Dates

The Mandolin Ensemble will also meet but only once a month, on the first Sunday of each month at 6:30. The first rehearsal will be January 21st.

Spring 2024 Concert Date:  

May 5th 6:00 Recital Hall - Fine Arts Center




Creative Strings Ensemble

Dr. Robert Saunders, Director

This ensemble is for students in seventh grade or older who play string instruments and have had at least three years of ensemble experience or private instruction.  

Instruments in this ensemble include:


Creative Strings classes focus on developing various creative competencies in intermediate to advanced string instrument students. Designed to augment the learning and skills gained through participation in formal classical ensembles, the Creative Strings Ensemble engages youth in musical improvisation, arranging, and composition while learning to work collaboratively with their peers. 
Modern avenues of performance for strings players are boundless, requiring performers to explore music genres and performance techniques that build on skills learned in other settings. Students explore music together in a weekly rehearsal and learn to express themselves fluently on their instrument. 
This unique performance opportunity builds a foundation of musical and harmonic understanding necessary to become a well-rounded musician. Repertoire is selected based on the interests of the performers in the ensemble with guidance provided by a specialist in creative music making and performance practice.  
The Creative Strings Ensemble participates in two concerts a year along with the Sand Hills String Band, a multi-generational folk music ensemble. Students in Creative Strings are invited to participate in the String Band and will have combined pieces at each concert.  

Spring 2024 Schedule

Rehearsals take place on Sunday evenings from 5:00pm - 6:00pm in the in the Fine Arts Center Recital Hall which is located on the Summerville Campus of Augusta University.  

Creative Skills Evaluation (for students new to the group):

Please prepare the following:  
1. Two pieces of your choice - one classical and one non-classical selection
2. One scale of your choice
3. You will be asked to play short melodic patterns by ear

Rehearsals begin January 21st, 2024

Spring 2024 Concert Date:  

May 5th, 2024 6:00pm Recital Hall - Fine Arts Center

Semester Fee: $100

**Financial aid is available. Please email consprog@augusta.edu for more information.


A cello, guitar and violin leaning against a white paneled wall.

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