Black Hills String Retreat Returns! 

                The Black Hills String Retreat will be held this summer on August 2-6 at the Cedar Canyon Camp. Although we will probably need to make some adjustments to our schedule and procedures because of Covid-19 health concerns, we have most of our faculty and staff willing and anxious to return to our time-honored traditions and musical activities that have made String Retreat everyone’s favorite summer activity for the past 30 years! Scholarships are available. 


               String Retreat Day Camp will also be in session from August 2-6. 

For more information and to register for the Black Hills String Retreat, 2021, go to the website: or search for Black Hills String Retreat. 

2021 Vivace Festival

               The 2021 Vivace Festival will be held at the First Methodist Church, downtown Rapid City, on Saturday, May 1, 2021. Individual schedules will be determined and sent to teachers the week or so before the Festival.

Black Hills Suzuki Twinkle Class
Black Hills String Retreat Suzuki Concert

For more information please email 

In 1974, the Suzuki approach was introduced to the Rapid City area. Interest grew quickly and in 1980, the Black Hills Suzuki School was formed. Today our program numbers over 110 students with eight teachers on the staff: Liz Benusis, Carol Knowles, Deb Knowles, Elizabeth Knowles, Charlie Savot, Meghan Knowles, Martha Robinson and Amanda Swartz.

Our Suzuki students have performed at state MENC conventions in South Dakota and Nebraska, led seminars at Black Hills State University, the University of Wyoming, the University of Minnesota, the University of Northern Colorado and Montana State University and appeared as featured guest soloists with the Black Hills Symphony and the Black Hills Chamber Society. In 1999 the Suzuki School celebrated the 25th anniversary of the introduction of the Suzuki method in Rapid City by participating in Disney's Magic Music Days at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. In 2003, the Suzuki School performed in the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, SD alongside the South Dakota Honors Orchestra, the twenty-two member premier South Dakota High School string orchestra, many of whom were also Suzuki School students. 

The Black Hills Suzuki School performs extensively in the community, with six or more concerts and solo recitals each year.  Suzuki School groups have also  performed outreach concerts in venues such as Storybook Island and Main Street Square. We are proud of the fact that many past winners of the Black Hills Symphony Young Artist Competition have been Suzuki School students.


The Black Hills Suzuki School prides itself on giving its students multiple solo, ensemble and group performance opportunities throughout the year.  At our annual Fall Workshop, guest faculty from around the country are flown in to work with our students.  This intensive weekend  allows our students to work with the "rock stars" of the Suzuki world.

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2020-21 Parent/Twinkle Class is postponed until further notice.