College of Visual and Performing Arts

CVPA All-Star Series: Kristi Monte

Kristi Monte

By Jen Kulju (M'04)

Growing up in Brick, New Jersey, Kristi Monte started playing violin at age six after hearing the Dixie Chicks on the radio and wanting to make a similar sound. She has been “playing ever since,” taking private lessons, participating in junior regional orchestras, and playing in the Kean University preparatory string orchestra when she was in high school. At age 12, she began teaching violin and “loved every minute of it.” “I knew then that I wanted to be a teacher when I was older,” recalls Monte, who grew her number of students to 30 before coming to college.

Monte also “just knew” she wanted to attend JMU because of its “breathtaking” campus and reputable music school. Now a senior music education major studying with Wanchi, Monte became good enough on the viola to call it her secondary instrument. “I enjoyed learning new instruments and the individualized attention.” Monte played in the JMU Symphony Orchestra for three-and-a-half years, helped to grow Club Orchestra on campus from five to 45 students, and is the founder of Got Strings (, a company made up of 14 current and former JMU music majors who perform classical music for special events in the Shenandoah Valley. She is also a recipient of the Sam Cross Music Education String Scholarship. “It is an honor to have been considered, let alone elected to receive the scholarship—and it really helps me financially.”

February 13, 2018

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Last Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018

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