CCM freshman violinist, Kristine Clair “KayCee” Uchi Galano, made her debut in her home country with the Philippine Philharmonic on Friday, Oct. 12, when she performed as the featured soloist in the second concert of the prestigious organization’s 45th anniversary.

Kristine Clair Uchi Galano

Galano, known to her friends as “KayCee” was born in the Philippines in 2001. She started asking for violin lessons at age 4, a wish her parents happily fulfilled. Her mother is a music teacher, her father a mechanical engineer.

At just 8 years old, Galano won First Prize at the Malaysian Youth Music Festival. By the time she was 10 years old, Galano was a frequent user of the violin teaching website, pioneered by CCM Violin Professor and Dorothy Richard Starling Chair in Classical Violin, Kurt Sassmannshaus.

Galano and Sassmannshaus first met in 2011 at the Great Wall International Music Academy in Beijing. Soon after, she enrolled in CCM’s Starling Preparatory String Project, receiving weekly lessons over Skype with Sassmannshaus. Galano made her first visit to Cincinnati in 2015, and enrolled in CCM to pursue a BFA in violin in fall 2018.

The young violinist has continued to take the world by storm with a list of accomplishments, including becoming a featured soloist on NPR’s first “From the Top” show from Beijing, performing with the Metro Manila Concert Orchestra, winning Beijing’s Great Wall Violin Concerto Competition, touring the USA and China and performing with the Jena Philharmonic.

Local audiences can hear Galano perform Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 219 with CCM Preparatory’s Starling Chamber Orchestra at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall. The concert is free and open to the general public.

About the Starling Preparatory String Project
Founded in 1987 by CCM Professor Kurt Sassmannshaus, the Starling Preparatory String Project is a specialized honors program training young string students. The program is generously funded through a grant by the Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation. The superbly talented musicians perform as the Starling Chamber Orchestra and are selected by audition. Students receive one hourly lesson per week, and take music theory, chamber and orchestra each Saturday. Instructors include CCM faculty and graduate students specially trained and chosen by Professor Sassmannshaus. Most of the students are from the greater Cincinnati area, and many others commute on Saturdays from other states.  SCO has a concert series at Robert J. Werner Recital Hall at CCM and tours regularly.

For more information on the Starling Preparatory String Project visit

Story by CCM Graduate Student Jonathan Dellinger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.