History of 14Strings!

14Strings! was founded in 2007 by Professor Cliff Scherer and Jane Maestro-Scherer.

As a schoolgirl in the Philippines, Jane played in a rondalla lead by Juan Silos, Jr. (the "father of rondalla"). She was taught to play from memory without having to read music.

Cliff and Jane became involved with Filipino students at Cornell and considered starting a Rondalla. Since they could not easily obtain instruments used in a Rondalla, Cliff began building them himself, making use of materials more suited to Ithaca climate. For their first performance Jane and a group of Cornell students learned a single Filipino piece by ear (Dapit Hapon) and performed for the Cornell Filipino Student association in Spring 2007. The students introduced Jane to the tabulature notation for writing and reading guitar music and several students arranged pieces by Bach and Pachelbel for the Rondalla. Jane obtained music for more Filipino pieces and found a musician in the Philippines who arranged other pieces for the Rondalla on request. The Cornell 14Strings! Filipino Rondalla became a registered Cornell student group in Fall 2008, with Cliff as faculty advisor.

14Strings! has welcomed anyone interested in the music. Currently, 14Strings! has two subgroups—a student group officially registered with Cornell and a community group that often plays with the students. Neither group is predominantly Filipino.

Most of the instruments played by 14Strings! have been been provided by the Scherers. More recently, a Filipino supplier has been found who can reliably ship instruments to the USA so the size of the group is no longer limited by the number of instruments Cliff can build.