Justin Collins

Justin Collins


Gateway Science Academy of St. Louis

Justin Collins began playing cello at Gateway Science Academy (GSA) of St. Louis, a charter school in south St. Louis, at age 11. When he was 13, Justin began taking private cello lessons under David Arato. Justin began studying with his current teacher, Dr. Catherine Lehr-Ramos, in January of 2017. He is appreciative for the support both of these wonderful instructors have given him.

Recently, Justin has played an increasingly relevant role in his school’s orchestra program with guidance from his orchestra conductor and mentor, Mrs. Catherine Van Winkle.  He is currently the student conductor and student director of Gateway Science Academy’s International Orchestra, which specializes in international music.  This extracurricular orchestra has performed around the St. Louis area at venues such as the International Institute and Festival of Nations and has enjoyed partnerships with the St. Louis Art Museum and the St. Louis History Museum. Additionally, in 2016 and 2017, the GSA International Orchestra partnered with the St. Louis Symphony and participated in the Symphony in your School program. Justin also plays a leading role in his school’s cello/bass ensemble called “Deep Theory” and in several other groups focusing on chamber music.

Justin has also enjoyed playing in orchestras outside of his school. In 2015, Justin  was principal cellist of the Young People’s Concert Orchestra at the Community Music School of Webster University under conductor Patrick Jackson. He was also part of the Saint Charles County Youth Orchestra, conducted by Shane Williams during their 2015/2016 season. In 2016, Justin joined the CMS’s Preparatory program (PREP) under the instruction of Vera Parkin for their 2016/2017 season. This year, he is excited to be a member of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for the first time.

Justin participated in the Chamber Music Encounter and String Orchestra summer camps at CMS in the summer of 2015 and had the opportunity to participate and perform in the Arianna String Quartet Chamber Music Festival in the summers of 2016 and 2017.

In 2017, Justin received the G.A. Jr. and Kathryn M. Buder Charitable Foundation Scholarship from CMS. He is grateful for the opportunities awarded to him through this scholarship.

Justin is currently 16 and a junior in high school.  However, he is already looking ahead to college and a career in music. After graduating high school, Justin hopes to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in cello performance. Other hobbies of Justin’s include cycling, creative writing, and music composition.