Our History

Cassandra Strings, Inc. opened its doors for business in August of 1994, when Cassandra Thuneman, President & CEO, began a repair business in the basement of her  home. After a successful 8 years of repair and restoration Cassandra began a new chapter in her life, one that would change things forever.

In 2003 Cassandra began renting instruments to local students interested in taking music lessons through their school. Now, along with a strong rental program, Cassandra Strings provides sales and service of all string instruments of any quality, from student to professional. 

In 2008, Cassandra Strings began providing private lessons to local students, and supplied highly qualified teachers  to teach those lessons. Cassandra Strings prides itself on supporting music education in our schools and fostering the growth of musicians of any age and ability-from beginner to professional. 

Cassandra Strings is proud to say that we have a great "Tradition of  Fostering Music and Education." 

Employee Bios:


Cassandra has been actively involved with orchestral repair and restoration since 1986. After managing one of the largest string shops in Illinois she started her own repair shop in 1994. With a degree in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University, Cassandra decided to focus her attention to student needs and interests along with repairs and restorations.

Email Cassandra

Alex Swartz.jpg

Alex Swartz is the General Manager of Cassandra Strings, Inc. He oversees all day to day activities of the company. You may see him helping out in the repair department, where he started his career, or on the sales floor helping a customer, or in his office planning for the future! He still handles the purchasing and has a vast knowledge of the products available, and attends the NAMM conferences to stay up to date on the latest and greatest from around the industry.

Email Alex

dan mancera

Dan focuses on our school rental instrument program and head of our sales team. His knowledge of music and products are a great advantage to our teachers and customers, both in store and at the schools. He also helps with staffing at the Evanston store.

Email Dan

yuri saenz

Yuri is in our repair and restoration department. She takes care of all major projects and oversees all that is going on in the workshop.

jen yonamine

Jen is our sales associate and lesson coordinator for the Algonquin store. She is very knowledgeable of all of the products we carry, and is here to assist you in all of your sales and lesson needs.

Email Jen

zack allen

Zack is one of the few odd men out, as he plays the trumpet, and has been a big help in our expansion into the band world. He is out on the road, delivering instruments and accessories to local schools, and helps run the Evanston store.

Email Zack

katie samoya

Katie is an applied pedagogy graduate student currently working to complete her masters degree in trumpet at Northeastern Illinois University.  Katie holds a bachelors degree in music education and is a sought after private teacher and judge throughout the state of Illinois. As a member of Cassandra Strings she works as a sale associate at the Evanston location. 

chris zeglen

Chris has been with us for just about a year now and has become quite a help in our repair department as well as our sales floor. His repair duties have included rental set up on cello's and basses as well as other various tasks. Chris graduated from Northeastern Illinois University with a degree in Vocal Music Performance. You may also see him gracing the musical theater stages across the Chicago area.

Andrew (Andres) has been with us for a few years now and is part of our repair staff. He is a wiz at making sure our rental violins and violas are just right before they go on the shelf to be rented. Andrew was a high school graduate of DCHS here in Algonquin where he played violin in the orchestra. After graduating high school he went on to college and is currently finishing up a degree in computer science at Northeastern Illinois University. Andrew loves sports and more importantly loves his dog "Polar", A big furry Husky. Welcome aboard Andrew, we are very pleased you joined our team!