Klarissa Lorae Petti, a student of Peter White’s American Studies course, went to last year’s violins makers competition in Arizona where she won a gold medal for making her own cello. It took Petti just over a year to complete her cello’s construction. White started the course in 2008. “I thought if I could get a space to teach this, I could help to preserve the art of making and playing violins, which has been common and a large part of the culture in New Mexico since about 1610,” White said. He said now there are more students requesting to take the course than there are spaces in the class.