Alamo Heights Strings was founded in 1973 by Margery Keller. Keller hired Mary Ruth Leonard and her sister Elizabeth Steinberg to be the first teachers in the program, which started with only 18 string players. Since that time, the program has grown to over multiple hundreds of students. Mrs. Leonard was an accomplished musician, cellist, teacher and mentor holding a Master's degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. She was passionate about music, both as a musician and as a teacher. Her lifelong passion for music was recognized by naming the highest orchestral achievement award in honor of her and her sister. The Elizabeth Steinberg-Mary Ruth Leonard Scholarship is the highest honor awarded to a graduating senior in the Strings Program. The 2013 District Festival was dedicated to the memory of Mary Ruth Leonard, who passed away on March 9, 2013.