More than 2,000 string teachers, students, and performers attended the 2014 American String Teachers Association National Conference, which took place from March 5-8 in Louisville, Kentucky. The clinics, presentations, concerts and other activities were held in conjunction with ASTA’s National Orchestra Festival and the National High School Honors Orchestra.
Under the direction of Colin Catoe and Elyse Catoe, Atascocita High School Chamber Strings from Humble, Texas was named the winner of the high school division of the 2014 ASTA National Orchestra Festival. The winner of the String Youth Orchestra division was Stringendo’s Vivace, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and directed by Jonathan Handman.
At the annual gathering, longtime ASTA members and leaders Doris Gazda and Robert Culver delivered the keynote speeches, and Chelsea House Orchestra, under the direction of Jed Fritzemeier, provided Opening Ceremony music.
ASTA also took the occasion to present several awards: Paul Kantor of Rice University received the Artist Teacher Award; Winifred Crock, director of orchestras at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Mo., was honored with the Elizabeth A. H. Green School Educator Award; and Dr. Rebecca MacLeod received the String Research Award, which is given out in recognition of a researcher whose early-career scholarly work shows promise.
Evening showcase concerts featured the likes of Joseph Conyers, Volkan Orhan, Ju-Fang, Darol Anger, Paul Kowert, the Berklee World Strings, and the Highland Hills Middle School Orchestra.