News from KASTA

Martha Barnhill, President, Kansas American String Teachers Association

KASTA has had a busy and successful year. It could not be done without our Executive Board and all our event/project chairs. We have an amazing team of leaders! Our President-elect is Dr. Jacob Dakon, Treasurer is Michael Harbaugh, Secretary is Rachel Unruh and Past President is Laura Hutchins. Event chairs are Dr. Amber Dahlen Peterson, solo competition, Dan McCready, Summer MS Orchestra, Michael Harbaugh, State-Wide Mid-Level Orchestra, Erinn Renyer, Private Studio Liaison, and Ramiro Miranda, Kansas Intercollegiate Orchestra. Operations managers are Alison Mayes, webmaster, Olivia Bazanos, newsletter editor, Catherine Tummons, social media, and Robbie Banks, historian.

Summer Conference 2023 Incorporates Secondary Instrument “Boot Camp”

The 2023 KASTA Summer Conference was a great success! Our headliner clinician, Dr. Rebecca McLeod, led us through a series of engaging and useful sessions, ranging from “Culturally Responsive Teaching” to “Developing a Beautiful Bow Arm.” She also taught the violin section of our new secondary instrument boot camp. Also helping with the boot camp were Eric Crawford, bass, Quinn Lake, cello, and Amber Peterson, viola. Participants in all four of these break-out groups came back with rave reviews! We ended the conference with a lunch, reading session and clinic sponsored by Senseney Music and D’Addario Strings.

The MS Summer Orchestra ran simultaneously with Friday’s conference sessions. The students enjoyed the day with clinician Dr. Mark Laycock and we were all treated to their performance on Friday afternoon.

Stay tuned for details on the plans for summer 2024. The headliner clinician will be David Pope from Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio, and dates are July 19 and 20. We can’t wait!!

Private Studio Teacher Forums

KASTA has been working to build bridges in the string-teaching community, and the newest part of this plan is our Private Studio Summits. These will be centered in several different areas of the state and will offer private string teachers an opportunity to meet, get to know each other and share ideas. The first  will be held on November 11, 2023, from 2:00 to 5:00 and will be hosted by our Private Studio Liaison, Erinn Renyer. The location is in the Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center on the Washburn University Campus. We will be sharing new pedagogy concepts and literature choices, sharing ideas on running a private studio business, discussing ways to build bridges in the string community, learning about resources KASTA offers private teachers, and generally enjoying each other’s company over snacks.

For more information on all the events mentioned, please visit the KASTA Web Site:

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