Letter from President
Monday, 02 September 2013 00:28    Print E-mail
17 Coles Pond Rd.
Somersworth, NH  03878
August 20, 2013
Dear NH ASTA Members,

       I hope you are enjoying a wonderful, rejuvenating summer!

I would like to thank you for your vote of confidence in electing me as your chapter president. Many of you have known me for years, but I will introduce myself for those of you who may not know me well

 I have been an ASTA member for almost 30 years. When I first moved to NH, I was commuting to Boston to finish my music degree, teaching some private students locally, and playing in the Vermont Symphony – where I met fellow violist Marilyn Johnson. She told me about the NH ASTA Stringfest that was being held in Hanover that year and invited me to bring my students. I found a wonderful, supportive camaraderie among the string teachers who were all working for the common good, to enhance the musical education and opportunities for the students in our state with so few public school string programs.

Since then, I think I have only missed one Stringfest. For several years, I was the festival coordinator; overseeing its growth from one orchestra to three.  I served as NHASTA president elect, president, and past president in turn.

Then I took on a teaching position across the border in Maine. I kept my NH ASTA membership, but also became involved with the Maine chapter and often brought my students to events in both states. Through my school, I became a member of the Maine MEA and I co-founded and managed district festival orchestras at the middle and high school level for the southern Maine students. So my involvement with the NH ASTA chapter dwindled to just bringing students to Stringfest each year, and occasionally conducting one of the orchestras.

Now, however, after 20 years I have resigned my Maine job and am returning to focus all of my efforts at home in NH.  I am happy to help to lead our chapter, and grateful to those who have kept it going!

I have a lot of ideas, but the most immediate and important one is to build our membership. Our recent struggles have been largely due to the fact that all of us, as busy professionals with families, have so little time to spare. But the old adage, “many hands make light work,” is still true, and with more members, we should have an easier time filling our board and getting help with Stringfest and any other events that we will put on. All of you undoubtedly know at least one other string teacher who is not a current member of our organization. Please speak to those teachers positively about our organization, promote the Stringfest and the UNH Fall Orchestra Festival so that others know what our chapter is doing for the string students in the state, and pass on their contact information to me.  

Another vital issue is to make sure that our organization is truly serving the needs of string teachers in the state. At our board meeting in June, we decided to survey both our members and our potential members to see what aspects of our organization you find most valuable, and what you think is most important for the string teachers and students in NH. Please be on the lookout for this survey, and take a few minutes to give us your honest feedback.

A couple of newsworthy items: David Upham, the orchestra director at UNH and one of our board members, is starting a youth orchestra program in Durham this fall. He anticipates having two levels of ensembles, and rehearsals will be on Sunday evenings. Please watch out for more information soon!

The New Hampshire Music Educators’ site now has printable scales for your high school students’ allstate auditions. Here’s the link:          http://nhmea.org/29

This year’s audition pieces are:

Violin  Concerto #9 in a minor Opus 104 Beriot Carl Fischer
First Movement ONLY Carl Fischer Catalog Number L83

Viola   Concerto in G Major (first & second mvt.) 0401 Telemann International

Cello   The Swan B 2789 C. Saint-Seans Carl Fischer

Bass    Sonatina (first movement only) B 2494 Arthur O. Anderson Carl Fischer

I will put this information and an updated events calendar on our website, www.nhasta.org    If you have any news to share with our members, please let me know!


Best wishes for a fantastic school year,
Sally

 

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