President’s Message – September 2016

Fall Greetings!

Like many of you, I cannot believe summer has passed. Fall lessons and classes are well underway, and before we know it, we’ll be wondering where the school year went! I hope you are rested and energized. Best wishes for a productive and successful year! It is vital work you do.

Many thanks to Eric Hansen for his contributions as president. I am grateful for his mentorship, as well as that of several other past presidents, as I take the reins. We welcome Ka-Wai Yu as new Member-at-Large for Southern Utah, and Secretary Sarah Palma, who replaces Rachel Wheeler. We thank Rachel for years of service as secretary, as well as board members Brent Smith and Cheung Chau, who are taking a leave of absence this year.

I have been reflecting recently on generations of string instruction in Utah. Some years ago I came to study at BYU, where I benefited from instruction and association with the likes of Percy Kalt, Barbara Williams, and David Dalton (on whose advice I joined ASTA for the first time), and there have been many influential generations before and since, from every region in the state. We certainly enjoy a rich heritage, and it’s gratifying and exhilarating to see the tradition continue in such strength and vitality with each new generation of teachers. My own career has taken a surprising twist in the past decade; for many years I have worked as a freelance violinist and studio/university instructor, but have been given the opportunity in recent years to broaden my horizons into elementary and secondary music education. This has been a thrilling adventure for me, one reason being that I have now had occasion to get to know school music teachers, in addition to the private studio teachers. I count myself fortunate to rub shoulders with you all, and love the connection that our state ASTA organization gives us.

One important opportunity to connect and collaborate comes on October 22, with our Fall Workshop. This year we are thrilled to join our colleagues in the southern part of the state, with our friends at Dixie State University hosting. We hope to take the Workshop to the northern part of the state next year, giving different groups the opportunity to host and travel each year. We hope many of you will take this chance to visit southern Utah for fall break, and come be with us on Saturday! We have a stimulating offering of classes, culminating in our reading session, which is always great fun. Please invite your students to attend as well; there is much of value offered, from masterclasses to roundtable literature discussions, and information regarding an exciting new certification program for your students! Teachers may earn professional development points at this conference.

We welcome your involvement in our organization, and have been thrilled to hear from several of you who are excited to get involved. We are also interested in increasing our guitar and harp membership and developing greater support for those teachers. We will give you an opportunity at the Fall Workshop to fill out a membership survey. If you are unable to attend and would like a copy of the survey, please look for it on our website.

Be sure to register online for the conference. I look forward to seeing you at Dixie in October! YOU make ASTA great!

Janice Vincent

President, UTASTA