OrASTA Newsletter


  • The next bi-annual OrASTA Conference: October 8-9, 2021

  • Coaching for OMEA All-State Excerpts

  • Solo Competition Details (Fall 2021)

  • Members' Column

  • Passport to Bach

  • Colleagues (in cubes)

  • ASTACAP Education Benefits


OCTOBER 8-9, 2021 

Stay tuned for more information


Coaching for OMEA All-State Excerpts

In August, Oregon ASTA will again be providing classes to help students polish their OMEA excerpts for All-State auditions. Stay tuned for further information.


Solo Competition 2021

ASTA Oregon will hold a Solo Competition for Strings on Sunday December 12, 2021.   It will be held at Portland State University and is open to all string instruments, including harp and guitar. A preliminary round will be done by video submission, which will be due November 12, 2021.
The purpose of the event is to present an opportunity for advanced string students to perform and receive recognition for their hard work.  We encourage you and your students to plan now to participate!

ASTA Pic.jpg

Dr. Lisa Robertson,  

Editor of "The Chorda"

ASTA Best State Chapter

Newsletter 2014

Members' Column

A new part of the newsletter from now on will be the members' news, where members can brag about their students', colleagues', or their own successes, announce promotions, photos, publications, or post any other good news you'd like to share with the membership.


Anyone got a catchy title for this column? Your suggestions would be appreciated! And please send your news to


We're starting off with our board colleague Dr. Tomás Cotik, who has received tenure and been promoted to Associate Professor at Portland State University--congratulations, Tomás! 

His new article titled "Recording Strategies for Auditions," intended for All-State recorded auditions, was published last week on the NAfME website and in NAfME's Teaching Music Magazine in April. Dr. Cotik's recent articles with resources for learning all the All-State violin audition excerpts can also be found on NAfME using this link.

Passport to Bach - online series available for purchase!

Classes on the performance of Bach solo works for strings were offered by three OrASTA members (pictured: Arnaud Ghillebaert, Tomás Cotik, and Valdine Mishkin) in April and May. Videos of the classes are still available online for a very reasonable rate. Click here to register.

Colleagues (in cubes) drinking cocktails

Oregon ASTA members gathered via Zoom for teacher discussions in a casual "happy hour" Zoom format, meeting in on evenings in January and March at 6:30 PM.  We had the opportunity to invite non- ASTA members as our guests so that they might get to know us and learn about all the ASTA offers. The event was free to current ASTA members, and we connected virtually with our string-teaching colleagues across the state to share insights and inspiration with some much-needed levity and our beverage of choice! We hope to meet again soon. 

Lisa Zweben, Chapter President, Oregon ASTA

ASTACAP Educational Benefits

by Clarisse Atcherson

This year more of my students participated in ASTACAP, and all of them learned a lot from the experience! I encouraged participation by mentioning that passing Level 10 can be used on college entrance applications, since ASTACAP is a nationally recognized standard of excellence. The exam was by videos submitted online, so students learned more about making recordings, too. As a teacher, I appreciated that scales and etudes were specified as part of the exam, which reinforced their importance. Too often, students focus on repertoire without realizing how much of their development comes from technical studies. Special recognition was also given for those students that played from memory.

Making video recordings was an education by itself. Students learned to self-evaluate, and the value of preparing farther in advance. They also learned to follow instructions about how to make the recordings, with camera placement, body angle, order of repertoire, and metronome speeds.

There were several adjudicators, and they all offered lots of positive comments and helpful suggestions. The positive comments showed that the adjudicator recognized the hard work that the student had already done, and that was wonderful. The suggestions were specific about a wide range of issues—bow stroke, left hand technique, posture, and musicality. The suggestions were clear and detailed, which helped the students to continue to make progress after the exam was over. I enjoyed learning a few new ways to talk about technique and musicality from the adjudicators. I was also happy to see the recommendation to practice slowly and carefully! Learning how to practice effectively is a long-term project!

Next year ASTACAP will probably be in person again, but I will still encourage my students to make recordings as part of the educational process. My students were happy when they achieved each level, and they plan to apply again.

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Valdine looking back sunlight yellow bac