About Us

AZ ASTA Members at the ASTA National Conference, March 2019
Toru Tagawa, President John Haggard, President-Elect At the Leadership Meeting, Albuquerque, NM, National Conference



To Enrich Lives through the Joy of Teaching and Playing String Instruments

Our growing chapter of 250 members represents string lovers of all sorts: violinists, violists, cellists, bassists, guitarists, harpists, performers, teachers, students, amateurs, professionals, parents of string players, and luthiers. You will find a very supportive and active community of string enthusiasts at ASTA-AZ.

Throughout the year we provide activities for our members and their students that promote their love of string playing and encourage growth of skills as they teach and perform.

Additionally, the national ASTA provides members with an award-winning journal published four times a year and hosts an incredible three-and-a-half-day conference, with performances and sessions that are guaranteed to inspire and inform.  

ASTA Application Form


Toru Tagawa, President, Website: torutagawa.com

John Haggard, President-Elect

Dr. Jonathan Swartz, Past President

Jessica Breen, Secretary

Amanda Hartley, Treasurer

John Haggard, Solo Competition Chair

Mary Ann Ramos, Northern Membership Chair (Flagstaff Area)

Danica Terzic, Central Membership Chair (Phoenix Area)

Alice Vierra,  Southern Membership Chair (Tucson Area)

Constitution and Bylaws:

Meeting Minutes:  ASTA Meeting Minutes 2004-2006   ASTA Meeting Minutes 2007  ASTA Meeting Minutes 2008  ASTA Meeting Minutes 2009   ASTA Meeting Minutes 2010   ASTA Meeting Minutes 2011   ASTA Meeting Minutes 2012   ASTA Minutes Jan. 2014   ASTA Minutes May 2015   ASTA Meeting Minutes Sep. 2015   ASTA Meeting Minutes June 2016 ASTA Meeting Minutes August 2016 ASTA General Meeting August 2016 ASTA Meeting June 2017  ASTA Meeting Minutes Sep. 2017ASTA-Meeting-6_6_18 ASTA Meeting 9_15_18 ASTA Minutes 5_29_2019 ASTA meeting 9_21_19

History of the Past Winners of the Outstanding Teacher Award. (Odd-Even = Studio Teacher, Even-Odd=Public School Teacher), Nominations are open from September 1 – November 1 by sending few paragraphs about the teachers accomplishment and why you think the person deserve the award.  Winner will be announced after voting within the board members. E-mail to info@astaaz.org

Congratulations to Mrs. Terry Alexander, Public School Teacher of the Year!!
Terry Alexander. She started the brand new program at Catalina Foothills School District in 2017, and her program is growing. She is a wonderful teacher, and she continues to articulate the importance of music to the public. You can see her teaching and talking on this video. https://youtu.be/-H0U9uB1o5Y

Terry Alexander grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where she began violin
studies with Gladys Lang, a violinist in the St. Louis Symphony. Terry was a
violinist in the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Her college studies
include Truman University (Kirksville, MO), the University of Missouri
(Columbia, MO), and the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ). Her
professional playing experience includes several seasons with Arizona
Opera Company, thirty years with the Tucson Pops Orchestra, countless
musicals, and twenty years with Catalina Foothills Church. Terry taught for
over 30 years in the Marana Unified School district, where she initiated
string programs at Marana High School and Mountain View High School.
During this time she also taught elementary and middle school orchestras
in the district, and served in a variety of positions, including high school
music department chair and MUSD district curriculum committee member.
Through the years, her students have earned high honors in many AMEA
(Arizona Music Educators Association) events, including area concert
festivals as well as regional and all-state festivals. During her three
decades of teaching in MUSD, she conducted the pit orchestras for
numerous high school musicals. Terry served several terms in AMEA as
orchestra chairperson, solo and ensemble chairperson, and regional
governor. Beginning in 2012, she served in ASTA (Arizona String Teachers
Association) in a number of roles including coordinator for teacher
workshops, communications chair, and chapter president. In 2014 she
received a National Leadership Award from ASTA. Terry continues to be
active as a guest conductor, as well as adjudicator, for various local music
Terry joined CFSD in 2017 to launch an orchestra program at the
elementary level. This program has grown to over 220 students, and now
includes middle school and high school. Along with her colleague Ryan
Watson, Terry looks forward to continued growth of the CFSD
orchestra program.

Nominate Teacher of the Year, 2019-2020, This year is Private Teachers. Nominations are open until 11/1/2019.  Nomination
2018-2019 Terry Alexander
2017-2018 Laura Tagawa
2016-2017 Karalee Hagen
2015-2016 Marybeth Tyndall
2014-2015 Amy Bennet
2013-2014 Susanne Rothaar
2012-2013 Walt Temme
2011-2012 Louise Scott
2010-2011 Catherine Nichols
2009-2010 Dan Swaim
2008-2009 Bill Bitter
2007-2008 Dennis Bourret
2006-2007 Diane Grieser
2005-2006 David Rife
2004-2005 Fran Veres
1999-2000 Patricia Cosand

History of the Presidents

2018-2020 Toru Tagawa
2016-2018 Jonathan Swartz
2014-2016 Theodore Buchholz
2012-2014 Shelly Rich
2010-2012 Terry Alexander
2008-2010 Janice McDivitt
2006-2008 Ann Williams
2004-2006 Donald Hamann
2002-2004 Marna Bowling
2000-2002 Carol Matthusen
1998-2000 Claire Gordon
1996-1998 Beth Gilbert
1994-1996 Patricia Cosand
1992-1994 Sheila Kendall
1990-1992 Louise Scott
1988-1990 Daniel Swaim
1986-1988 Phyllis Skoldberg
1984-1986 Margaret Ruccolo
1982-1984 Jeffrey Showell
1980-1982 William Magers
1977-1980 Dennis Bourret
1975-1977 John Ferrell
1974-1975 Richard Gregory
1972-1974 Gordon Epperson
1970-1972 Frank Spineza
1967-1970 Dale Brubaker
1965-1967 Eugene Lombardi
1964-1965 Lauritz Bjorlie
1962-1964 Anna Mae Sharp