The PADESTA chapter of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) represents hundreds of school and private teachers, professional performers, college faculty, and students from across the Pennsylvania-Delaware region. Our leadership board is composed of volunteers who are either elected by the membership or appointed to positions by our leadership to serve in various capacities. By working closely together, we hope that a unity of strength and vision can help us continue to advance the cause of strings in our region.

It is PADESTA’s ongoing commitment to continue to serve its membership in meaningful and practical ways by providing information, news, and resources to our members in a timely fashion.

Why Join ASTA?

Advocacy Tools

ASTA is committed to championing string education and providing you with resources to make your job easier. These include: Why Strings informational brochures; recruitment posters; Advocating for Strings DVD, PowerPoint presentations, customized letters of support for programs in trouble, and special advocacy sessions at our national conference.

Training & Education

ASTA members have access to cutting-edge professional development options that include: The National Conference offering more than 170 training sessions programs; New Music Reading Folders; and American String Teacher journal – to name just a few.

Programs for Your Students

When you belong to ASTA your students can take part in: National High School Honors Orchestra; National Solo Competition; Alternative Styles Awards; National Orchestra Festival; Instrument Outreach programs; and Certificate Advancement Program for students enrolled in private lessons.

Recruitment / Community Initiatives

ASTA members have access to a host of special programs including: Discovering Strings and Orchestra; Increasing Access to Strings: Piloting After-School Music Programs; and recruitment posters, brochures, pamphlets, and more.

Collaborative Partnerships

ASTA is the national leader in string education. As a member we have nurtured partnerships to help you be a more effective string educator including: Discounted instrument insurance from Merz-Huber; Membership in your ASTA State Chapter; Preferred pricing on ASTA publications and discounts from our String Industry Council members; and ongoing collaborations with Americans for the Arts, NAMM, SupportMusic.com, League of American Orchestras and others.

Chapter Missions & Goals

The Pennsylvania-Delaware Chapter of the American String Teachers Association (PADESTA) supports members of ASTA who live and work in Pennsylvania and Delaware. PADESTA offers grants, awards, support, workshops, and are constantly working on new projects to help support the teachers in our states. If you have suggestions on how the state board and organization can help you in your playing and teaching, please contact one of our board members. If you would like to help with PADESTA board projects, contact our president.

The American String Teachers Association founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA’s members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.

The American String Teachers Association promotes excellence in string and orchestra teaching and playing. ASTA pursues its mission through:

PADESTA Chapter History

The American String Teachers Association (ASTA) was founded on March 30, 1946, at an MENC national convention in Cleveland Ohio. Because ASTA’s initial work seemed to focus more on the needs of studio teachers and amateur players, orchestra directors met to form an organization dedicated to the specific needs of school orchestra directors and teachers. As a result, orchestra directors met in 1958 to form the National School Orchestra Association (NSOA).

The Pennsylvania-Delaware String Teachers Association was originally incorporated as the Pennsylvania chapter of ASTA in 1968. The Pennsylvania Orchestra Association existed as a separate state chapter of NSOA. When the national associations merged into ASTA with NSOA in 1998, the state chapters of the two organizations also merged into PADESTA with PSOA. ASTA later officially dropped the “with NSOA” title in year and PADESTA did the same.

PADESTA has been reorganized and updated its incorporation status with the IRS as of 2009.


Executive Board



John Vaida

Mansfield University


Lauren Donato

North Allegheny SD


Sarah Miller

Seneca Valley SDF


Angela Brumbaugh

Somerset SD


Marie Weber


Collegiate Representative

James Lyon

K-12 School Representative

Pierce Cook

Mellon Middle School

Studio Representative

James Nackley

Membership Chair


Grants Coordinator / Regional Workshop Coordinator

Susan Basalik

Methacton SD

Delaware Delegate

Haley Graham

Student Chapter Representative



Sandra Neill

Menchey Music​


Sandra Neill

Menchey Music​