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ASTA MD/DC Chapter on the Eastern Shore

by Paul Scimonelli

On Saturday, October 30, 2010, ASTA MD/DC Chapter board members Dr. Paul Scimonelli and Dalton Potter traveled to the beautiful campus of Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to hold what we hope will be the first of many ASTA outreach and membership conferences. Dr. Sachi Murasugi, also one of our board members, and a faculty member of the music department at SU, organized the workshop.

Twelve stalwart souls joined us on this cool, crisp sunny Eastern Shore morning to listen and be involved with Paul’s membership and advocacy presentation and Dalton’s stellar workshop. We had a broad representation of current and retired string teachers, orchestra directors, and working professionals, all interested in what ASTA had to offer. In addition to residents of the Salisbury area, others came from as far away as Prince George’s County and from Delaware. They were quite impressed with our new chapter website, as well as the National website. Each attendee received a packet brimming with information on the ASTA Life and Instrument insurance policies, Arts Advocacy, how to build a string program, the ASTA National Conference and a copy of our Stringendo magazine. Many commented not only on the “look” of our website, but also the advertising. Special thanks go to ASTA Executive Director Donna Sizemore Hale, Membership Coordinator Amanda Bernhardt, and our chapter President, Cathy Stewart, for their help and generosity with all of the materials for the packet.

Paul Scimonelli at Salisbury

After Paul’s presentation, we took a short break to set up for Dalton’s valuable “Kitchen Table Repair” workshop. The attendees give Dalton their rapt attention as he showed them the inner workings of the violin, how to cut a bridge, set a sound post, plus easy and quick fix-ups any string teacher or orchestra director should know. After some work on their individual instruments, the attendees left with a copy of Dalton’s repair handbook and a renewed energy for their craft.

Dalton Potter demonstrates

There were many great suggestions from the group. They expressed a desire to hold ASTACAP exams on the Eastern Shore and wanted Dalton to return to do a full day’s repair session on student instruments. Future conferences are being planned for the Prince George’s/Anne Arundel County areas, as well as Frederick, Hagerstown, and the western Maryland counties.

Many thanks to Salisbury University for the hospitality, and to Sachi and her husband Jeff Schoyen, also an ASTA MD/DC board member, for all of their hard work and effort in coordination of this conference with Paul and Dalton. We look forward to doing many more.

See two more pictures taken at this workshop on our PHOTO GALLERY page.

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