Serving Northern VA since 1987

    MISSION Vienna Summer Strings provides a fun yet challenging musical experience for the emerging musician. Participants will develop instrumental and ensemble skills which support the school orchestra program during the school year.


    PROGRAM GOALS Vienna Summer Strings prides itself on meeting the needs of every string (violin, viola, cello, bass) musician who participates. Musicians are placed in an ensemble of similar age and skill. Staff works diligently to group musicians in an ensemble that matches their skill level while providing a challenging environment for personal growth.


    HISTORY Originally called "The Greater Tysons Area Orchestra Camp", Vienna Summer Strings began in 1987 led by Connie Cross Fields, Marilyn Daggett and Beverly Winder, three (now-retired) FCPS Orchestra Directors. Their keen vision of the summer program was to help public school orchestra programs increase enrollment and retain students year to year. Since 1987, VSS has grown from 60 students to over 250 students each summer.



    Beginning Level: Posture, instrument set up, note-reading, rhythm, eurhythmics, develop internal pulse, ear training.


    Intermediate Levels: Expand range, improve tone and pitch center, more complex rhythms and bowings, sophisticated harmonies/melodies, develop leadership and independence in the ensemble, greater understanding of music theory as it applies to the repertoire.


    Advanced Levels: Expand range, develop professional tone, understand conducting gestures, advanced music theory, music composition, exposure to chamber music, foster leadership and independence in the ensemble.






    There will be NO formal audition for class placement. Placement will be determined by the following criteria:

    • Age/Grade level
    • Experience on instrument
    • Experience in an orchestra (group) setting

    It is our intent to place students at a level where they will be challenged, but not overwhelmed.


    Students will be closely observed during the first 2-3 days of the program. Any necessary level changes will take place by Friday of the first week. There will be NO level changes after the first week.


    Sample of Daily Schedule:


    8:30 AM - Full Ensemble Rehearsal
    9:40 AM - Sectional (ensemble music is
    rehearsed in a small group)
    10:50 AM - Full Ensemble Rehearsal

    11:55 AM - LUNCH
    12:30 PM - Technique Class (performance
    techniques specific to individual
    instrument are introduced)

    1:30 PM - Dismissal



    • All refund requests must be made in writing and emailed to viennasummerstrings@gmail.com
    •  Approved refund requests made on or before May 31, 2018 will receive a full refund*.
    •  Approved refund requests made June 1, 2018 - June 20, 2018 will receive a 50% refund*.
    •  Refunds* will  not be made after June 20, 2018 unless written medical documentation is provided and approved by the VSS Director.
    • Upon approval, please allow 3-5 business days for the refund to be processed.


    *All refunds are subject to a 6% processing fee.




  • SUMMER 2018

    Thank you for visiting the website!

    Registration for summer 2018 will open in March.

    SUMMER 2018 INFO (pending FCPS approval)

    LOCATION - Kilmer Middle School: 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna, VA 22182

    REGISTRATION FEE: $100/week

    • Week 1: June 25 - June 29
    • Week 2: July 2-3 & 5-6 (Includes Performers/Clinicians)
    • Week 3: July 9-13
    • Week 4: July 16-19 (includes Celebration Concert)

    TIMES - 8:30 am - 1:30 pm daily (M-F)

    PERFORMANCE - Thursday, July 19 at 7 pm


  • Frequently Asked Questions

    These are the most commonly asked questions. If you can't find the answer to your question here, please contact us (link in menu).

    How are the musicians grouped?

    Musicians are grouped by grade/age and ability. Occasionally, exceptions are made, however we generally do not place elementary age children in the middle/high school groups, regardless of their advanced technique.

    Is there an audition for group placement?

    There is no formal audition for group placement. Placement is largely determined by grade/age. Teachers assess the musicians during the first few days and may recommend class movement to the Program Directors. No class changes will take place after the first week. Please direct any concerns about class placement to the Program Directors.

    Can I mail in my registration and payment?

    All aspects of registration take place online. Please submit the registration application online. Payment will be in the form of secure online credit card payment processed by the Booster Program of a Vienna HS (through Paypal). If you have concerns, please feel free to contact us directly.

    Is lunch time part of the daily schedule?

    The daily schedule includes a 30 minute lunch time. Students may bring a sack lunch or make a bag lunch purchase during registration (proudly prepared by http://www.ffsfood.com). In addition, a variety of snacks and beverages may be available for sale each day.

    Can tuition be prorated since my child will miss a portion of the camp?

    Your child is welcome to attend whatever portion of the camp your schedule allows. Vienna Summer Strings is designed as a four-week program and staff carefully plans curriculum accordingly, However, we recognize the need to be flexible for families who have busy summers. We are pleased to finally offer tuition prorated by week. It is reasonably expected that only children who participate in the final two weeks will perform in the Showcase Concert.

    Can I obtain a receipt for my FSA?

    Please use your payment receipt (from Paypal) and confirmation email (from VSS) for tax filing purposes. If you have a specific from that must be completed, it must be brought in person to the program directors DURING the program dates. Further requests for tax id, etc. should be emailed to VSS directly.

    Is transportation provided?  

    VSS does not provide transportation.  However, we do provide the option to sign up for the carpool list.  The final list will be distributed via email to those who elected to be included on the list one week prior to the start of the program.  It is your responsibility to make contact and set up your carpool.

    Is there a multi-child discount?  Financial Aid?  Scholarships?

    VSS does not offer a discount for families enrolling more than one child.  Full payment is required for each child in order to register.  Students seeking financial aid or scholarship opportunities should consult their school strings teacher or PTA representative to inquire about possible school sponsorship.


    Meet our talented staff!

    Teresa Maclin

    Program Director

    Mrs. Maclin directed Vienna Summer Strings from 2001-2011, and is thrilled to return for 2018. While taking time off from 13 years of teaching orchestra to start a family, Mrs. Maclin has maintained a private cello studio, weekly coaching her students who earn seats in the District, Regional, and State Orchestras and successfully perform at spring solo festivals and VASTA performance exams. She continues to attend state and national music conferences, and has taken post graduate courses at Duquesne and Shenandoah Universities. She contributed a feature article that was published in ASTA’s February 2014 American String Teacher Journal on the subject of sight-reading. Since 2006, she has adjudicated stage and sight-reading performances at orchestra assessments in North Carolina and Virginia.


    Teresa Maclin is a 1996 graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has degrees in Music Education and Cello Performance. She taught middle and high school orchestra for three years in Charlotte, NC before returning to her hometown in Fairfax, VA where she taught for another ten years at Oakton High School and Rachel Carson Middle School. She also served as Department Chair at both Oakton High School and Rachel Carson Middle School. She served as Treasurer and Newsletter Editor for the Virginia American String Teachers Association from 2004-2008. She is a proud mom to three energetic boys (ages nine, seven, and five) who keep her busy from son-up to son-down.

    Matt Bess

    Violin Instructor

    Matt Bess currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia and holds a degree in Instrumental Music Education with Honors from George Mason University. He regularly plays four instruments - violin, viola, bassoon, and contrabassoon. He has performed with several ensembles at George Mason University, Flutopia Wind Ensemble, and the American Festival Pops Orchestra. Currently Matt is a member of the 1st Violin section Manassas Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as a guest soloist and has performed in several pits in musicals and operas. Beyond work in performance, Matt has musical administrative experience as a manager, event producer, and as a librarian. He teaches at Willow Springs Elementary and Centreville High School. In his spare time, Matt is the Operations Manager for the Youth Orchestras of Prince William (YOPW) and religiously watches the Food Network and bakes.

    Kate Birgfeld

    Violin Instructor

    Kate is currently the Orchestra Director at Greenbriar West Elementary School in Fairfax, VA. In 2006, Kate received her Bachelor of Music Education from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music in Berea, Ohio. She studied violin under Dr. Julian Ross and performed in the Baldwin-Wallace Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Dwight Oltman. Following graduation, Kate accepted a strings position with Fairfax County Public Schools and taught at both Colin Powell and Mantua Elementary. In 2013, Mrs. Birgfeld received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Kate has been teaching students privately for 8 years and has performed for many weddings and events around the DC Metro Area.

    This summer will be Mrs. Birgfeld's fifth summer with Vienna Summer Strings and she is excited! Mrs. Birgfeld resides in Manassas with her husband Brian, their very talented Jack Russell, Journey and their Hamster, Carol!

    Kate Blamer

    Bass Instructor

    Kate is currently serving as strings teacher at Mantua Elementary School and Fairhill Elementary School in Fairfax, VA. In 2003 she earned her Bachelor’s degree in music education from The Ohio State University, under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Gillespie. She studied double bass under the instruction of Dr. Paul Robinson. Following graduation, Kate taught 4th -12th grade orchestra in Ohio for 5 years. In 2009, she returned to The Ohio State University to earn her Master’s degree in music education. Each summer from 2001-2010, she served as double bass faculty and Young Ensembles Director at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp in Cazadero, California. She has performed with many string ensembles, and also enjoys playing bass guitar in her Alexandria-based rock band, Falcon Heavy. She is an avid baritone in the Vienna-Falls Sweet Adelines, a barbershop chorus for women. Her Sweet Adelines quartet, Pandora, can be heard around the DC area delivering singing telegrams! In her free time, Kate enjoys reading, crafting, ballroom dancing, and skiing.

    Lydia Burrage-Goodwin

    Violin Instructor

    Ms. Lydia Burrage-Goodwin has been playing the violin for 15 years and teaching in classroom settings and privately since she was in 5th grade. Originally from Massachusetts, she attended University of South Carolina and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education with emphasis in violin performance. While in South Carolina, she worked at USC’s renowned String Project under the guidance of Dr. Gail Barnes, working to better herself as a teacher and to provide important educational resources to a growing musical community. She has had the opportunity to perform with the Brevard Philharmonic, Long Bay Symphony, Aiken Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, the University of South Carolina Symphony, the Wellesley Symphony and the Boston Civic Symphony. She has worked professionally with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston String Quartet, The Colorado String Quartet, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

    She currently resides in Massachusetts, where she substitute teaches in music classrooms throughout several school districts. She has been part of many orchestras and choirs throughout her life, and believes it to be something everyone should explore in one capacity or another throughout their lives. As a teacher and performer, she aspires to pass on the joy and passion for music that her own teachers and mentors instilled in her. In her spare time, Ms. Burrage-Goodwin loves to cook and try new foods, explore the outdoors, and travel to unique places. She is excited to be a part of Vienna Summer Strings this summer!

    Kimberley Campbell

    Violin/Viola Instructor

    Kimberley began her music education career as a sophomore in college by fueling the development of the Virginia Tech Strings Project. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Virginia Tech in 2008, and her Master’s in Education from Virginia Tech in 2009. Kim was chosen by the School of Education to represent Virginia Tech for the Teachers Promise Institute 2009, which recognizes and supports the best prospective public school teachers in the United States. That same year, Kimberley also received a scholarship from Virginia Tech to present the Virginia Tech Strings Project at the American Strings Teachers Association Conference. Upon graduation, Kimberley co-directed Roanoke Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute at Ferrum College.
    Currently, Kimberley teaches elementary strings in Vienna for FCPS, plays viola in the Friends and Family Chamber Orchestra, and runs a private studio.

    In her spare time, Kimberley enjoys playing with her two American Pit Bull Terriers, advocating for the Pit Bull breed, spending time with her family and friends, and riding her motorcycle.

    Alice Ju

    Violin Instructor

    Alice Ming-Yi Ju hails from North Carolina and holds degrees of Bachelor and Master of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Maryland and a Master of Arts in Teaching with emphasis in Music Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her primary teachers have included Kevin Lawrence, Dr. Richard Luby and David Salness. She has participated in the National Orchestral Institute, Brevard Music Center, Las Vegas Music Festival, Musicorda Chamber Institute and Killington Music Festivals. She is currently on the faculty at the Levine School of Music, violin sectional coach for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras and runs a private studio in the Arlington/ McLean areas. She has been a teacher in the Fairfax County Public Schools for seven years and this will be her 5th summer with Vienna Summer Strings.

    Ms. Ju freelances with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Avanti Orchestra and the Ars Nova Orchestra. She has performed in world renown venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center as well as the Taiwanese and Italian Embassies. When she is not performing or teaching, Ms. Ju likes to run, go to sporting events, eat and try different types of foods and travel.


    Elizabeth Leung

    Violin Instructor

    Ms. Leung graduated from Indiana University (IU) with her bachelors in Music Education.  While at IU, she studied violin with Brenda Brenner. Ms. Leung also taught violin at the Fairview Violin Project in Bloomington, IN, a program where students taught on-site at low income schools to see how music education affects cognitive learning. She was also a member of the student chapters of the National Association for Music Education, and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).  Ms. Leung presented with her colleagues at the national convention.  Currently, Ms. Leung teaches orchestra at Cooper Middle School and Langley High School. She also manages the Young Artists Orchestra for Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras at Strathmore, and she is a sectional coach for Potomac Valley Youth Orchestras (PVYO) in Maryland. Aside from teaching, Ms. Leung enjoys baking cupcakes playing chamber music.

    Robert Meltzer

    Cello Instructor

    Rob Meltzer’s passion for cello started at the age of eight and never ceased. In his youth, Mr. Meltzer performed with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York in famed musical venues such as New York’s Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall and Avery Fischer Hall as well as Carnegie Hall. He continued his studies in cello with Eric Edberg at DePauw University in Greencastle, IN graduating with a Bachelor of Music Education. At DePauw, Mr. Meltzer studied non-jazz improvisation collaborating with various chamber ensembles such as Grammy Award winning octet ‘Eighth Blackbird’ performing Terry Riley's "in C”. Additionally, he served as principal cellist and sectional coach for the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp International Youth Symphony Orchestra touring Germany, France and Belgium for four weeks.


    Mr. Meltzer holds a Masters of Music in String Pedagogy from Temple University in Philadelphia where he studied with renowned cellist and pedagogue, Jeffrey Solow while performing the symphony orchestra and early music chamber ensembles. At Temple, Mr. Meltzer taught with the Philadelphia String Project along with the ‘El Sistema’ based program ‘Tune Up Philly’ through the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra. Recently, Mr. Meltzer returned to the Washington D.C. area where he is currently the orchestra director at Walt Whitman Middle School in Fairfax County Public Schools. Mr. Meltzer enjoys spending time in the great outdoors long distance running, cycling and hiking.



    Erin Reilly

    Viola Instructor

    Ms. Reilly is a graduate of Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. Having graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and a Certificate of Performance, she was awarded outstanding conservatory graduate of 2016. While studying at Shenandoah Conservatory, she served as principal violist of the Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jan Wagner. She performed as a jazz pianist in the Shenandoah Conservatory Jazz Ensemble under the direction of Craig Freidrich and Alan Baylock. She studied viola and chamber music from Doris Lederer, a national award winning educator from Curtis Institute and violist of the Autobahn Quartet. As a jazz and classical musician, Erin's work as an arranger and composer is mostly identified through her jazz music for string quartet. During her undergrad years, she founded and performed in the Bluefire String Quartet, for whom she arranged and taught different styles of jazz and improvisation. The quartet has played her works in various new music performances and other various events such as weddings, celebrations and professional events.


    Erin currently teaches in Fairfax County as an assistant orchestra director at Centreville High School and string teacher at Willow Springs Elementary school. She performs as a violist in the Fairfax Chamber Orchestra and has also performed in the Manassas Symphony Orchestra. She has served on staff for the Heifetz International Institute in Staunton, VA where she worked with internationally renown string musicians and educators. Her endeavors as a performer led her to travel the world, performing in Spain, Taiwan and Canada. Along the way, she has worked with some of the world's finest music educators and performers such as Daniel Heifetz, Kim Kashkashian, Atar Arad, Johnathan Newman, and Wynton Marsalis. In addition to her current teaching life in Fairfax County, she is a private viola and violin instructor on the weekends, arranges music for string quartets, and likes to go on hikes.


    Molly Sgrecci

    Violin Instructor

    Molly Sgrecci is a violinist and string educator based in Northern Virginia. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, Ms. Sgrecci holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education, and a Certificate in Violin Performance. Her primary teachers have included Erin Sammon, Lisa Cridge, Dr. Rebecca Hunter, and Mr. Neil Casey. During her time at USC, she performed with both the USC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, under the direction of Dr. Donald Portnoy, and taught at the nationally recognized USC String Project.


    Ms. Sgrecci is currently the strings teacher at Westbriar and Flint Hill Elementary Schools. Ms. Sgrecci has performed with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic under the direction of Maestro Ulysses S. James and the Cedar Lane Benefit Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Henry Sgrecci. In her spare time, she enjoys DIY crafting, painting, and reading. This will be her 5th summer at Vienna Summer Strings and she is thrilled to be back!

    Mark Shuping

    Cello Instructor

    Mark Shuping is a 2011 graduate of Boston University with a Master of Music. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2007 from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. During his time at Oberlin he worked with the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras and founded the Oberlin Cello Choir. Originally from Spartanburg, SC, Mark attended the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. His principal teachers include Kenneth Law, Robert Jesselson, and Darrett Adkins. Currently, Mark is the Orchestra Director at Woodbridge Middle School.


    Tanya Stanley

    Violin Instructor

    Tanya Stanley is a cum laude graduate from Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University. She is an instrumental music education major with a concentration in violin and a minor in cello. She has studied under the direction of Akemi Takayama and Clyde Shaw. In March 2007, Tanya was one of ten that was accepted from the conservatory to attend the Global Citizen Project in Guatemala. In 2009, Tanya received her Performance Certificate on the violin. She has performed in the Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Professor Jan Wagner and in the Shenandoah Chorus and Cantus under the direction of Dr. Karen Keating. Tanya is an active member of Sigma Alpha Iota and has held leadership positions such as Vice President of Membership and Sargent of Arms. Tanya is also an active member of MENC. Tanya has taught private string lessons for several years and has performed at numerous weddings and events. Tanya has completed her fifth year of teaching orchestra in Fairfax County Public Schools. Over the past six years, she has taught at the elementary and secondary levels. She currently teaches at Forest Edge Elementary, Terraset Elementary and Dogwood Elementary. Mrs. Stanley currently resides in Sterling, VA with her husband, Leon, their beautiful son, Brayden and boisterous fury companion, Capri.

    Randy Ward

    Cello Instructor

    Norfolk, VA native Randy Ward currently serves as principal cellist of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. He has appeared as soloist with Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow, East Carolina Symphony, Hartsville Civic Chorale, and Greenville Choral Society. He has performed with Alexandria Symphony, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Levine String Quartet, Odyssey String Quartet, and is a former member of Long Bay Symphony (SC) and Fayetteville Symphony (NC). Mr. Ward currently serves as orchestra director at Springfield Estates, Garfield, and Bucknell Elementary Schools in Fairfax County Public Schools. He is a former faculty member of Levine School of Music, GMU Potomac Arts Academy, and Carroll County Strings Project. He has also served on the faculty of East Carolina University Summer Chamber Music Institute and George Mason University Ovations Strings Camp.


    Mr. Ward earned the M.M. Pedagogy from George Mason University and the B.M. Performance from East Carolina University. He maintains a private studio in Alexandria where he lives with his wife and daughter. Mr. Ward is a huge baseball fan, go Nats!


    James Weiss

    Bass Instructor

    James Weiss began his studies in bass in Hicksville, New York. There he performed in several prestigious orchestras, including the Metropolitan Youth Symphony and with Nassau Pops Orchestra. He earned his Bachelors of Music Education at George Mason University, studying under Glenn Dewey. He performed in the Symphony Orchestra, and in small Chamber Ensembles. Mr. Weiss currently teaches at Garfield High School in Prince William County Public Schools and has a large private studio. Mr. Weiss has a wide knowledge of classical chamber works and is an avid fiddle-band musician.

    Jennifer Weiss

    Viola Instructor

    A native of Centreville and product of FCPS, Jennifer Weiss is the Orchestra Director at Twain Middle School in Alexandria. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from George Mason University in 2011. There, she was principal violist of both the Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. She studied viola with Edwin Johonnott, Ramon Scavelli, and Philippe Chao. Jennifer was also the vice-president of the GMU chapter of ASTA. In 2014, Jennifer received her Master of Viola Performance degree from Arizona State University, studying with Nancy Buck. There, she was principal violist of the Symphony and Opera orchestras. She is very passionate about Chamber music, and participated in the Visiting String Quartet residencies at ASU, working with the Juilliard and St. Lawrence String Quartets. Jennifer has performed in the American Pops Festival Orchestra with Anthony Maiello, and has been invited to perform in the Phoenix Symphony. Outside of teaching and playing viola, Jennifer’s other passions include exploring new cities and attending indie-rock shows with her husband, James.

  • Register Now

    The staff views the program as a FOUR WEEK program and it is planned accordingly. However, we understand the need to be flexible as families have busy summers. Therefore, we are pleased to offer this year's program pro-rated by week. It is reasonably expected that only children who attend Weeks 3 and 4 will participate in the July 19 evening Showcase Concert. Early registration ends June 1, 2018.



    "Being new to VSS, we did not appreciate how much actual playing and learning the children received. We figured there would be recess and lots of camp down-time. Instead our rising 5th grader experienced a full-blown transformative summer music camp intensive. She is now a proud and confident violinist."


    - Mother of 4th grade violinist

    "What my son loved about VSS were the teachers, the fun selection of music, and being in ensemble and technique class every day. He looks forward to it every year! He learned quite a bit in a short period of time thanks to the fast paced instruction. As a parent, I like VSS because it’s a well-run program and is the best value for a summer strings program."


    - Mother of 7th grade violist

    "Vienna Summer Strings was a blast for my daughter. She not only enjoyed the program, but also enhanced her playing skills almost equivalent to 4-6 months of weekly hour long private lessons. She is excited to return next summer! Thanks for your professional and talented team support. "


    - Father of 6th grade violinist

    "My daughter learned more in the 3 weeks at Vienna Summer Strings than she did her entire 6th grade school year! She is so excited to return again next year. Thank you to the wonderful teachers at Vienna Summer Strings! "


    - Mother of a 7th grade cellist



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