VIENNA SUMMER STRINGS
Making Music and Memories 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.
TIMES - 8:30 am - 1:30 pm daily (M-F)
PERFORMANCE - Thursday, July 19 at 1:30 pm
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:
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 refunds are subject to a 6% processing fee.
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?
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.
Tentative Dates for 2019:
June 24-July 19, (no classes July 4-5)
Pending FCPS approval in March 2019
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 where she earned 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.
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. Belasik 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 Ms. Belasik's sixth summer with Vienna Summer Strings and she is excited!
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.
Hailing from Richmond, VA, Rachel Bradner is a recent Music Education graduate from George Mason University and an elementary and middle school strings teacher in Fairfax County Public Schools. After growing up in a musical household and exploring various musical opportunities, she landed on the cello at age 10 and quickly picked up the other orchestral string instruments along the way. During her final year at George Mason she was honored to be a part of the Potomac Arts Academy’s Instruments in the Attic program as a Teaching Scholar. In this program Ms. Bradner had the opportunity to teach an after-school strings program to students with various experience levels at a local elementary school. She has been teaching students privately and in small group settings since 2014.
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.
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.
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.
Rachel Myers is an Orchestra Director in Fairfax County Public Schools. She currently teaches at South County Middle School and Laurel Hill Elementary School. She also maintains a private cello studio. Ms. Myers graduated from the University of South Carolina, where she taught in the USC String Project, a nationally recognized teacher-training program. She studied cello under Dr. Robert Jesselson and performed in the USC Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. Ms. Myers was President of the ASTA Student Chapter at USC. While in college, she organized and ran her own week-long summer cello camp for three consecutive summers. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Myers enjoys spending time with family and friends and traveling.
Mark A. Taylor is an award-winning orchestra teacher and composer. In his time at Stone Middle School and London Towne Elementary School, Dr. Taylor was awarded the 2017 Fairfax County Region 5 Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year for the state of Virginia by the American Strings Teachers Association in 2009. He has guest conducted district and regional honors orchestras around the Commonwealth as well as the James Madison University Spring String Thing. Currently, he teaches at Centreville High School.
Dr. Taylor writes serious and educational works for colleagues, students, and professional performers. He is published under Ludwig Masters and through My Score from J.W. Pepper. Degrees include a D.M.A. in Composition from George Mason University, an M.M.E. from Shenandoah University, and a B.M.E. from George Mason University. Primary teachers include Dr. Glenn Smith, Loran Stephenson, and his father, F. Wayne Taylor. When he is not making music, Dr. Taylor enjoys time with his family in Centreville, VA, and on his bike.
After graduating from Fairfax County Public Schools, Julia Twaddell studied music education at James Madison University. She then returned the area where she has been teaching at Rachel Carson Middle School for the past nine years. This will be her fourth summer working at VSS. When not teaching, you can find Mrs. Twaddell hanging out with her husband and two boys, or shopping at a thrift store. She plays violin.
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!
"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