American String Teachers Association (ASTA)

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. A National Conference is organized each year and presentations on the harp and the harp in school ensembles have been included in recent conferences. Membership includes the American String Teacher, published quarterly.

ASTA published A Harp in the School: A Guide for School Ensemble Directors and Harpists(2006, currently unavailable), edited by Chelcy Bowles, which contains useful information on finding a harp or harpist, tuning, pedals and levers, choosing and arranging appropriate ensemble music, rehearsing and conducting a harpist, and harp care, for anyone interested in including the harp in an ensemble. 

ASTA sponsors a biennial National Solo Competition with preliminary state/regional rounds. Previous First Prize winners in harp are listed below.

ASTA National Solo Competition First Prize Winners in Harp
1986 Su-Jin Shin, First Prize
1988 Elizabeth Hainen, First Prize
1990 Melinda Zak, First Prize, PP
1990 Xiaoqun Yang, First Prize, PC
1992 Elizabeth Remy, First Prize, PP
1994 Ann Yeung, First Prize, SR
1994 Alissa Stephens, First Prize, JR
1996 Celia Chan, First Prize, SR
1996 Heather M. Horne, First Prize, JR
1998 Allison Allport, First Prize, JR
2000 Nuiko Wadden, First Prize, SR
2000 Megan Stout, First Prize, JR
2002 Julia Kay Jamieson, First Prize, SR
2002 Cheryl Losey, First Prize, JR
2004 Yinuo Mu, First Prize, SR (overall)
2004 Heidi van Hoesen Gorton, First Prize, JR (overall)
2007 Rachel Brandwein and Megan Levin, First Prize, SR
2007 Natalie Richards, First Prize, JR
2009 Katherine Ann Siochi, First Prize, JR
2011 Angelica Hairston, First Prize, JR
2011 Yue Grace Guo, First Prize, SR
2013 Jessica Ding, First Prize, JR
2013 Anna Odell, First Prize, SR
2015 Clara Warford, First Prize JR
2015 Abigail Kent, First  Prize SR


Review materials should be sent to:
Marg Schmidt
School of Music, ASU
40 Gammage Parkway
PO Box 870405
Tempe, AZ  85287-0405

Requests to be a reviewer should be addressed to Marg Schmidt, tel.480-965-8277; Email:

American String Teacher Harp Reviewers: Denise Grupp-Verbon, Ann Yeung

For guidelines on AST Author Guidelines, visit Inquiries and articles should be submitted to:

AHS Liaison to ASTA: Marina Roznitovsky

ASTA Certificate Achievement Program (ASTACAP) Committee: Elizabeth Blakeslee