Board Members

ASTA/NJ Board, 2016 - 2018

IMPORTANT NOTE: Board Members may be contacted by email by selecting their name from the drop-down menu on the contact page.



Past President, Historian




Chamber Music Institute
Solo Competition, Shanghai Quartet Festival

Chamber Music Institute

National High School Honors Orchestra

Solo and Ensemble Festivals

String Symposium

ASTACAP Examinations, Cadet Teachers

Sharon Holmes Scholarship

Member at Large

Member at Large

Member at Large


Website edits & updates
Eblasts & facebook

Nominations Chair 
Private Teachers List

About Us

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About the American String Teachers Association:

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 a collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession. ASTA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
ASTA is a national organization with state chapters. State chapters share the overall mission of ASTA National while addressing the needs and interests of ASTA members on a local level.

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

• an open sharing of ideas
• benefits, services, and activities responsive to the needs of all members
• development of strong state leadership and chapters
• enhancing the image and visibility of string teaching and study
• advocacy for string education
• an inclusive community of string teachers and players

ASTA/NJ Mission Statement
The objectives of ASTA/NJ shall be to:

• support and encourage the teaching of string instruments at all educational levels
• to promote and improve orchestras at all educational levels
• to establish the highest artistic and pedagogical standards


ASTA/NJ Board, 2016- 2018


Sarah Mederos

Past President, Historian   
Betsy Maliszewski

Mary (Betsy) Maliszewski is a String Specialist for the West Orange Public Schools in West Orange, New Jersey. At its onset in 1988, Betsy was instrumental in the development of a comprehensive string program, which has grown today to include six full-time string teachers who service over 850 students. In addition, she teaches string methodology courses at Rutgers University, Caldwell University, and the Villanova Summer Music Studies Program, and conducts the Caldwell University String Ensemble.

Betsy conducts workshops throughout New Jersey on string pedagogy for ASTA/NJ,  NJMEA and NJEA, and has presented at National ASTA and NAfME conferences. Her workshops focus on teaching strings for the non-string teacher, differentiating instruction in the string classroom, recruitment and retention, diversity and instructional strategies.  She was a member of the 1994 and 2005 New Jersey Symphony Orchestra Master Teacher Collaborative, and was the recipient of the New Philharmonic of New Jersey 2001 Music Educator of the Year Award.  As a violinist, Betsy has performed as a principal player with the Summit Symphony since 1987, and serves as a member of the Board of Directors. She received her B.A. in Music Education from Glassboro State College (Rowan University) and her M.A. in Music Education from Montclair State University, where she received the Outstanding Music Graduate Award. She is currently completing her Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education degree at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Membership Chair

Jennifer Meckler

Jennifer Meckler is an orchestra director, conductor, violist, artist, and photographer. She graduated from Ithaca College with undergraduate degrees in Music Education and Art History. Currently Jennifer is the Orchestra Director at West Morris Central High School in Chester, NJ. She is pursuing her Masters Degree in Music Education at William Paterson University, where she studies Orchestral Conducting with Dr. Sandra Dackow. ASTA is an organization that has been a constant source of inspiration and support for Jennifer, so she is excited to be involved with NJ ASTA as the secretary.


Artistic Director Chamber Music Institute, Director of Sponsorship

Chair Solo Strings Competition
Co-Chair, Quartet Festival
Margaret Zufall Roberts

Margaret Zufall Roberts is the founder and Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Institute of ASTA/NJ, which began in 2005 at Kean University.  An active board member and past president of the NJ Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, Ms. Roberts is frequently seen on the site of one of ASTA/NJ’s many projects. Ms. Roberts teaches viola and violin in her home studio. She also coaches chamber music and sectional rehearsals for the New Jersey Youth Symphony, and the Youth Orchestras of Essex County.  An adjunct faculty member at Montclair State University John J. Cali School of Music for many years, Ms. Roberts also teaches string classes and private lessons at the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts in Berkeley Heights. Currently, Ms. Roberts runs a recital series for the MacDowell Club of Mountain Lakes, Inc., giving performance opportunities to local musicians, many of whom have international reputations. 

As a Viola Performance Major, Ms. Roberts was the principal violist in the Ohio University Orchestra.  After receiving her Bachelor of Music Degree from Ohio University, she completed a degree in Music Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and later did graduate work at California Institute of the Arts, where she was awarded a full scholarship to be in a graduate string quartet.  Her teachers include Charles Ponall, Eugenie Dengel, Howard Beebe, Paul Doktor, Alan DeVeritch, and Jesse Levine.  She was the principal violist of the Duluth Symphony Orchestra, and has performed at the Mozarteum in Salzberg, Austria, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.  Currently the principal violist in the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Ms. Roberts (Peg) is a frequently heard performer of chamber music in the New York/New Jersey area., often with members of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the NY Philharmonic, and the NJ Symphony.

Naomi Youngstein

A native of Westchester County, New York, violinist NAOMI YOUNGSTEIN attended the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division and later received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from the school. As a student of Burton Kaplan, Youngstein won the school’s concerto competition and the Ravel Academie competition, for which she was awarded a trip to France to attend master classes at the Ravel Academie. While a student at the Manhattan School, she performed with the school’s orchestra (as concertmaster) and the Manhattan Contemporary Ensemble. Youngstein attended the National Repertory Orchestra festival for two seasons; in her second season with the ensemble, she was assistant concertmaster and performed a concerto with the orchestra.

As assistant personnel manager of the NJSO, Youngstein is the keeper and distributor of all printed materials. Through the NJSO Early Strings Program, she is a mentor and teacher at three schools in Newark—Arts High School, Rafael Hernandez Elementary School and Franklin Elementary School. In addition, she serves as leader of the Greater Newark Violin Ensemble and is a coach for the Greater Newark Youth Orchestra.

She has taught at the Thurnauer School of Music of the Jewish Community Center in Tenafly and at Rutgers Prep School; she has coached for the New Jersey Youth Symphony. For three years she has been a chamber music coach at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) summer Chamber Music Institute, and she is the current treasurer of ASTA NJ. She teaches violin privately at her home studio and is a member of the Amaryllis Ensemble.

Certificate Program
Leslie Webster

Leslie Webster received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and Master’s degree from Harvard University. She has performed as concertmaster, lecture-recitalist, chamber player, and as a soloist in the tri-state area and abroad. She currently specializes in pedagogy, having studied in particular the methods of Paul Rolland, Kato Havas, Mimi Zweig, Louise Behrend, and Margaret Pressley. Mrs. Webster is a past-president of ASTA/NJ she also edited New Jersey Strings, chaired the ASTA/NJ Solo Competition, co-founded 4 Strings! A Summer Chamber Music Academy and is currently a co-chair of the ASTA/NJ Certificate Program. She has served on a variety of national ASTA committees as well, earning the ASTA Citation for Leadership and Merit in 2003 and 2004. She was awarded the ASTA/NJ Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding contributions to string music education. She offers a summer Cadet Teacher course for pre-college students who want to teach and teaches violin to private award-winning students in regular and accelerated pre-college programs in Madison, NJ.

National High School Honors Orchestra Chair
Barbara Vierschilling

Barbara Vierschilling, violin, has been teaching strings in Summit for fifteen years. She conducts the High School String Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and several quartets and quintets. The Hilltop String Quartet ,coached by Mrs. Vierschilling will be performing at Alice Tully Hall this spring as winners of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Young Musicians Program (they were also selected in 2005). Mrs. Vierschilling was selected as Teacher of the Year last year in Summit. Mrs. Vierschilling earned her Bachelor’s Degree in performance from The University of Maryland and did graduate work in Music Education at Kean. She is a frequent orchestral clinician and adjudicator in New Jersey and maintains a leadership role in many state Orchestra committees and panels. She is Past President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American String Teacher’s Association and currently serves as National Honors Orchestra Chairman. Previous positions in ASTA include Composer Competition and Quartet Competition Chairman. Barbara is currently an Honorary Chair on the Board of Trustees of The Summit Symphony and is on the Education Committee of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. In addition, she teaches private violin and viola lessons. Her private students have won many competitions including The ASTA Solo Competition , The Suburban Community Concerto Competition and The MTA Solo Competition. They have performed at Steinway Hall and Carnegie Hall.

Young Composers Competition
Sandra Dackow
Student Chapters

Co-Chair, String Symposium
Web site, eblasts and facebook editor
Mimi Butler

Mimi Butler teaches violin and viola privately to 10 - 15 students weekly in her Cherry Hill, NJ home. Butler also offers string quartets, music theory lessons, a ten hour cadet teaching course for advanced string players and music teachers who wish to teach the string instruments, plus, a three hour consultation for current and future private music studio teachers. Mimi's students include Rutgers University / Camden violin and viola students each semester.

Mimi Butler is the author/publisher of "The Complete Guide to Running a Private Music Studio", "The Complete Guide to Making More Money in the Private Music Studio" and "The Complete Guide to Raising Parents in the Private Music Studio" along with downloadable pamphlets. Butler is also distributing music on her web site. 

Butler is a board member with 'The Symphony in C' and leads the educational volunteer committee. The new youth orchestra and annual summer day camp has been thriving due to this committee.

Mimi Butler has been conducting clinics on the books throughout the country, Germany and in Canada since 1999. Butler has been published in “Strad” and "Strings" magazines.

Solo and Ensemble Festivals
Marilyn Lupchinsky

Nominating Committee, Private Teacher Lists
Sheila Mendel

Mrs. Sheila Mendel, adjunct with the Abbey and Young Abbey Orchestras at Delbarton in Morristown.  Mendel is in her 17th year as Director/Conductor of the All-Wayne Orchestra and 10th year as Director of the Advanced High School Strings Ensemble, each made up of students from the 14 Wayne Township public schools: 9 elementary, 3 middle and 2 high schools in Wayne NJ.

Sharon Holmes Scholarship
Karen Kamp 

Karen was raised in New Jersey and as a teenager studied violin with Isabelle Wegmann. She attended Ithaca College and earned a Bachelor of Music in violin performance. After college she was a member of the Albany (NY) Symphony.

Karen freelanced for ten years in St. Louis, MO where she playing for many ballet companies, symphonies and shows. She was the leader of the Canterbury String Quartet which played many venues and was featured at the Old Courthouse doing an educational Thomas Jefferson program. Karen was a fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Institute in 1990. She taught violin and viola for the St. Louis Symphony Schools for the Arts for seven years and helped found the Musical Arts Academy where she taught for 3 more years.

Karen currently performs with many New Jersey orchestras. She was adjunct faculty at Mendham West Morris High School and now is the tri-campus String Specialist at Montclair Kimberly Academy and maintains a private teaching studio. Her students participate in ASTACAP and have performed in the Essex County Youth Orchestra, NJ Youth Symphony, and the Lakeland Youth Symphony, as well as the Senior High School Region 1 Orchestra.

This is her second year as Chairperson of the Sharon Holmes Memorial Scholarship. Karen and Sharon performed together for New Jersey Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker.“



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