• Upcoming AOA dates:
    • Composition Contest Deadline                                       June 15, 2019
    • Audition Excerpts posted online                                     August 2, 2019
    • Audition Registration Deadline                                      September 27, 2019
    • String Auditions must be completed by                           October 14, 2019
    • Wind, Brass, & Perc. Auditions to be completed by         November 11, 2019
    • Deadline for All-State Scholarship Applications              December 1, 2018
    • All-State Festival                                                          February 6-9, 2020
    • Orchestra MPA                                                             TBD – Spring 2020
Alabama Honor Strings Festival @ Moody Music Bulding
Oct 26 – Oct 28 all-day

Your ASTA board has planned a great orchestral learning and performance experience for you and for your students. Your child/student will play with nationally known conductors and educators. We will have a great time together and our students will make new friends and enjoy new musical experiences and challenges. And it is a non-football game weekend so traffic is not a problem!

Three events will be happening during the same time:

  • Honor Strings Festival – Junior and Senior Orchestras
  • Solo-Ensemble Evaluation
  • Alpha Strings (for students ages 6-10), Saturday morning only


Click here for Capstone hotel.   Conveniently located just a block from the Moody Music building on the UA campus, Capstone has reserved 20 rooms for us.  Your cost is $109.00 plus 15% tax.  Call 205-752-3200.  Ask for the ASTA Honor Strings rate.  Or you may reserve on line via our website, The cut-off date for getting the rate discount is September 26.

Click here to book Courtyard Tuscaloosa  for $119.00 USD  per night

Click here to book Fairfield Inn Tuscaloosa  for $114.00 USD  per night


We are very excited to have two outstanding conductors to lead our orchestras.  Natalie Colbert and Carolyn Landreau have served the Atlanta area for many years and are each highly respected teacher/performers/conductors.

Senior Orchestra-Carolyn Landreau

Carolyn Ellington Landreau is the Director of Orchestras and Fine Arts Department Chair at Centennial High School in Roswell, GA. In addition, Landreau also serves as the Fine Arts Support Teacher for Orchestras for Fulton County Schools, a metro Atlanta school district servicing over 90,000 students. Mrs. Landreau holds a Bachelor’s in Music Education from Florida State University (2002), a Master of Music Education from the University of Colorado (2004) and an Education Specialist degree from Valdosta State University (2014). She was instrumental in creating the District Five Middle School Honor Orchestra as well as the Statewide Honor Orchestra which paved the way for the addition of three All-State Orchestras.

Mrs. Landreau has also served as counselor, clinician, and conductor for various summer programs including the GA ASTA Camp, Encore, Upbeat!, Mercer Band and Orchestra Camp, and Bravo Camps. She has served in various capacities writing curriculum and Student Learning Objectives, as well as serving as a new teacher Virtual Coach for Fulton County Schools. She has served on the State Board of GaASTA as the Newsletter editor and State Treasurer. Her leadership roles within the Georgia Music Educators Association have included District Five Orchestra Chair, Statewide Honor Orchestra creator/organizer/host, 2015 & 2016 GMEA All-State 11/12 Full Orchestra Coordinator and GMEA District Five Chairperson. In addition to her teaching roles, Mrs. Landreau enjoys performing as a professional cellist throughout the metro Atlanta area. Carolyn resides in Cumming, GA with her husband, James (Magnet Coordinator at North Springs Charter High School), and their two energetic children- Alexandra (9) and Carson (5).

Junior Orchestra- Natalie Colbert

 Natalie Fisher Colbert began her career as an itinerant elementary orchestra teacher in the Atlanta Public School System in 1981 where she started orchestra programs in 3 elementary schools. In 1982, she was assigned an additional school, Sutton Middle School located in the same neighborhood to begin a string orchestra program there. This began a 31-year devotion and dedication in the quest to provide quality instruction and exposure to the students, educate the families and create a legacy of orchestral music in the community. The elementary programs grew to an enrollment of over 400 students and those students moved into the middle school orchestra, where Mrs. Colbert developed the 1st full-time position for an orchestra teacher in the Atlanta school system.  The elementary and middle school orchestras earned 30 years of consistent Superior ratings in the Georgia Large Group Performance Evaluation. Additionally, Mrs. Colbert, along with her husband Reginald Colbert formed the first Full Orchestra on the middle school level in the state. This ensemble was selected to perform at the GMEA In-Service Conference.

Mrs. Colbert was the Co-Conductor of the Atlanta Public Schools Youth Orchestra with Mr. James L. Camp and with her husband for 25 years. The Youth Orchestra also earned 25 years of consistent ratings and performed at the GMEA Conference.  She served as the Georgia Music Educators Statewide Orchestra Chair, the Secretary for the Georgia Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, the President of the Georgia Chapter and served on the National ASTA Board as Member -At- Large. Most recently, in 2013, Mrs. Colbert started the string program at Charles R. Drew Charter School in East Atlanta.

Orchestra Placement:

Teachers, please place your own students, based on the guidelines below.   If you are unsure about placement, please contact the Alabama ASTA President.  PLEASE NOTE:  these are skill levels only.  They are mentioned only to give you an idea of the appropriate skill level for each orchestra.

Senior Orchestra

Generally, grades 8-12, Suzuki book 4 and beyond.
Repertoire will be grade 3 and beyond.

Skills and keys (in addition to those for Junior Orchestra):
A major, Bb major, C major, some vibrato, chords, 3rd and 4th positions, key changes, all finger patterns with frequent changes, bass ½ position and high G, cellos forward extensions.

Junior Orchestra

Generally, grades 5-8, Suzuki book 2 -3.
Repertoire will be grades 1½ to 2½.

Skills and keys for all instruments: C major, G major, e minor, D major, syncopation, slurs, hooked bows, notes on all strings, 1-2 and 2-3 finger patterns, backward extension.  Students should be able to differentiate between 2nd and 3rd finger usage, i.e., in first position the 3rd finger for viola and violin on the d string will normally be used to play g, not f#.

Cellists should be familiar with forward and backward extensions.

Bassists should be familiar with the d scale one octave to 3rd position.  These skills do not have to be completely mastered, of course, as education is a part of the festival.   But this should give you some idea of the difficulty level of the music.

Alpha Strings

For students generally, ages 6-10 who have been playing for at least 6 months.  Alpha Strings is an introductory experience in playing with others.  Students should have some experience in reading rhythms such as eighth, quarter, half and whole notes.  Students will rehearse simple tunes together and will perform them in an informal concert.  Alpha Strings will take place entirely during the morning of Saturday, October 27.

Please note that this Festival is a NON -COMPETITIVE festival.  Therefore, the guest conductors will determine seating and upon the festival staff’s recommendation.  Be sure that your students understand: all decisions made regarding seating will be for the benefit of the ensembles, and ensemble members will be expected to abide by these seating decisions.


The registration fee is $80 for students of ASTA members, and includes a festival T-shirt.  Students of non-ASTA members can participate and registration is $105.  Registration forms and fees must be postmarked by October 9 or received via email and PayPal by October 9.  If forms are mailed or received(email) after October 9 deadline, then registration is $105 (ASTA members) or $130 (non-ASTA members). Paypal address is

We need parents who could volunteer– moving chairs & stands, assisting in set-up, man tables, coordinate snacks, and generally being available to assist us. There is a space on the registration form for parents to volunteer.

Tentative Schedules for planning purposes.  Note: these are all subject to change!
Alabama Honor Strings Festival, 2018
Location:  Moody Music Building, Tuscaloosa

Friday, October 26
3.00-5.00                   Check in, get name tag and final schedule, find your rehearsal room.
6.30-8.00                   Rehearsals

Saturday, October 27
8:30 – noon              Rehearsals, sectionals and activities
1:30 – 5:00               Rehearsals and activities
Solo and Ensemble Evaluations

9:00-12:00                Alpha Strings rehearsals and performance

Sunday, October 28
8:30 – 10:30             Rehearsals (snack break during this time)
11:00                           Concert

Solo-Ensemble Competition/Evaluation

Students who wish can be evaluated for solo or ensemble performance.
Students will leave for their scheduled evaluation times.
A judge will evaluate their playing and select two performers and an ensemble for the Sunday concert.  More info on website.

All information and forms are posted on the Registration page, click the Register Now link below. Please contact for any questions.

Photo release forms will be available at the event.




Tennessee ASTA concerto competition, Dec. 15, 2018. @ University of Tennessee
Dec 15 all-day

ASTA Tennessee is holding a concerto competition at the University of Tenn. on Dec. 15.   Open to all students aged 12-18 nationally.

Top prize for the senior division is $1500. ASTA members’ students receive a discounted application fee of $50. All of the competition guidelines can be viewed at

AMEA Conference in Birmingham Jan 17-19
Jan 14 @ 5:54 pm – 6:54 pm
AOA Festival Feb. 7-10, 2019 Tuscaloosa
Feb 7 @ 5:55 pm – Feb 10 @ 6:55 pm
STEP Birmingham presents Chamber Music Workshop @ UAB Hulsey Center, Birmingham, Alabama
Feb 15 – Feb 17 all-day

Please go to this link for all the details.

2019 Chamber Music Workshop

Paul Rolland String Workshop July 7-13, 2019
Jul 7 @ 5:50 pm – Jul 13 @ 6:50 pm