Making Music and Memories Since 1987

    Sponsored by the GC Marshall High School Band Parent Organization

    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 300 students each summer.

  • Summer 2020: Our 34th Season

    Scroll down to learn how to stay informed and receive the latest updates.



    To be determined.


    DATES (tentative)

    June 22-July 17, 2020



    8:30 AM - 1:30 PM (M-F)

    1:30 PM - 3:30 PM, Possible Extended Day Program


  • Registration opens March 2020


    Check back in January/February 2020 for updated program details.


    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

    Students are placed at a level where they will be challenged, but not overwhelmed.


    Students are closely observed during their first 2 days of participation. Ensemble re-evaluations are considered after careful observation and conference among the class instructors and Program Director.


    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


    1:30-3:30PM-Optional Extended Day Program


    • All refund requests must be made in writing and emailed to viennasummerstrings@gmail.com
    •  Approved refund requests made on or before May 25, 2019 will receive a full refund*.
    •  Approved refund requests made May 26, 2019 - June 18, 2019 will receive a 50% refund*.
    •  Refunds* will not be made after June 18, 2019 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.

  • 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, placing elementary aged children in the middle/high school groups is not recommended, 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 Director after careful observation. Please direct any concerns about class placement to the Program Director.

    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 High School (through Paypal). If you have concerns, please feel free to contact the Program Director.

    Sample Bag Lunch Menu

    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). Click the icon above to view a sample bag lunch menu.

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

    Vienna Summer Strings is designed as a four-week program and staff plans the curriculum accordingly. The best value and experience is available to those who register and attend ALL FOUR WEEKS.


    VSS understands the need to be flexible for families who have busy summers. Weeks 1, 2, & 3 are pro-rated to offer such flexibility. Weeks 3&4 are grouped so that the Showcase Concert maintains performance integrity. VSS is not structured to allow children to participate in only Week 4.

    My child is a beginner...what do I need to do?

    Register for ALL FOUR WEEKS. Not only is it the best value, but attending all four weeks will provide the best experience for your child. VSS is not staffed to accommodate beginners after Week 1, therefore VSS will not accept beginning students after Week 1.
    The VSS mission is one of instruction and is not in the position of providing or renting instruments to participants. Please visit a local shop who can provide these services so your child is prepared with an instrument on the first day of VSS.
    There are a number of reputable business in our immediate area that will size your child for a proper fit and be sure they have everything they need to be successful. Internet, Ebay/Craigslist/Yard Sale and "box store" instrument purchases are strongly discouraged, as string instruments require an expert to qualify their play-ability. Inspection of proper bridge and sound post set-ups, string quality, and bow/hair quality are best left to the string shop experts who deal with these important aspects of stringed instruments on a daily basis. Instruments purchased from places other than an expert music shop are often in great need of repair. The instrument will require attention and you will need to visit a shop anyway and will spend even more money to get it into working condition for your child. Please contact us if you would like us to suggest a reputable store in the NoVA area. The shop will work with you as your child grows into the next sized instrument for the many years ahead of beautiful music!

    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 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.


    VSS is proud to provide a high quality program. The hourly rate for the program is $5/hour or less. Highly qualified, licensed educators, (many with multiple degrees) teach every class. Babysitters aren't this cheap!

    What does the Extended Day Program Include?

    Even more musical fun with friends! After years of requests, VSS will pilot an extended day program. Participants will rotate among music-themed activities such as: arts and crafts; low-impact games & recreation; guided instrumental practice (aka Jam Session); snack time. Limited availability. Minimum enrollment of 40 per week, or the program risks being cancelled.


    Meet our talented staff!

    Teresa Maclin

    Program Director

    Mrs. Maclin directed Vienna Summer Strings from 2001-2011, and was 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 ten, eight, and six) who keep her busy from son-up to son-down.

    Eleanor Aban

    Viola Instructor

    Eleanor currently teaches orchestra at Willow Springs Elementary School, Greenbriar West Elementary School, and Centre Ridge Elementary School. In 2014, she graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in music education at West Virginia University, studying viola with Andrea Priester Houde. In addition to teaching for FCPS, Eleanor also maintains a private violin and viola studio. Aside from playing the viola, she is also passionate about string pedagogy, conducting, cooking, traveling, and solving Wheel of Fortune puzzles. This will be Eleanor’s second year teaching at Vienna Summer Strings. She’s looking forward to making music with the campers!

    John Barger

    Bass Instructor

    John Barger grew up in Denton, TX and received a Bachelor of Music in Bass performance from Southern Methodist University(Dallas, TX) and a Masters degree from Yale University(New Haven, CT). A U.S. Army veteran, John served six years in the United States Army Band and the D.C. National Guard Band, playing electric and upright bass. He created inaugural String programs at both The St. Rita School in Arlington, VA and St. Leo the Great Catholic School in Fairfax, VA. He performs regularly with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and freelances in the Washington, D.C. area. He currently teaches Strings for Fairfax County Public Schools at Westbriar E.S. and Flint Hill E.S. In his free time, Mr. Barger enjoys cheering his three sons on at their sporting events and concerts. Mr. Barger also enjoys barbecue, woodworking and growing vegetables.

    Kate Belasik

    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, Ms. Belasik received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Kate has been teaching students privately for 11 years and has performed for many weddings and events around the DC Metro Area. In her free time Kate likes to travel, read and spend time with her family and friends. This will be Ms. Belasik's eighth summer with Vienna Summer Strings and she is excited!

    Rachel Bradner

    Cello/Viola Instructor

    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.

    Kate Easton

    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.

    Elizabeth Fogel

    Violin Instructor

    Elizabeth Fogel, a native of Richmond, Virginia, received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and a minor in Business Administration from George Mason University, where she studied violin with Peter Haase of the National Symphony Orchestra and participated in masterclasses with Edwin Johonnott and Nurit Bar-Joseph. She was also selected as a soloist for the George Mason Chamber Orchestra’s Millennium Stage performance at the Kennedy Center.


    Mrs. Fogel also holds a Master of Arts in Arts Management from American University. At American University, she served as the Orchestra Manager, which was part of a merit-based fellowship program. She also studied violin with Dr. Teri Lazar and Vernon Summers. After graduate school, Mrs. Fogel ran a successful music studio for many years with as many as 45 weekly students. She also served in administrative roles with the Music in McLean Concert Series and MusicKids Program.


    Mrs. Fogel completed her teaching credentials through Regent University’s Career Switcher Program in Education, where she is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in education. In 2018, she began working as the Orchestra Director at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, Virginia. Mrs. Fogel performs professionally with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and the Arlington Philharmonic, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. Mrs. Fogel’s hobbies include hiking, rock climbing, gardening, and of course, playing music. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Gregory, and her two children, Elena (age 4) and Bennett (age 1).


    Mike Klucker

    Cello Instructor

    Mike Klucker is a recent graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor's in Music Education and a recipient of the Performer's Recognition and Creative Achievement Awards. He currently is a teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools and maintains a private lesson studio in the Springfield area. Mike also is a freelance cellist, making appearances with the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, and other venues throughout the DMV area.

    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.



    Joe Sipzner

    Violin Instructor

    Native to upstate New York, Joe Sipzner is an Orchestra Teacher for Fairfax County Public Schools. He received is Bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University, where he was mentored in string education by Dr. Robert Gillespie. While at Ohio State, he served as President of the NAfME Collegiate Chapter, and performed with the Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Men’s Glee Club. He served as the Associate Conductor for the Buckeye Philharmonic Orchestra, and in the community directed the Worthington Chorus. He has been an upper strings coach at the OSU Morning Strings Camp, and an intern for the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra Chamber Strings. He currently is the Music Director for the musical theater group Hexagon in Washington D.C. In his free time he enjoys cooking and exploring new places.

    Mark Taylor

    Ensemble/Cello Instructor


    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.

    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!


    Erin Zurbuchen

    Bass Instructor

    Mrs. Erin Zurbuchen has been teaching strings in Fairfax County Public Schools at Great Falls, Crossfield, and Fox Mill Elementary Schools since 2017. Prior to coming to FCPS, she taught middle school orchestra and elementary general music for 18 years in the Plymouth-Canton Community Schools in Michigan and performed as a double bassist with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. Mrs. Zurbuchen has degrees in string bass performance from both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. In her free time, Mrs. Zurbuchen enjoys reading, practicing piano and bass, spending time with her family, and playing with her dog Luna.




    "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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