• Vienna Summer Strings

    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

    Celebrating our 34th Season

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



    Kilmer Middle School

    8100 Wolf Trap Road

    Vienna, VA 22182



    June 22-July 17, 2020

    not in session Friday, July 3

    Showcase Concert: Friday, July 17, 1:30 PM



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

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


  • Program Details

    What do they do all day?


    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 22, 2020 will receive a full refund*.
    •  Approved refund requests made May 22, 2020 - June 15, 2020 will receive a 50% refund*.
    •  Refunds* will not be made after June 15, 2020 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.

  • Registration is OPEN!

    Early Registration now through May 22, 2020

  • 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. Instructors 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 and 2 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 3 or 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.
    Obtain an instrument.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 a successful pilot year in 2019, VSS will offer an extended day program again in 2020. Participants will rotate among music-themed activities such as: arts and crafts; low-impact games & recreation; guided instrumental practice; snack time. Limited availability. Minimum enrollment of 30 per week, or the program risks being cancelled.

  • VSS Staff

    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 11, 9, and 7) who keep her busy from son-up to son-down with scouts, sports, and music.

    Laura Ibrahim

    Viola Instructor

    Laura started playing the violin in the 5th Grade, and around the same time started playing the piano. After winning numerous piano competitions and participating in all-state orchestra, she decided to double major in music education and viola performance at East Carolina University. Due to a need for violists, she was asked to switch to the viola with the ECU orchestra. There she was the recipient of the Top Senior Award for Instrumental (Strings) Music Education . Laura has attended several music festivals, and has performed in masterclasses for distinguished teachers such as Xiao-Dong Wong, Maria Lambros, Hsin-Yun Huang, and Jessica Thompson. In addition, she has also performed for the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, “Next Generation Concert” series, under the direction of Ara Gregorian, and studied strings & conducting with Joseph Walker, Melissa Reardon, Hye-Jin Kim, and Jorge Richter.

    Laura has a Master's Degree in Orchestral Conducting, and is currently teaching strings in the Fairfax County Public Schools. She has nearly doubled the size of her string programs, and works with about 300 students a week. Laura has hosted The Pyramid Orchestra for her district, and has also been an adjudicator for Solo and Ensemble Festival numerous times. She is the principal violist of the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic, and also teaches privately. Outside of music, she is an animal lover (particularly owls) and a long-distance runner. She currently resides in Arlington with her husband and two tabby cats.


    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 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!

    Ruth Donahue

    Cello Instructor

    Ruth Donahue received a Master of Music Education Degree from Cincinnati Conservatory and learned more during five summers at the Aspen Music Festival. She has performed with the Cincinnati Ballet and Opera Orchestras, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Oklahoma Symphony, and the Fairfax Chamber Players. She has had the joy of teaching Strings in Ohio, Oklahoma, Colorado, and has taught in Fairfax County Public schools 32 years (and counting)! Currently, she teaches almost 400 young musicians at Spring Hill Elementary School. Her students consistently earn Superior ratings at Assessments and Solo & Ensemble Festivals. Mrs. Donahue keeps current in her field by attending Music Educators Conferences in Virginia, all over the US, and even in Europe. She loves to travel and spend time in her garden. She also enjoys watching Jeopardy!” with her husband, and movies with her daughter and son-in-law. Mrs. Donahue is happy to be returning to VSS!

    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.



    Megan Pfiester

    Violin/Viola Instructor

    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.

    Anita Su

    Violin Instructor

    Sondra Taylor

    Bass Instructor

  • Parent Love

    Testimonials from Summer 2019

    "Great program. Dedicated and respectful staff. My child liked it and liked seeing how music and strings can be relevant to them. He will come back for more weeks."


    This was 3rd summer attending VSS, and our son can’t wait until next year! Keep up the GREAT work.

    "What a great team of professionals. My child thoroughly enjoyed the music and the teachers. And the after-care staff were fun and engaging. Thanks for a great program!"

    "My daughter thoroughly enjoyed this camp. Who knew playing an instrument for 5 hours could be so enjoyable. The staff seemed to be enjoying themselves, too. Keep making music fun!"

    "My son went enthusiastic every day, loved all the teachers and had so much fun. The teachers were caring and lovely. Big THANK YOU"

    "My son attended VSS for the first time this summer. He was very nervous before getting there, but when I picked him up his attitude was completely different. He loves the breakout sessions. He loved that he learn new techniques. He was very proud of himself for being able to read the notes better. He wants to do 3 weeks next year. Thank you for a great two weeks!"

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