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Studio Teacher Listing



Susanna Klein



Originally from Stuttgart, Germany, Violinist Susanna Klein has enjoyed a varied career as a violinist, educator and arts innovator. She has performed in orchestra and chamber music settings in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and Israel as well as throughout the United States. Ms. Klein serves as violinist with both Trio 826, based in Iowa, and the trailblazer group Atlantic Chamber Ensemble (ACE) in Richmond. As an orchestral musician, Ms. Klein served as principal second violin for 6 years. Previous orchestral appointments include the Memphis and Colorado Symphonies.

She is a regular guest at the music festivals of Wintergreen, Loon Lake, and Cedar Valley Chamber Music. She can be heard on the compact discs of One Ring Zero, Modern Groove Syndicate and the Klavier Label. Trio 826 has recorded their first cd in 2016 on the Albany Label. Ms. Klein is a frequent writer for the American String Teachers Magazine and wrote the cover article of the April 2015 The Instrumentalist issue.

A passionate educator, Susanna Klein is now assistant professor of violin and coordinator of strings at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University. Ms. Klein is co-director and founder of the Orchestra Project, a yearly summer camp that serves 140 young string players. Prof. Klein holds a Bachelor of Music degree from VCU and Master of Music degree from Boston University, where she was an assistant to the legendary violinist Roman Totenberg. To read more about Susanna Klein go to or


Sandy Goldie



Sandy Goldie is passionate about high quality music teaching, learning and performing. Currently Dr Goldie is Assistant Professor of String Music Education at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches graduate and undergraduate music education and string pedagogy courses.  Read her complete bio here.


Laura Kobayashi



LAURA KOBAYASHI, violinist, currently resides in Northern Virginia and performs with the Main Street Chamber Players (Fairfax, VA) in addition to performing and touring with pianist Dr. Susan Keith Gray, as part of the Kobayashi/Gray Duo. Dr. Kobayashi is also a founding member of the Main Street Music Studios in Fairfax, VA where she maintains a large private studio of violin students. As a performer, Dr. Kobayashi actively performs throughout the United States and has also performed abroad in Thailand, South Africa, Norway, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Argentina and Brazil and the islands of St. Lucia and Trinidad. In addition, she has recorded two compact discs of music by women composers for the Albany Records label and has edited for publication a violin sonata by 19th Century French composer Marie Grandval for Hildegard Publishing Company. Throughout her career, Dr. Kobayashi has received several awards including the 2012 VASTA (Virginia State Chapter of ASTA) Outstanding String Teacher Award and the 2002 “Excellence in Teaching” Award by the Division of Music and College of Creative Arts at West Virginia University. Her past teaching positions include serving on the faculties at West Virginia University, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Georgia and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. In addition, for a short period of time as a professional orchestral musician, she played as a member of the second violin section in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. Outside of her teaching and performing activities, Dr. Kobayashi is also an active member of ASTA (American String Teachers Association) and has served as a National Chair for several of ASTA’s National Committees including the ASTA National Solo Competition and the ASTA CAP Program (Certificate Advancement Program).
A native of Seattle, Washington, Dr. Kobayashi studied violin with Dorothy DeLay, Paul Kantor, Andrew Jennings, and Denes Zsigmondy. Dr. Kobayashi earned the Bachelor of Music in Performance from The Juilliard School; the Master of Music in Performance from Yale University (Yale School of Music) and the Doctor of Musical Arts from The University of Michigan.


Alex McConnell



Alex McConnell is a violinist from Chesapeake, VA who has a passion for music education in public schools. During high school, Alex was exposed to many styles of instrumental music while under orchestra director Steve Vutsinas—a top-ten finalist for the first annual Grammy Award for Music Education. During his senior year, esteemed violinist Dr. Laura Kobayashi recruited Alex to attend George Mason University. While at GMU, Alex was privileged to study with many incredible faculty and staff including Professor F. Wayne Taylor, Dr. Brian Wuttke, and Maestro Anthony Maiello. After finishing his undergraduate studies, Alex received his first teaching job as an elementary orchestra director with Fairfax County Public Schools. Currently in his second year of teaching, Alex has returned to his hometown of Chesapeake, VA and is the orchestra director at Kempsville Middle School within Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Alex is eager to help grow VASTA’s presence in Virginia while working as Treasurer and a member of the Communications and ASTACAP Subcommittees.


Carol Stone


ASTACAP Director

Carol Stone, strings teacher and arts manager by profession—with degrees from 
Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley—maintains an active teaching studio in Northern Virginia. She founded the ongoing Blacksburg Community String Orchestra while living in Southwest Virginia and was the founding instructor for the highly successful three-year StringStart pilot for early violin and viola study for underserved students at John Adams, the Arts Designated Elementary School in the City of Alexandria. A violist with the Annandale Symphony, Ms. Stone has studied violin and pedagogy with David Salness and viola with Doris Lederer. Ms. Stone serves as the ASTA Certificate Advancement Program (ASTACAP) Representative for VASTA, the ASTACAP Exam Coordinator for Northern Virginia, and she is the Lead for the ASTACAP National Mentoring Sub-Committee, working closely with colleagues throughout the country on behalf of this outstanding program for string teachers and their students. Ms. Stone enjoys her duties as VASTA Treasurer: the Executive Director for five years and currently the Financial Director of the Left Bank Concert Society, Ms. Stone has also taught mathematics at Virginia Tech and the Urban School of San Francisco.


Steve Vutsinas


Nominations Committee 

As a veteran high school orchestra director of 26 years, Steve has joined the Long and Foster Real Estate Family because of his love for serving people and for helping people find the home of their dreams! Steve was named Teacher of the Year at Grassfield High School in 2014 and was also selected as a top ten finalist out of 34.700 in the inaugural Grammy Foundation Music Educator of the Year contest also in 2014. Steve's work ethic and love for people have crossed over from the school world to the real estate world with a very smooth transition over the past year. During his first year in the business, Steve has already sold over 1.2 million dollars in sales. Steve has been married to his amazing wife, Sandi, for 25 years and they have 3 awesome kids together! Andrew is 22 and just graduated from the University of Virginia, Samantha is 19 and is in her second year at James Madison University, and Asher who was born in October! Asher has brought tremendous unexpected joy to the Vutsinas family! 


Kerstenn Marrero


Communications Director

Kerstenn Marrero is violinist from the Northern Virginia area. She is quite involved with the arts at the local level. She performs with the Manassas Symphony Orchestra, and in the Pied Piper Theater Pit Orchestra. Kerstenn is a graduate from James Madison University with a degree in music education with a minor in music and human services. She currently teaches orchestra at Grace. E. Metz Middle school in Manassas and is working towards getting her therapeutic musicians license.


Gretta Sandberg



Gretta Sandberg retired in June 2009 after 42 years as an orchestra director in the elementary and high school levels in Arlington and Fairfax Counties. Since then she has moved to the Shenandoah Mountains and established the Allegheny Mountain String Project.  For her complete bio, including accomplishments and awards too numerous to list, click here.


Margaret Whiteside


Website coordinator

A violinist whose first love is chamber music, Margaret Whiteside freelances in the Washington, D.C. area and has a violin studio in Fairfax, VA.  Currently she serves as assistant concertmaster of the Arlington Philharmonic.  She has played with the Fairfax Symphony, the Washington Sinfonia, the Washington Bach Consort, Capitol City Opera, Maryland Opera, Amadeus, and the Strolling Strings. Originally she performed as a 1st violin with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Artists Internationale Opera.  Margaret received her B.A. from Cornell University and pursued graduate work at Northwestern University.  She also has a certificate in computers from CDC and has worked as a technical writer, but very much enjoys sharing her love of music with young people.


Akemi Takayama


College Advisory Board

Akemi Takayama, is an associate professor at the Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music, where she holds the Victor Brown Endowed Chair in Violin. She was a member of the Audubon Quartet from 1997-2011 and has also been serving as the concertmaster of the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra since 2004 and the Williamsburg Symphonia since 2007.  She was invited to the Marlboro Music Festival and has served on the faculties of the Chautauqua Institute in New York among others.  Her ongoing projects include recording with Centaur Records and Duo recitals with world-renowned pianist, John O'Conor.  She holds both an Artist Diploma and a Master of Music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music, her bachelor’s degree in music performance from Toho School of Music in Tokyo and a performance certificate degree from University of Wyoming. During the fall of 2012, she will be serving as a part-time faculty at Oberlin College while maintaining the full-studio at Shenandoah Conservatory.

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