To view a brief bio about each board member, please click each person's name.
• Emily Hannah Crane, Clarksville, 2015-2018
• Wesley Baldwin, Knoxville, 2012-2015
• Dan Allcott, Cookeville, 2010-2012
• Francis Elliott, Cookeville, 2008-2010
• Gary Wilkes, Chattanooga, 2006-2008
• Jenifer Van Tol, Oak Ridge, 2004 - 2006
• Bill Robinson, Maryville, 2002 - 2004
• Elisabeth Small, Nashville, 2000 - 2002
• John Chiego, Memphis, 1998 - 2000
• Lenny Schranze, Memphis, 1996 - 1998
• Sara Newman Johnson, Nashville, 1994 - 1996
We are now maintaining an online archive of past presidents of Tennessee ASTA. If you can help complete the archive, please send additions to the webmaster.
West: Pam Wilensky
Middle: Mandy Funderburk
East: Wesley Baldwin
We are an organization committed to advocacy for education in the performance of violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, and harp.
Susan Mullen is the Director of Strings at The Webb School in Bell Buckle, TN. She is an active violinist, violist, conductor and clinician for honor orchestras and summer festivals. She serves on the conducting staff at the Festivo de la Musica del Pacifico in Cobano, Costa Rica as well as the Tennessee Valley Music Festival in Huntsville, Alabama. Ms. Mullen is the Assistant Concertmaster of the Murfreesboro Symphony Orchestra and an active free-lance musician throughout the region. She was the co-founder, Music Director, and Conductor of the Murfreesboro Youth Orchestra for 11 years. She earned her Master of Music Performance from the University of Wyoming, continuing her studies in Neuchatel, Switzerland as a Rotary International Scholar×
Violinist Geoffrey Herd has given performances in the United States, Latin America and Asia, and is frequently sought after as recitalist and chamber musician. Mr. Herd has performed recitals at venues such as the Isabel Stewart Gardner Museum of Art in Boston and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. An avid chamber musician, Mr. Herd has collaborated with some of the finest musicians of our time including Ani Kavafian, Clive Greensmith, James Dunham and Laurie Smukler. Mr. Herd has also performed concertos with numerous orchestras including the Rochester Philharmonic, the Thailand Philharmonic, the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, the Ithaca College Symphony, the Amherst Symphony, the Finger Lakes Symphony, the University of Tennessee Symphony Orchestra, and the Longmont Symphony.
A strong proponent of new music, Mr. Herd was a founding member of the contemporary music ensemble Vicennium Void. The group was the dedicatee of many works and were Artists-in-Residence at the Thailand International Composition Festival in June 2014 and 2015. Mr. Herd returned to the festival in 2016 as a soloist with the Thailand Philharmonic performing John Corigiliano’s Red Violin Concerto. Additionally, Mr. Herd has given a number of premiers including the NY premier of Pierre Jalbert’s Wild Ambrosia, and world premieres of Daniel Knagg’s Ancient Ruins, and Chris Walczak’s Incorporeal Spaces.
Equally committed to bringing classical music to new audiences, Mr. Herd is the founder and director of the Geneva Music Festival in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Each summer, the Festival presents a three-week long chamber music series, featuring world-renowned artists, as well as donating educational concerts to local school districts.
Mr. Herd joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in August 2016 where he has built a thriving studio, attracting students from around the globe. His students frequently participate in some of the nation’s top music festivals including the Aspen, Brevard, Sarasota, and Wintergreen festivals and are frequent competition winners throughout the country. Mr. Herd studied at Rice University, Yale School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music with Ani Kavafian, Paul Kantor, William Preucil and David Updegraff.×
Dr. Emily Hanna Crane joined Austin Peay State University in 2008 as the Coordinator of Orchestral Strings and Assistant Professor of Music. She teaches violin, viola, chamber music, music appreciation, chamber music literature, and string methods. Dr. Crane also teaches Suzuki and traditional violin through the Community School of the Arts, where she received the Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. She is the Director of the APSU Honor Orchestra Festival and has been an active adjudicator, clinician, and sectional coach for summer festivals and honor orchestras. Prior to APSU, Dr. Crane taught at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg and held a large private violin studio in Tallahassee, Fla. She has also been an active free-lance musician in the Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. Dr. Crane earned the Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Florida State University where she studied violin with Eliot Chapo, Gary Kosloski, and Karen Clarke. She earned the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied with Richard Luby. Dr. Crane has also studied with Kenneth Goldsmith, Kevin Lawrence, Ernest Pereira, and Mary Jane Kirkendol. She has also studied viola pedagogy with Pamela Ryan and Dana Meyer. An avid performer, Dr. Crane has given concerts across North America, Taiwan, and Europe. She is a member of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra, and as concertmaster, has played the solo violin part on a variety of works ranging from Joseph Haydn's Symphony No. 6 ("Le Matin") to J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 to Arnold Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony, Op. 9. In November 2011 Dr. Crane was featured as the violin soloist in Michael Daugherty's violin concerto Ladder to the Moon. Dr. Crane is a founding member of the Hanna-Yang Duo, with pianist Hui-Ting Yang, dedicated to premiering new works. The Duo premiered Metamorphoses II by Clifton Callender (commissioned by the Florida State Music Teachers Association and the Hanna-Yang Duo) at the 2009 FSMTA conference in Tallahassee. The Duo has performed Metamorphoses II at the 2011 Southern Chapter College Music Society Conference, the 2011 Florida State University New Music Festival, and the 2010 College Music Society National Conference. A recording of the piece will be released in late 2012 or early 2013. In 2005, the Duo premiered and recorded Sonata No. 1 for Violin and Piano (2004) by Ju-hwan Yu, which appears on a recording featuring contemporary Korean composers (Kum-Seong records) released in 2008. Dr. Crane has been a member of Tango Sur (traditional Argentinean music, Tallahassee) and Quartet alla Turca (first prize at the 2002 NUMUS competition; 2001-02 Eppes Graduate Quartet, FSU). She has also performed as a chamber musician on Live in Studio C (WPLN Nashville Public Radio) and performed with the Nexus Chamber Orchestra (Brentwood, Tenn.). Dr. Crane has served as concertmaster and associate concertmaster of the Valley (South Texas) and Tallahassee Symphony Orchestras and played in the violin sections of several orchestras including the Jacksonville (Fla.) and Columbus (Ga.) Symphony Orchestras. In addition to serving as one of the faculty advisers for Sigma Alpha Iota, Dr. Crane is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, American String Teacher Association, College Music Society (Board Member for Performance in the Southern College Music Society 2012-2014), National Association for Music Education, and Tennessee Music Educators Association.×
Sara Johnson has been teaching Orchestra in the Metro Nashville Public Schools at the Middle School and High School levels since 1985. She also has taught Strings Methods at Belmont University (1997-2010) and continues to teach Suzuki Violin at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music. Currently serving as Treasurer for the Tennessee Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, Mrs. Johnson is also a Past-President. She continues to be active in the Middle Tennessee School Band and Orchestra Association, and is a charter member of the Trevecca Symphony Orchestra and of the Centennial String Quartet in which she plays viola. Mrs. Johnson graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, earned her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Iowa, and attained her Plus-30 from MTSU and Cumberland University. She has been listed in five editions of "Who's Who Among America's Teachers", and has been a Clinician for the Quad State Orchestra Festival, the All-West Junior High Orchestra, Metro Summer Orchestra Camp, and the UNC Asheville Summer Music Camp.×