2023 ASTA National Conference
Master Class Clinicians
K-12 Reading Session Clinicians
Grade 1-3

Adrian Gordon
Leap Year Music Publishing

Adrian Gordon is an internationally performed composer and seasoned music educator. He currently serves as the Director of Orchestras at Providence Day School in Charlotte, NC. In addition to teaching, Mr. Gordon is the founder of Leap Year Music Publishing, which publishes string music for elementary, middle, and high school ensembles. Adrian received his B.A. in music from the University of Miami, and his master’s degree in music education at Florida International University.

Grade 4-6

Laura Mulligan Thomas
Charlottesville City Schools, Retired
President of Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association

Laura Mulligan Thomas retired in June 2022 after serving for 40 years as the director of the nationally-recognized Charlottesville High School Orchestra. Ms. Thomas is the President of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association and Conductor of the Youth Symphony of the Youth Orchestras of Central Virginia. Ms. Thomas has received numerous honors for her work with young musicians, including the 2022 Elizabeth A. H. Greene Award from the ASTA.

Eclectic Styles

Elizabeth Fortune
Wintergrass Festival

Elizabeth Fortune is a music education change-agent from Seattle, Director of Education for the Wintergrass Festival, co-host of a popular music education podcast called “The Beth and Kelly Show,” and chairperson of  NAfME’s Orchestra Council.  In 2019-2021, Fortune served on the ASTA Board of Directors.  In 2018, she was a recipient of CMA’s Music Teachers of Excellence distinction. In 2015, Fortune was one of 25 semi-finalists for the Grammy Music Educator Award.

Sam Flippin
Texas State University

Dr. Sam H. Flippin is assistant professor and String Project Director at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX. He taught high school and middle school orchestras in the Houston and Dallas areas for 11 years where he developed his interests in string pedagogy and the ways effective classroom teaching increases opportunities for students who cannot afford private lessons. He is married to Jordan, and they have two children ages 8 and 5.

K-12 Reading Session Clinicians
Women Composers

AnnMarie Abraham
Williams Middle School

AnnMarie Abraham holds degrees from Florida State University and VanderCook College of Music. She teaches at the FSU Summer Music Camp, and is an active clinician, conductor, and adjudicator. She co-founded the Tampa Metropolitan Youth Orchestra (TMYO) Summer String Camp and serves as the Student Mentorship Program Co-Director and Chamber Ensemble Director. She is also member-at-large on the ASTA Board of Directors. She is passionate about orchestras learning to perform popular music through aural learning and actively performs as a freelance violinist.

Underrepresented Composers

Daniella Valdez
Maine West High School
The Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

Daniella Valdez is a string music educator and conductor in the Chicagoland area. She is the DIrector of String Ensembles with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras and the Orchestra Director at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, IL. Ms. Valdez is an active clinician working with community schools, festivals and workshops.  She has presented clinics at state and national conferences and has several publications in music education journals. She is an active member of the Illinois Educators Association and she sits on the board for the Illinois American String Teachers Association.

Jason Jerald
Howard W. Blake High School

Jason Jerald is in his 20th year as the orchestra teacher at Howard W. Blake HS in Tampa, FL. Mr. Jerald received his bachelor’s in Music Ed. from FSU and his master’s in Conducting from USF. Mr. Jerald maintains an active performing career and is a strong advocate for excellence in music education and performance as a clinician and adjudicator. Mr. Jerald enjoys his time with his wife Maya, their children Emanuel and Emery.

Studio & Chamber Music Reading Session Clinicians
Women Composers

Renata Soares Caceres
Illinois Wesleyan University

Originally from Brazil, Dr. Renata Soares Cáceres has worked, performed, and studied in the US since 2013. Renata is regularly involved with festivals and conferences in the United States, Brazil, and Germany. She has participated as a clinician at ASTA National Conference, IMEC, the International Society of Bassists’ Convention, Chicago Bass Festival, and the Paul Rolland Pedagogy Workshop, among others. Renata is the adjunct professor of double bass at Illinois Wesleyan University and has a private studio in Urbana-Champaign.

Underrepresented Composers

June Huang
George Mason University

June Huang is Director of Strings and Assistant Professor of Violin at George Mason University’s Dewberry School of Music. She holds an M.A. from UC Santa Barbara and a B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory. She studied at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Meadowmount School of Music, Aspen Music Festival, and Banff Centre for the Arts. On baroque violin, Ms. Huang plays and records with Opera Lafayette. She is a trained teacher of the Suzuki Method.