2020 W-ASTA Awards

  • Outstanding Contributions to String Education Award:

    Ian Edlund

    The son of orchestra teacher Gordon Edlund, Ian Edlund began teaching orchestra in Lacey in 1965, where he grew generations of string players, including future orchestra teachers and other professional musicians, until his retirement.

    Out of a need to provide specialized repair services for string instrument programs, Ian started his business, String Instrument Specialists, in 1977. Since then, it has grown into a full-service repair, restoration and sales workshop. Serving string educators remains Ian’s primary interest: through String Instrument Specialists, he offers consulting services and mentoring assistance to teachers and schools, presents clinics and inservice sessions on a wide variety of subjects of interest to string teachers, and assists school districts in optimizing their music programs.

    From 1970 until 1997, Mr. Edlund was Music Director and Conductor of The Olympia Symphony Orchestra, developing this organization into one of the most respected community orchestras in the Northwest.

    Mr. Edlund has been secretary-treasurer and president of the Washington String Teachers' Association and president of Southwest Washington Music Educators. He has served as both organizing chairman and local chairman of Washington All-State Orchestras, and has remained a busy adjudicator, clinician, performer, and guest conductor throughout the Northwest and Canada.  He is a recipient of the Elizabeth Green School Educator Award from the American String Teachers' Association.


    From 1990 until 2012, Mr. Edlund directed the W-ASTA Birch Bay String Workshop, a comprehensive week of activities for string teachers. He continued his involvement with the workshop after handing over direction to others. This unique workshop, held during the first week of August each year in Ferndale, Washington, enrolls participants from around the country each summer. It is the only workshop of its kind offered in the western United States.

    Most recently, Ian has been dedicated to writing and publishing music for school orchestras. Each of his pieces addresses specific teaching points and is designed to grow the skills of each school musician. Outside his work, Mr. Edlund loves golf and travel, has built two houses, has restored a 1956 Chevrolet, and likes to hit the trails in the Olympic mountains as often as possible. But his favorite activity is spending time with his wife, two grown daughters, and three grandsons.

  • Master Studio Teacher Award:
    Jan Coleman

    Jan Coleman, co-founder of the Coleman Violin Studio in Seattle, specializes in teaching form and how it affects every aspect of playing, including intonation, tone production, and expression. Her students are international and span all levels. Students who have started lessons with Ms. Coleman have won 1st Prize in numerous international and national competitions, including the Menuhin and Stuhlberg International Competitions, and the MTNA National Solo Competition. Coleman Violin Studio students whom she has started or worked with on form have performed as soloists with numerous orchestras, including the Seattle, Houston, and Detroit Symphonies, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Berlin’s Konzerthaus Orchestra, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. They have gone on to study at prestigious conservatories such as Juilliard, Curtis, and Colburn, and hold positions, including concertmaster, in major orchestras.

    An internationally sought-after clinician, Ms. Coleman incorporates both Suzuki and traditional violin teaching techniques. She was co-founder of the Coleman Violin Studio with her late husband, Kent Coleman, recipient of the W-ASTA Outstanding Master Studio Teacher Award in 2000, who was also her classmate and violin teacher in their hometown of Hutchinson Kansas. Since his passing in 2007, she has been teaching collaboratively with Simon James, a former concertmaster of the Seattle Symphony and Professor of Violin at San Francisco Conservatory, whose daughters she was teaching at the time of Kent’s death.

    Ms. Coleman also teaches in the summer at the Liberec International Violin Academy in the Czech Republic. She owes a huge debt of gratitude to Kent, Simon, and Coleman Violin Studio longtime pianist, Hiro David, for their tremendous influence on her teaching, as well as Brian Lewis, Paul Kantor, and countless others. She is deeply honored to have been awarded the W-ASTA Outstanding Master Studio Teacher Award for 2020.

  • Distinguished Service Award:
    Bryce Van Parys & Hammond Ashley Violins

    Bryce Van Parys grew up in the East Renton Highlands, and graduated from Liberty High School in 1993. The son of a piano teacher, he started on piano, then played saxophone in middle and high school, switching to electric bass in high school. While attending Shadle Park High in Spokane his sophomore year, he saw a performance that led him to fall in love with the double bass.

    Bryce auditioned at Central Washington University, a majority of his high school directors being CWU graduates, and he entered the CWU College of Music in Double Bass Performance in 1993. He studied strings performance from John Michel and Director Daniel Baldwin. He performed in all of John Maowad’s jazz choir and jazz band rhythm sections, and debuted Maslanka’s Symphony 4 with Larry Gookin’s wind ensemble. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in String Bass Performance in 1997.

    Bryce got his first double bass from Hammond Ashley Violins in Des Moines in 1992. Hammond Ashley was in the process of transitioning the shop to his Grandson, Paul Ashley and business partner David Wilson at the time. Bryce spent many of his days off from school hanging around the shop. When Paul learned he was graduating, Paul asked if he wanted to work at Hammond Ashley, and of course he was thrilled. Three weeks after graduation, in June of 1997, Bryce started his tenure at Hammond Ashley Violins where he is currently General Manager and in charge of all daily operations at the shop in Issaquah, including outreach to all of Western and Central Washington. He visits the CWU campus weekly on Monday afternoons to service clients from the Central Washington area. The shop focuses on high quality set up and repair for all levels of student’s and services string programs throughout Washington State.

    When Bryce started at Hammond Ashley Violins in 1997, E-commerce was just taking over the market.   He became aware that the quality of bowed stringed instruments available, and the set up and playability of stringed instruments was often poor.   The internet was flooding the market with more instruments that were challenged in terms of quality and playability.  His classmates from CWU were just entering classrooms and began to call on Bryce and his new position at Hammond Ashley to help find a solution to the issues of playability and affordability.     Bryce used his position at Hammond Ashley to find quality instruments, and ensure proper set up and reliable repair options that would still fit the budgets of school programs.    Fortunately, Hammond Ashley has many Luthiers in the shop, and adequate resources to contribute.    It was at this time the late 1990s that Bryce was invited to become a sponsor of the W-ASTA Birch Bay workshop, and the WMEA All State conference.  It became the mission of Hammond Ashley to help serve string programs wherever needed with High quality rentals, purchases, and repairs throughout Western and Central Washington at good prices and with a full service shop to support these endeavors.   Hammond Ashley Violins has been a regular supporter of the Birch Bay Workshop, WMEA and NafME conferences, the Hammond Ashley Memorial Double bass Workshop, and many other regional workshops and orchestras for decades.   Bryce has not missed an All State convention or Birch Bay workshop for more than 20 years.

    In 1998, Bryce met his now wife of 17 years, Amy Putnam, a graduate of the Juilliard school in percussion who came to the Puget sound to join the Tacoma Symphony Orchestra. Bryce and Amy have two children, Allie Van Parys whose interests are in Dance, voice and drama, and Charlie Van Parys, whose perfect pitch made French Horn an obvious choice for 6th grade band. He enjoys bike rides, family time at the Cabin outside of Roslyn, and playing in various bands and orchestras in addition to helping out string players and teachers throughout the Northwest

  • Outstanding Orchestra Teacher Award:
    Philip Baldwin

    Phil Baldwin is the Director of String Studies and Professor of Violin at Whitworth University. He is also the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Spokane Youth Symphony. His career has spanned the spectrum of string teaching and conducting. He earned a D.M.A. at The Ohio State University, where he received the Distinguished Dissertation Award for his work on the violin sonatas of William Bolcom. His distinguished violin teachers include Rafael Druian, Raphael Hillyer, Yuri Mazurkevich, Andrew Jennings, Alan Bodman and Michael Davis. As a fellowship recipient, he attended the Conductor’s Institute of South Carolina and studied under distinguished teachers Paul Vermel, Kate Tamarkin, and Donald Portnoy. He has also trained with Wayne Toews at the Saito International Conducting School.

    Baldwin is the concertmaster and assistant conductor of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony, and has appeared as violin soloist in concertos by Samuel Barber, Henry Wieniawski, Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Brahms’ Double Concerto. He is a former member of the Spokane Symphony (and continues to play as a substitute) and served previously as principal second violin of the Akron Symphony and principal viola of the LaCrosse Symphony. He has also performed with the Tacoma, Canton, and Columbus symphonies and played on several movie soundtrack recordings. An active recitalist, he has performed frequently with Whitworth pianist, Judith Schoepflin, and recorded a CD of clarinet trios by Khachaturian, Ives, and Bolcom with clarinetist Michael Dean and pianist Carol Stivers.

    As a guest conductor, he has appeared with the members of the Spokane Symphony, conducted the WMEA Junior All-State Orchestra, and twice directed the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp. In 2021, he will conduct the orchestra of the Asia Christian Schools Conference in Taiwan.

    A dedicated artist-teacher, his students have won top prizes in competitions such as the Coeur d’Alene Symphony’s National Young Artist Competition, and earned scholarships to prestigious graduate schools and summer programs such as the Meadowmount School, the University of Texas at Austin, Eastern Music Festival, and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. Many of his former students are successful teachers and performers who are influencing the next generation of string playing.

    Dr. Baldwin has served on the boards of the Maryland and Utah American String Teachers Association state chapters, is the past president of the Washington chapter. He has chaired the ASTA state solo competition and certificate-program examinations. He has presented lectures at eight ASTA National conventions and also invited to present at the Texas Music Educators Association convention and the Arkansas Music Educators Association. His interest in literature and music has earned two invitations to lecture at the International Short Story Conferences in Ireland and Portugal. In his free time, he is an avid distance runner, cyclist, and tries to keep up with his three sons.