MASTA Chamber Music Festival

Monday, March 7, 2022
Western Michigan University

Director: Mary Kothman

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Festival Schedule
Registration: 9:30 a.m.
Sessions: 10:00–2:35 p.m. with break for lunch
Competition: 3:30 p.m.

Ensemble Sessions Include
Individual coaching · 60 minutes
Enrichment Classes
Western Michigan University String Faculty performance

Festival registration fee per student: $25.
Competition entry fee $60 per ensemble.
Registration deadline is Feb. 1, 2022.

1. Click here to complete the online registration form (

2. Download, print, and mail the payment form ( with your payment to the address on the form.

The winning ensemble will be featured on the MASTA Facebook page, YouTube channel and in a MASTA-sponsored live performance in Spring of 2022.


Students must be in grades 7–12 and recommended by their teacher/coach.

Students must be Michigan residents

Ensembles must have at least 3 players

The majority must be strings—violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp, and/or guitar. Examples of ensembles include string trios, quartets, quintets, piano trios etc.

Students must be in grades 9-12.

Students must be Michigan residents.

Students must participate in festival in order to compete.

Ensembles must have at least 3 players.

Music must be from standard chamber literature.

Performance cannot be conducted.

Only one player per part. Students may participate in multiple ensembles if they wish, but must submit separate registrations for each ensemble.

Coaches and judges for the competition: Western Michigan University String Faculty

Bruce Uchimura, Cello
Bruce Uchimura is Professor of Cello at Western Michigan University and was director of the WMU Symphony Orchestra for 22 years. He was Associate Conductor of the Augusta (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra from 1985-87 where he developed a highly successful Symphonic Pops and Educational Series. He also formed and conducted the Western String Chamber Orchestra from 1987-1998. The WMU Orchestra won the Downbeat Magazine Award for Best College Symphony Orchestra in 2005, and was invited to perform at the Michigan Music Educator’s Conference in 2007 and 2016.

Mr. Uchimura is in much demand as an educator and clinician and has guest conducted numerous All-State and Honors Orchestras throughout the country. He was trained at the Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music and was Cellist of the highly acclaimed Merling Trio for over 30 years. He has played Cello recitals and given master classes throughout the United States and was a charter faculty member at the ENCORE School for Strings Summer program. He is also on the faculty of the ARIA Summer Music Academy. He was awarded “String Teacher of the Year” by the American String Teachers Association Michigan Chapter in 2010. His primary teachers were Leonard Rose, Channing Robbins and Alan Harris.

Michael Hovnanian, Double Bass
Michael Aram Hovnanian is Instructor of Double Bass at Western Michigan University. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees under the instruction of Jack Budrow at Michigan State University, and bachelor’s degrees in both music and music education from Central Michigan University. Dr. Hovnanian is the assistant principal bassist of the Grand Rapids Symphony. In addition, he performs frequently on the electric bass with the GR Pops, is a member of a GRS Educational Ensemble (The Super Nova String Quintet) and participates in the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Music for Health program.

A lifelong Michigan resident, Michael has performed with numerous orchestras throughout the state, including the Detroit Symphony, and has held positions with the Kalamazoo, West Michigan, Midland, and Lansing symphonies. He has also appeared as both a soloist and as principal bass with the Baroque on Beaver festival and is an avid chamber musician. Dr. Hovnanian is an active double bass educator, serving on faculty at several west Michigan colleges in addition to instructing a private studio.

Megan Crawford, Violin
Violinist Megan Crawford has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since 1999, and is currently Interim Instructor of Violin at Western Michigan University. Before becoming a mother (of 5), she concertized as a soloist and chamber musician. She earned her Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan, and Master of Music from Manhattan School of Music, where she won Concerto Competitions at both schools, in addition to other awards. More recently, Ms. Crawford has been a featured soloist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, Dearborn Symphony, Lansing Symphony, Kent Philharmonic, and the Baroque on Beaver Festival Orchestra. She has performed extensively as a chamber musician, including several recitals at the GRAM Sunday Classical Series, and helped create String Leadership Camp at GVSU, where she was Adjunct and then Visiting Professor from 2015- 2021. In addition to a successful private studio, Ms. Crawford has previously taught at Calvin College, Western Michigan University, PhoenixPhest, and substitute taught in the Preparatory Divisions for Manhattan School of Music and Mannes School of Music.

Mary Kothman, Violin
Mary Kothman is an Instructor of Violin at Western Michigan University and a member of the String Orchestra of the Rockies. Most recently she was assistant concertmaster of the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, the Intermountain Opera Orchestra, and the Big Sky Festival Orchestra. Past work includes concertmaster of the Muncie Symphony for thirteen years, violinist with the San Diego Symphony, the Royal Orchestra Stockholm, the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, the Naples Philharmonic, and member of the Austin Symphony. She has worked in recording studios across Indiana and is a strong supporter and performer of the music of living composers.

Kothman previously taught at Montana State University, Ball State University, Taylor University, and the Interlochen Arts Camp. She has taught violin, viola, chamber music, string techniques, ear training, music fundamentals, and music appreciation. She received her BM and MM in violin performance from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied with Vincent Frittelli.

Igor Fedotov, Viola
Mr. Fedotov is Professor of Viola at Western Michigan University. A native of Russia, he has performed solo recitals throughout the United States and abroad, including performances at the International Viola Congress and the International Bass Convention on a duo recital with former principal bassist of the London Symphony, Thomas Martin. As a chamber musician, Fedotov has performed with such internationally renowned musicians as cellists Anner Bylsma and Ivan Monighetti, violist Sally Chisholm of the Pro Arte Quartet, principal violist Charles Pickler of the Chicago Symphony, and cellist Martin Lovett from the Amadeus Quartet. He has appeared as a performer and teacher at festivals throughout the United States and Europe including the Academies Internacionales du Grand Nancy and Bordeaux, France; Musiques en Mer, Italy; Musikdagar , Sweden; and Sewanee and Meadowmount Summer Schools in the United States. As a Fulbright scholar, Fedotov researched music for the viola by Russian composers of the 20th Century. It was recorded by NAXOS and released in February 2010.