About the Orchestra

The Dayton Philharmonic Junior Strings was formed in 2014 in response to requests from string teachers and music educators for an orchestra that would encourage young string players not quite ready for the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings. From its inaugural season, the orchestra has grown to over 40 string players from 28 area schools. The goal of this orchestra is to provide an opportunity for students to further develop their musical skills while learning to work together with other string players in an ensemble.

About the Conductor

Michelle Mastin holds a Bachelors in Viola Performance from CCM, a Masters in Performance from Eastman, and completed a Professional Studies diploma on viola at the San Francisco Conservatory. Her principal teachers include Masao Kawasaki and Dr. Catherine Caroll at CCM, George Taylor at Eastman, and Jodi Levitz at SFCM. 

While in San Francisco, Ms Mastin began her Suzuki teacher training journey. She currently has credits in all 10 violin books, several viola books, as well as several supplemental classes. Additionally, she also has training in the Sassmanhaus Method and Music Mind Games. Primary teacher trainers include Cathy Lee, Allan Lieb, Roger Steig, and Elizabeth Stuen-Walker. She has taught private lessons to students ages 2 to adult, maintaining a full time studio for many years before expanding her family and ultimately coming back to Ohio.

While in California, Ms Mastin also taught for Harmony Project Bay Area, where she got her first taste of string conducting when the program grew large enough to begin ensemble work. She fell in love with the communal energy of helping kids realize the power in being part of something bigger than themselves as well as seeing the strength of friendships formed in their mutual love of music. She believes in the power of music to build community and is honored to guide the students of the DPJS. 

Ms Mastin is a member of the Greater Dayton Suzuki Association, the Suzuki Association of America, the American String Teachers Association, and is a board member of the Yellow Springs Youth Orchestra Association.


Junior Strings members rehearse every Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., September through March.


Applicant must be a student in grades 5–8.