DEADLINE IS APRIL  26TH

ILLINOIS ASTACAP

ILLINOIS ASTA CAP

To register, click here. Applications and videos are due no later than Monday, April 26, 11:59 pm.

For more information, consult the ASTACAP handbooks:


Frequently Asked Questions

What is it?

ASTACAP is an opportunity for string students of all levels to perform for adjudication (comments and certification). Students enter at one of eleven levels (Foundation Level and Levels 1-10) and earn a pass or a no-pass. Students who pass receive a certificate and feedback. Students who do not pass still receive expert feedback from an adjudicator.

What is performed?

• One or more solo pieces

• Required scales and arpeggios

• One or two etudes

• Sight reading (not required during the Covid-19 virtual ASTACAP)

Is memorization required?

• Required scales and arpeggios must be performed from memory.

• For solos and etudes, memorization is strongly recommended and will be graded, but is not strictly required.

Is there prescribed repertoire?

• The required scales and arpeggios are very specific. Please consult the handbook for your instrument and level. Click to view ASTACAP handbook for: Violin Viola Cello Bass Harp General Instructions

• For solos and etudes, no–teachers/students are free to choose any repertoire that meets the technical requirements of that level. In the handbook, many possible solos and etudes are listed as examples. You are allowed to choose from the listed repertoire or go outside the list.

What is performed?

• One or more solo pieces

• Required scales and arpeggios

• One or two etudes

• Sight reading (not required during the Covid-19 virtual ASTACAP)

Is memorization required?

• Required scales and arpeggios must be performed from memory.

• For solos and etudes, memorization is strongly recommended and will be graded, but is not strictly required.

What level is right for my students?

• Any student may enter at any level. Levels may be repeated or skipped.

• Teachers should view the ASTACAP handbook for the appropriate instrument and choose the level that works best for their students. Click to view ASTACAP handbook for: Violin Viola Cello Bass Harp General Instructions

When and where is Illinois ASTACAP?

In a typical year, ASTACAP will take place in person in the spring. This year, due to the pandemic, we have been authorized to conduct ASTACAP virtually. Students will submit their videos no later than Monday, April 26, and adjudication will take place in the four weeks following the deadline.

Is there a registration fee?

Yes, the fee per student is $20 at all levels. Teachers are encouraged to register each of their students individually but pay one lump sum for all of their students combined. We accept:

• PayPal/QuickPay/Zelle: treasurer@ilasta.com

• Check by mail: Illinois ASTA, 3448 W. Wrightwood Ave., Chicago, IL 60647 (make checks payable to “Illinois ASTA”)

What about honors designation?

Because of the difficulty of checking for memorization in a video recorded performance, we are not offering Honors designation this year but plan to do so in 2022!

I am not an ASTA member. Am I allowed to register my students?

Sorry – ASTACAP participation is only open to ASTA members. Please consider joining ASTA to take advantage of this and many other member benefits!

How do I register my students?

To register, click here. Applications and videos are due no later than Monday, April 26, 11:59 pm.

How do I upload my video?

• Performers may record at their home, school, private studio, or any other location.

• When setting up the video, work to ensure a neutral background behind the performer.

• Performers should dress professionally, though concert black is not strictly required. 

Record horizontally (landscape), not vertically (portrait). Be sure that the entire instrument, the entire bow, and all of both arms/hands are completely visible at all times.

• Performers should say the following during the video:

– Their name

– Which level of ASTACAP they are applying for

– Introduce each piece, etude, scale, and arpeggio before performing it


After the video has been recorded, upload the video to Google Drive, YouTube, or Dropbox. Create a link to share the video with our adjudicators. On Google Drive, set the sharing settings to “anyone with the link can view”; on YouTube, either an “unlisted” or “public” video are acceptable. Paste the link into the application form when applying.

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