Thomas Ediger, NCTM, is director of choral activities and professor of music at Peru State College, having joined the faculty in 1979. He directs two choirs and teaches courses in music theory and piano. Ediger maintains a private piano/composition studio; his students have been winners of the MTNA Composition Competition at the state, division and national level. Ediger holds a doctorate degree in theory/composition and a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Northern Colorado. In 2012, he received, for the third time, the Peru State College Teaching Excellence Award. He has also served as Faculty Senate chair.
Ediger was director of MTNA’s West Central Division and a member of the MTNA Board of Directors. He was also on the Finance Committee and chair of the Wellness Forum. Previously, Ediger was the chair of the Composer Commissioning Program. Currently, he is a member of the MTNA Foundation Fund Development Committee.
Ediger has been active in Nebraska MTA, having served as composition, competitions and foundation chairs, vice president, president-elect and president. During his tenure as president, Nebraska received the MTNA State Affiliate of the Year Award. Currently, he is treasurer of NMTA. In 2008, Ediger was named an MTNA Foundation Fellow, and he was given the Nebraska Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award and the Service Award. Ediger is an active performer and composer. Among his recent compositions are “Nerdwell: From Clod to King” and “As the Worm Turns,” both chamber operas, and “Psalm 121” for choir and published by Concordia Press. He is a popular composition, piano and vocal clinician. Ediger is the founder and director of the PSC Piano Extravaganza, a keyboard ensemble experience held annually since 1990.
“MTNA has been an important part of my musical life, and I believe in the mission to advance the value of music study and music making. MTNA has strong programs that deserve to continue and to flourish. I am honored to be nominated as a candidate for secretary-treasurer. If elected, I will work to find ways to fund and to deliver these excellent programs so that MTNA can continue to be a leader for the entire music profession. I would also hope that the increasing role of the MTNA Foundation Fund might continue and that MTNA will continue to work to provide meaningful benefits for all the members,” he says.
Karen Thickstun, NCTM, is coordinator of piano pedagogy at Butler University, where she also directs the Butler Pedagogy Symposium, Butler Piano Camps and Butler Community Arts School, and advises the Butler MTNA Collegiate Chapter. She maintains an independent studio in Nashville, Indiana. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance/economics from Duke University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree in piano pedagogy from Butler University.
Thickstun served as director of the East Central Division and member of the MTNA Board of Directors from 2008–2010 and chaired the Local Association Forum. Thickstun has served on the MTNA nominating committee, Standing Rules committee, Local Association of the Year committee and is currently chair of the Affiliate Grants committee.
Thickstun authors a tri-annual column, “It’s All Your Business,” for American Music Teacher. She has presented multiple sessions at MTNA National Conferences and at other conferences.
Thickstun has been active in the Indiana MTA as president, trustee, trustees’ chair, newsletter editor, syllabus chair, conference chair, commissioning chair and arts advocacy chair. She received the Distinguished Service Award in 2002 and the Teacher of the Year award in 2008.
As founding director of the Butler Community Arts School, Thickstun provides leadership and vision. Serving 1,700 children through private lessons, group classes and camps, instruction is provided by 90 Butler University students that Thickstun mentors in professional teaching practices. Working with after-school programs, community centers and United Way agencies, Thickstun has developed a network of community partners to provide access to the arts for inner-city youth. To fund outreach classes, Thickstun has written and received numerous grants.
“I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience the arts in meaningful ways. MTNA programs and services provide essential leadership as we all ‘work for a more musical tomorrow.’ MTNA is integral to the music profession—enlightening, challenging and uplifting its members, as well as students, colleagues and communities. MTNA has played a vital role in my own professional development. I pledge to bring my passion, integrity and work ethic to the position of MTNA secretary-treasurer. I am honored to be nominated and will strive to maintain high quality programs and develop new ideas that engage and transform,” she says.