MTNA  |  MTNA Certification  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us

KenBales.jpg Ken Bales, NCTM, the Robert M. Spire professor of music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has received awards from the American Composers Foundation; Society of Composers, Inc.; the Nebraska Arts Council; Mid-America Arts Alliance; Burlington Northern Foundation and the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. His Plain Variations for piano won honorable mention in the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year competition. Bales twice has been named Nebraska Composer of the Year. He has served as president of the Nebraska MTA, chair of MTNA's Local Association of the Year Award committee and as national coordinator for the MTNA Student Composition Competition. He is the West Central Division Competitions chair.
DonnaBanks.jpg Donna Banks has taught music theory and piano at Delta State University and Holmes Community College, both in Mississippi. For 19 years, she organized and ran a preparatory department at Delta State. Banks also hosted local auditions at the university and Holmes Community College. An active church musician, she plays piano and organ at Madison United Methodist Church in Madison, Mississippi. Banks has held many positions in the Mississippi MTA, including president, vice president for state and national competitions, secretary, immediate past president and president-elect. She currently is vice president for pre-college auditions.
BethBenson.jpg Beth Benson, NCTM, majored in piano performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder and later studied at the University of Wyoming. She began her career as an independent piano teacher in 1958, joining the Colorado State MTA and MTNA in 1970. Benson is a charter member of Greeley Area MTA and served as the president of CSMTA from 1983–1985. She was active as an adjudicator at festivals and competitions around the state of Colorado for many years and has served many board positions, as well as various chairs and committees. CSMTA has recognized her years of dedication by awarding her honorary membership.
AlyceBerggren.jpg The late Alyce Berggren, NCTM, began teaching piano, piano pedagogy and keyboard literature at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota, in 1947. She was named "First Lady of Aberdeen" in 1979 and Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year at NSU in 1987. Berggren retired in 1991 and was named emeritus professor of music. She and her husband received many honors including the establishment of a music scholarship foundation, the South Dakota Governor's Award in the Arts for Creative Achievement and Outstanding Support and the dedication of a recital at NSU in their names. Berggren served as state certification chair and often presented workshops and master classes for SDMTA.
LindaBurger.jpg Linda Burger, NCTM, has been an active member of MTNA since 1989. She received a bachelor of arts degree in music from Whitworth College, where she studied with Judith Schoepflin. Burger has maintained a piano studio in Spokane, Washington, for more than 20 years and has served the Spokane MTA in many capacities, such as membership chair, certification chair and president. She also served as co-chair of the "88 x 6" Teachers Concert in 2006. As Washington State MTA certification chair from 2003–2007, Burger promoted MTNA Certification throughout Washington State, then served as the Northwest Division certification commissioner from 2007–2009.
ElizabethCormier.jpg Elizabeth Cormier, senior artist teacher of piano and emerita from Vanderbilt University, taught piano and group piano at the Blair School of Music from 1967–2001. During her tenure, she served as group piano coordinator and precollege certificate program coordinator. Cormier has been an active member of both the Nashville Area MTA and Tennessee MTA. Cormier has been chair of the TMTA Scholarship Awards Endowment Fund since 1984 and has been honored as Teacher of the Year by both the local and state affiliates. She was a clinician for the National Piano Foundation and a consultant for the International Piano Teaching Foundation.
ErnestineDurrett.jpg The late Ernestine Durrett, NCTM, was an independent music teacher in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Durrett served as president of the Baton Rouge MTA, the Louisiana MTA and South Central Division. In 2003, she was recipient of the Louisiana MTA Outstanding Teacher Award. Durrett was instrumental in establishing many LMTA programs and policies and helped to establish guidelines for receiving credit for independent piano study through the Louisiana State Department of Education. In addition, she was Philharmonic Music Club president, a member of the Music Club Piano Quartet and a member of the First Methodist Church Choir for more than 50 years.
KatherineEvilsizer.jpg Katherine Evilsizer was honored by the Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico as Teacher of the Year in 1993 and a Life Member in 2006. Evilsizer, a private and group piano and violin teacher, has served the state affiliate in many capacities, most notably newsletter editor, northwest district vice president, group piano chair, conference organizer and Memorial Outreach Fund chair. She originated and ran the Young Artists Recitals for more than 20 years, and in 2004, was inducted into the San Juan College Hall of Fame. Evilsizer also wrote, produced and directed original musical productions as fundraisers for the Aztec (NM) Museum for 18 years.
SeymourFink.jpg Seymour Fink, NCTM, is an adjunct professor of piano at Capital University. Holding an artist diploma from the Peabody Conservatory and bachelor's and master's degrees from Yale University, he has taught at Vassar College, the Yale School of Music and is professor emeritus from Binghamton University, retiring in 1995. Fink has been published in journals such as American Music Teacher, Piano Quarterly, Piano and Keyboard and Piano Life. He authored the book and video Mastering Piano Technique and was a contributing author of A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers. Fink was honored in 2006 by being chosen the MTNA Collegiate Certified Teacher of the Year in Ohio.
W.T.SkyeGarcia.jpg W. T. Skye Garcia, NCTM, is a published composer and instructor of music at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where he teaches music theory, composition, private and class piano and piano pedagogy. He has also maintained a private piano studio for the past 25 years. Garcia was honored as the Oklahoma MTA Commissioned Composer in 2005 and has served in various offices within OMTA. He holds a master's degree in church music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a master's degree in piano from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. His major publications include 40 piano solos, six books, three suites for piano and one piano trio.
SuzanneGuy.jpg Suzanne Guy, NCTM, has been teaching piano at her home studios, as well as the Peabody Conservatory and George Mason University, since 1966. Guy has given workshops, lectures and master classes in 44 states and has been a frequent member of the summer International Workshops for the Arts. Guy holds an MTNA Master Teacher Certificate and has presented several sessions at national conferences. She was featured on a keyboard teleconference that was broadcast nationwide in 1988 and was a Mobil Ambassador teacher at the Ninth Van Cliburn Competition in 1993. Along with a regular column in Clavier from 1989–2007, Guy has also authored a number of musical books.
MarySueHarris.jpg MarySue Harris, NCTM, had a private piano studio for more than 40 years in Lincoln, Nebraska, before retiring in 1999. Harris was president of Lincoln MTA and served as the community outreach chair for Nebraska MTA. She was NMTA Teacher of the Year in 1990 and received the state's MTA Service Award in 1999. She later served MTNA as the Community Outreach and Education chair and worked as an advocate for music education in the schools, serving on the Nebraska Coalition for Music Education. In 2002, Harris established the MarySue Harris Endowment Fund, which provides funding for the MTNA StAR Studio Teacher Fellowship Award.
ClaudetteHorwitz.jpg Claudette Horwitz has been a member of MTNA and the Maryland State MTA since 1970. In that time, she has served her state organization in many different facets. She has served as chair of the piano ensemble festival, student activities vice president, membership vice president, chair of the memorial competition for French Music, vice president for publications and MSMTA president. Horwitz also started the Membership Directory advertising project, the state's Distinguished Music Achievement Award and the Five-Year Theory Honors Awards. For the past five years, Horwitz has chaired the David R. Horwitz Memorial Competition for Violin and Piano Duo, which she funds.
SueHudson.jpg Sue Hudson, NCTM, has been a piano teacher for more than 50 years and still maintains an active studio in her home in Des Moines, Iowa. She is a graduate of Drake University, where she also taught piano pedagogy. Active in the Des Moines MTA, Hudson is in constant demand as an adjudicator and also speaks at workshops and teaches master classes. She has held several offices in IMTA, including president and treasurer, and has served on the certification board and ethics committee. Hudson received the Drake University School of Music Outstanding Alumni Award, IMTA Teacher of the Year and IMTA Certified Teacher of the Year.
ArletteIrving.jpg Arlette Irving, NCTM, received bachelor's and master's degrees in music from the University of Southern California, where she was on the faculty for six years. She continued her studies of the harpsichord at the University of Oregon, eventually organizing and teaching piano pedagogy workshops in several Oregon cities and Canada. Irving was instrumental in bringing baroque clinicians to Oregon and helping with Oregon MTA fundraising. In 1985, she established the Oregon Junior Bach Festival. Irving has served as the statewide education chair and also serves as an OMTA syllabus adjudicator. Presently, she teaches piano and harpsichord lessons privately and at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.
CharlesJones.jpg Charles Jones, NCTM, of Natchitoches, Louisiana, has taught piano at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts since 1993. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jones also holds master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He won the UNC Concerto Competition and was alternate winner of the MTNA/NCMTA Collegiate Artist Competition, as well as earning second prize at the Bartók-Kabalevsky International Piano Competition. Jones received the Fullerton Merit Award for excellence in teaching while at Limestone College in South Carolina. He has served the Louisiana MTA as president and treasurer and is South Central Division director-elect.
NancyKaesler.jpg Nancy Kaesler, NCTM, has served MTNA as chair of the Independent Music Teachers Forum and the Local Association of the Year committee. Currently, she is on the MTNA Local Association Grants committee and is immediate past president of the Colorado State MTA. As membership chair of her local affiliate, she began a class promoting professionalism among teachers and developed a 15-hour course on piano pedagogy. Her adjudication has benefited many local associations, state competitions, federal festivals and National Guild of Piano Teachers. Kaesler has also published articles and book reviews in American Music Teacher, Piano Guild Notes, Keyboard Companion, Early Childhood Connections and Notes & News.
MargaretKnight.jpg Margaret Knight, NCTM, has been an MTNA member since 1986. While maintaining a private studio, Knight was president of New Jersey MTA from 1992–94 and served as student activities chair for four years. As state president, she produced the first NJMTA Yearbook, which has served as a model for other state chapters. In 1991, Knight introduced the first examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. By 2008, 2,000 students per year were involved in the international educational program. As state representative and developmental consultant to ABRSM, she gave presentations at many music conferences.
FernandoLaires.jpg Fernando Laires has concertized and played with orchestras throughout the world. He has been decorated with honors from numerous countries, including the Beethoven Medal in England, the Franz Liszt Medal of the Liszt Society of Budapest, the Medal of Excellence for the American Liszt Society and the Liszt Centennial Commemorative Medal by the Hungarian government. Laires has held faculty positions at the National Conservatory of Music in Lisbon, Portugal, the University of Texas at Austin, Interlochen Arts Academy, the Catholic University of America, the Peabody Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music. He is co-founder and president emeritus of the American Liszt Society.
SolveigMadsen.jpg Solveig Madsen, NCTM, began her career as an acclaimed pianist. After receiving a four-year fellowship to study at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City, Madsen debuted in New York City and then toured the United States, Canada, Mexico and Scandinavia throughout the 1940s. After six years of concertizing and moving around the world with her family, she gradually resumed an active career as a performer, teacher, lecturer and adjudicator in Salt Lake City, Utah. Madsen has held teaching positions at Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, while also maintaining a private studio.
MarthaMier.jpg Martha Mier, NCTM, is an internationally renowned composer and clinician who joined Alfred Music Publishing in 1989. Mier owned a piano studio in Lake City, Florida, for many years and has been active in church music and as a professional accompanist. Along with MTNA and the Florida State MTA, she is also a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Mier is a frequent clinician and adjudicator, having presented workshops for teachers in Australia, New Zealand and the United States and at the MTNA National Conference, among other events. She is a co-author of Alfred's Premier Piano Course and more than 200 other educational piano publications.
MaryBethMolenaar.jpg Mary Beth Molenaar, NCTM, directs Northwestern University's Music Academy. In addition to her overseeing a program with more than 400 students and four community music divisions, Molenaar teaches piano to children and adults. She has a doctorate degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern, a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from St. Cloud State University. She has served MTNA in many positions at the division, state and local levels. Under her leadership, ISMTA's Achievement in Music program has grown, with more than 3,000 students participating each year in comprehensive piano exams.
RuthPitts.jpg Ruth Pitts, NCTM, has been a member of the Waco MTA, the Texas MTA and MTNA since 1975, and she has won Teacher of the Year at all three levels—local, state and national. Pitts has taught at Free Will Baptist Bible College, Houston Baptist University, Dallas Baptist University, Baylor University and McLennan Community College, where she still teaches and is sponsor/advisor of its MTNA collegiate chapter. She has served MTNA as a member of the Board of Directors, president of Texas MTA, president of the South Central Division, on the development committee of the MTNA FOUNDATION and chair of the Collegiate Student Chapters Forum.
HazelRoberts-Ramsbotham.jpg Hazel Roberts-Ramsbotham, NCTM, of Aurora, Colorado, has been teaching piano for 69 years. She was instrumental in chartering a local association in Wyoming and then, after moving to Colorado, has served the Aurora MTA in almost every position. Her workshops on improvisation, the art of writing music and teaching lead charts are always considered highlights of the annual Colorado State MTA Conference. Roberts-Ramsbotham also helps and encourages fellow teachers through her mentoring and workshops. In 2006, she was given Colorado's Teacher of the Year award.
SylviaWatkinsRyan.jpg Sylvia Watkins Ryan, NCTM, of Norman, Oklahoma, is a pianist and teacher and has been an MTNA member since 1972. Ryan holds music degrees from the University of Oklahoma, University of Mississippi and Delta State University. A recipient of a Rotary Graduate Fellowship, she also studied at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels. She is currently president of Oklahoma MTA and past president of NAMTA. Ryan has served on the OMTA and NAMTA boards for 20 years. She has taught at Oklahoma City Community College, Oklahoma Baptist University and the University of Mississippi. Ryan is an active accompanist, performer and church musician, who maintains a large independent studio.
AnnRye.jpg Ann Barnwell Rye, is professor emeritus at Henderson State University, where she was director of keyboard studies. She holds degrees from Henderson State College, Louisiana State University and the University of Oklahoma. Rye taught piano, piano literature/pedagogy, and music theory/aural skills courses for 36 years. She served as MTNA board member for 20 years, chaired the MTNA High School Performance competitions and accompanied the required piano concertos for 15 years, served as official accompanist for South Central Division Performance competitions, hosted and served as on-site coordinator for three Arkansas State MTA conventions and was selected as the ASMTA College Teacher of the Year in 1994.
BrianShepard.jpg Brian Shepard is MTNA's deputy executive director and chief operations officer. A 2002 graduate of Miami University, he holds bachelor's degrees in music education and marketing. While at Miami, he was president of the ACDA student chapter and a member of the MU Glee Club. He also was part of the Remnants, a male a capella group. Shepard came to MTNA in June 2003 as the director of marketing and public relations. Since 2000, he has served as the director of music for St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Middletown, Ohio. Shepard serves on the board of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame.
RuthStenson.jpg The late Ruth Stenson, NCTM, graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in music education. She went on to teach private piano lessons and become a church organist playing throughout North Dakota. In the fall of 1997, Stenson moved to Thief River Falls, Minnesota, where she began teaching piano lessons, playing organ at Trinity, and was the music director, choir director, and accompanist at Redeemer Lutheran Church. In 1999, she became the choir director at Franklin Middle School in Thief River Falls. Stenson served the North Dakota MTA in various offices. She was a member of the American Guild of Organists.
RuthThomas.jpg Ruth Gibson Thomas, NCTM, earned a bachelor's degree from Kansas University in Lawrence and a master's degree from Northwestern University. She has taught piano, voice and organ. An accomplished accompanist, Thomas was one of the founders of the Tennessee MTA in 1972. As state auditions coordinator for 25 years, she has helped establish audition criteria and write the TMTA Musicianship Tests. Thomas has served as president of TMTA and of her local associations—AMTA and SMMTA. She was honored as TMTA Teacher of the Year in 1979. Thomas was an assistant professor of music at Tusculum College for 25 years and founded the Greater Greeneville Chorale. She continues to maintain a private studio.
NelitaTrue.jpg Nelita True, NCTM, has played concerts throughout the world and the United States. She has taught and conducted master classes in Russia and China and has played recitals on French and Australian national television. Formerly a distinguished professor at the University of Maryland, True is now professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music. She was awarded the 2002 MTNA Achievement Award, the Certificate of Merit by the Alumni Association at the University of Michigan, the Eisenhart Award for Excellence in Teaching at Eastman, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Graduate Teaching from the University of Rochester, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Keyboard Pedagogy Conference.
JaniceWenger.jpg Janice Wenger, NCTM, is professor of piano, accompanying and piano literature, and keyboard area coordinator at the University of Missouri. In addition to teaching, Wenger appears frequently as both solo and collaborative pianist and coaches art song and opera. She has served as staff accompanist or opera coach at the Eastman School of Music, the Aspen Music Festival and the International Horn Symposium. Wenger performed as official accompanist for the MTNA national and division student competitions for more than 10 years. Wenger has served MTNA as a division president and national vice president. She has presented programs and lecture recitals for many music organizations.
WilliamWestney.jpg William Westney, piano professor at Texas Tech University, holds two endowed positions—the Paul Whitfield Horn Distinguished Professor and the Browning Artist-in-Residence. In 2008, he received the Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor Texas Tech can bestow. His article, "Essential Skills: Risks and Rewards," was named the 2005 American Music Teacher article of the year. Westney was the top piano prize winner in the Geneva International Competition and has been the featured artist for many state MTA conventions. He is chair of the AMT Editorial committee and is a frequent presenter at TMTA conventions and MTNA conferences. He is author of The Perfect Wrong Note.