Board of Directors

MTNA directors and officers are elected by the membership for two-year terms; directors are elected in even-numbered years, officers are elected in the odd-numbered years. There is one director for each of MTNA's seven divisions. To learn more about your MTNA officers, click their photo.



Karen Thickstun, NCTM
Nashville, IN


Peter Mack, NCTM
Seattle, WA

Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

William Chapman Nyaho, NCTM
Normandy Park, WA


Vice President for Membership

Cindy Peterson-Peart, NCTM
Beaverton, OR


Christopher Goldston, NCTM
Chicago, IL

Immediate Past President

Martha Hilley, NCTM
Austin, TX

Executive Director & CEO

Gary L. Ingle
Cincinnati, OH


Lynette ZelisLynette Zelis, NCTM
East Central Division, Wheaton, Illinois

Lynette Zelis, NCTM, piano instructor and past president of the Illinois State MTA, is permanently certified by the ISMTA and MTNA. As a member of the Illinois State MTA, she has served as the Achievement in Music (AIM) state repertoire chair and on numerous local chapter board positions including president and vice president. Zelis received her music degrees in piano performance and pedagogy from Hope College and Northern Illinois University. She performs as a soloist and chamber group musician.


Christina XieWei-Yuh Christina Xie, NCTM
Eastern Division, Plainsboro, New Jersey

Wei-Yuh Christina Xie, NCTM, is an independent piano and theory teacher, and accompanist. She hold degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and the University of Illinois. Xie has served on the New Jersey MTA board since 2004 and as NJMTA president. She is the New Jersey and Eastern Division MTNA Competitions chair, and was named an MTNA FOUNDATION Fellow in 2017.


Jody GravesJody Graves, NCTM
Northwest Division, Spokane, Washington

Jody Graves, NCTM, maintains an active performing career in the United States and abroad. Graves is also a frequent public speaker, presenter and is currently professor of piano at Eastern Washington University in Washington State.


Barbara FastBarbara Fast, NCTM
South Central Division, Norman, Oklahoma

Barbara Fast, NCTM, coordinates group piano and teaches piano pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, she co-founded the Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum. Currently serving as past-president of OMTA, she received the 2013 OMTA Distinguished Teacher of the Year award.


Linda Li-BleuelLinda Li-Bleuel, NCTM
Southern Division, Clemson, South Carolina

Linda Li-Bleuel, NCTM, began her music teaching career as an independent piano teacher and is currently professor of music at Clemson University. She has held the positions of president, vice-president of Conferences, and vice-president of Competitions for South Carolina Music Teachers Association. Li-Bleuel is an active solo/collaborative pianist and adjudicator.


Natalya ThranNatalya Thran, NCTM
Southwest Division, Gilbert, Arizona

Natalya Thran, NCTM, is an independent piano teacher, adjudicator and lecturer. She earned an MM degree with honors from a Conservatory in the USSR and an MA degree from UNR. Thran came to the United States after winning a competition. Thran has served as president of the Arizona State MTA and held various board positions in NNMTA, EVMTA and ASMTA. Her students have won numerous state and local competitions and have represented Arizona in the MTNA Southwest Divisions Competitions.


Kirsten LevorsonKirsten Levorson, NCTM
West Central Division, Rosemount, Minnesota

Kirsten Levorson, NCTM, past president of Minnesota Music Teachers Association, is an independent piano teacher and accompanist. She earned a bachelor of music degree from Saint Olaf College, majoring in piano performance. She has served MMTA in many leadership roles on finance, human resources, marketing, convention planning, adjudication and syllabus development committees since 1985.