Board of Directors


MTNA President Karen Thickstun, NCTM, teaches piano pedagogy at Butler University, directs the Butler Community Arts School and maintains an independent studio. Thickstun holds degrees in piano performance/economics from Duke University, business administration from University of Virginia and piano pedagogy from Butler University. Three of her pedagogy students have received MTNA’s MarySue Harris Studio Fellowship award. She advises the Butler MTNA Collegiate Chapter, which has presented at state and national conferences. Thickstun served as MTNA Secretary-Treasurer from 2013–2015 and MTNA Vice President from 2015–2017. Recent national appointments include membership committee chair, grants and awards task force chair, MTNA Teacher of the Year committee chair and strategic planning committee. She served as director of East Central Division from 2008–2010, chairing the Local Associations Forum.Thickstun authors a tri-annual column, “It’s All Your Business,” for American Music Teacher. Her articles have also appeared in Keyboard Companion and Clavier Companion. She has presented business and pedagogy sessions at MTNA National Conferences, National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy and state/local conferences. Thickstun has been active in Indiana MTA as state president, trustee chair, and various state and local positions. 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 more than 2,000 children through private lessons, group classes and camps, instruction is provided by more than 100 Butler University students that she mentors in professional teaching practices.Working with afterschool 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 and need-based scholarships, Thickstun has written and received grants for more than $100,000 annually for the past eight years.



MTNA President-Elect Peter Mack, NCTM, is a nationally renowned performer, clinician and convention artist. Originally from Ireland, he now lives in Seattle, Washington, where he runs a successful private studio. He was professor of piano at Cornish College for 33 years.
A choral scholar at Trinity College Dublin, Peter received his master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and his doctorate from the University of Washington. His students frequently win local, national and even international competitions. Peter is the proud teacher of 20 MTNA Competition national finalists and of three MTNA national first-place winners. He has written for Keyboard Companion, the Clarion and American Music Teacher.
For MTNA, Peter served on the national board as vice president (2017–2019) and as Northwest Division director (2010–2012). He chaired the planning committee for the 2014 Chicago National Conference, coordinated Pedagogy Saturday for the 2012 New York Conference and has led the Artistry Track multiple times. The 2015 Las Vegas conference saw him honored as a surprise MTNA Foundation Fellow. For Washington State, he has served as district vice president (organizing two district conferences), education board member (two five-year terms), and adjudicator chair (organizing two adjudicator conferences). Peter is currently Washington State’s Foundation chair and serves on its nominating committee. He is especially honored to administer the state’s needy student MAP subsidy program. Peter has adjudicated for Washington’s amazing MAP/adjudications program for 23 years.



MTNA Vice President Cindy Peterson-Peart, NCTM, holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Willamette University. As an independent teacher, she has maintained a vibrant and busy piano studio for more than 30 years. She is active as an adjudicator and clinician, judging exams and festivals and giving presentations throughout Oregon. In addition to accompanying instrumental and vocal soloists, Cindy enjoys performing with the eight-hand piano ensemble, Too Grand, which gives concerts to raise money for local charities. Peterson-Peart most recently served as the MTNA Northwest Division director from 2018–2020. Previous leadership roles include MTNA Collegiate Chapters Forum chair, MTNA State Presidents Advisory Council chair, four years on the MTNA Membership Committee, Senior coordinator for the MTNA Performance Competition at the state and division levels, president of Oregon Music Teachers Association, OMTA State Conference chair, treasurer of Portland District MTA and president of Portland District MTA. She was honored to be Oregon’s 2020 Foundation Fellow.



MTNA Secretary-Treasurer Christopher Goldston, NCTM, holds a master of music degree in piano performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University, and a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He has taught at Columbia College Chicago and Sherwood Conservatory of Music and currently maintains an independent teaching studio in the historic Fine Arts Building in Chicago.
In 1991, Christopher received the National Federation of Music Clubs Lynn Freeman Olson Composition Award for his first composition, “Night Train.” Since then he has written numerous pieces for piano, voice and chamber ensemble. His compositions are published by Alfred Music and the FJH Music Company. MTNA has commissioned Christopher for the Collaborative Music Commissioning Project for the 2022 MTNA National Conference.
   Christopher has been the National Coordinator for the MTNA Composition Competition since 2010. He has also served as state and division coordinator for the competition. Christopher has been very active in the Chicago Area Music Teachers Association and has served in numerous roles, including president and vice president in charge of programs. He is current president (through the 2020 State Virtual Conference in the Fall) of Illinois State Music Teachers Association. He also has served on the MTNA National Conference Planning Committee. Christopher was named an MTNA Foundation Fellow in 2020.
   Christopher is also in demand as a clinician and guest artist. He has presented for numerous music groups across the United States and has presented sessions at several MTNA state conferences as well as the MTNA National Conference. His students have won local, state and national composition competitions.



MTNA Immediate Past President Martha Hilley, NCTM, professor of group piano and pedagogy at the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin, also served for five years as associate director of the School of Music as well as director of Undergraduate Studies, a position she assumed again in fall of 2013. She has been an active participant in workshops and conferences on the international, national, state and local levels. She was co-curriculum coordinator with Lynn Freeman Olson for the International Pedagogy Workshops in Italy and Belgium and served as faculty in Norway, Australia, Austria and Hawaii. Hilley taught at Tunghai University’s Summer Keyboard Institute in Taichung, Taiwan, in 1988. She was the 2012 Keynote Speaker and presenter of conference sessions for the Encontro Internacional de Piano ed Grupo in Goiania, Brazil. She will be a co-presenter with Margaret Young and Cynthia Himonides at the 2016 ISME Conference in Scotland. Hilley has been in the UT Academy of Distinguished Teachers since 2005 and was given the MTNA Distinguished Service Award in the spring of 2008. She was named recipient of the University of Texas at Austin Civitatis Award for 2011–2012 and was awarded MTNA 2014 Teacher of the Year. In 2015, Hilley was invited to be an inaugural member of the Provost Teaching Fellows at UT Austin. She serves as a Senior Teaching Fellow. Hilley is co-author of Piano for the Developing Musician and Piano for Pleasure. The publications were the first to provide dedicated websites for each text.



Gary L. Ingle is Executive Director and CEO of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Founded in 1876, MTNA is the oldest music teacher association in the United States. Currently headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, MTNA is a professional organization of 20,000 studio music teachers who teach in independent and collegiate settings worldwide. MTNA’s mission is to advance the value of music teaching and music making to society and to support the professionalism of music teachers.

As a part of his role at MTNA, Ingle serves as President and CEO of the American Classical Hall of Fame. Also with offices in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Hall of Fame was acquired by MTNA in December 2017 to manage and oversee its programs and operations. As a subsidiary of MTNA, the Hall of Fame recognizes artists, composers, educators, and organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to Classical Music in America and to American Classical Music.

Ingle holds multiple volunteer leadership positions in organizations throughout the world. He currently serves as president and chairman of the board of the National Music Council of the United States (NMC). Founded in 1940 and chartered by the 84th U.S. Congress in 1956, the NMC acts as a clearing house for the joint opinion and decision of its 47 member organizations and is dedicated to strengthening the importance of music in the life and culture of the United States. In this role, he represents the NMC to the International Music Council, headquartered in Paris.

Ingle also serves as president of the Music Council of the Three Americas (COMTA), one of five regional councils of the International Music Council. COMTA represents musical organizations across North, Central and South America, fostering understanding, cooperation and interaction among its various cultures and citizens.

After completing six years as chair of the Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Pedagogy of the International Society for Music Education (ISME) In July 2018, he now serves as a special advisor to the group. The mission of the Forum is to inform the work of studio instrumental and vocal music teachers around the world who provide individualized or group instruction in keyboard, wind, string and percussion instruments, and voice.

Ingle is a member of the Advisory Board of From the Top, the public radio program dedicated to encouraging, supporting and celebrating the commitment of young people to music and the arts. He is on the Advisory Board of the Chopin Foundation of the United States and the Editorial Advisory Board for the magazine Making Music: Better Living Through Recreational Music Making, a publication devoted to the health and wellness benefits of music making. From 1998 until 2012 he served on the Board of Trustees of the American Classical Music Hall of Fame, during which he held the position of Secretary of the Board from 2000–2003, was the Chair of the Professional Organizations Advisory Council, and was a member of its National Artistic Council.

A frequent speaker and panelist, Ingle has given addresses in all 50 states as well as to music groups in Canada, the United Kingdom, China, Eastern and Western Europe, South America and Africa, including the International Society for Music Education, the European Music Teachers Association, the International Music Council, the Music Council of the Three Americas, the National Association of Schools of Music, NAMM: The International Music Products Association, the College Music Society, Piano Technicians Guild, the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers Associations, the Global Summit of the Music Products Industry, the Music Publishers Association, among others.

Widely regarded for his advocacy efforts for music study in all its settings, Ingle has been interviewed on numerous TV and talk radio programs across the United States. He was featured on the award winning television program Profile Series for a segment on music education in the United States. Hosted by the Oscar winning actor Lou Gossett, Jr., the Profile Series is dedicated to showcasing the most important issues of the day, from the latest business and technology stories, to revolutionary medical and health issues, to current educational breakthroughs. Ingle’s message that music study with a qualified music teacher is for everyone was broadcast over such channels as Bravo, Lifetime, CNN, Fox News and Voice of America. In 2007, Ingle was featured on Sky Radio, the in-flight information and entertainment channel, which was broadcast on all Northwest and American Airlines flights for a three-month period. His segment encouraged adults to take music lessons for musical, social and health reasons.

Prior to his December 1996 appointment to MTNA, Ingle was executive director of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Music Fraternity in Evansville, Indiana. At Phi Mu Alpha, he was responsible for the fraternity’s work with more than 200 collegiate chapters across the country, as well as the activities of the Sinfonia Foundation of America.

Ingle’s academic career spanned 10 years with Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri. During his tenure, he attained the rank of full professor of music and served as chair of the Department of Music, later as dean of the Casebolt School of Fine Arts, and ultimately as Vice President for Enrollment Management. As a conductor, he directed his choirs on four international tours: to continental Europe, to Great Britain, and two tours to the Far East. While in Asia, his choirs sang for the Far East Broadcasting Company and in Olympic Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.

Ingle is listed in the International Who’s Who in Music, Who’s Who in America, Outstanding Young Men of America, Community Leaders and Noteworthy Americans, the Dictionary of International Biography and other prominent biographical resources.

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Ingle holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with emphases in conducting, voice and higher education administration from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Additional studies include the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham.