East Central Division

Yeeseon Kwon Yeeseon Kwon, NCTM
Yeeseon Kwon, NCTM, is pianist and associate professor teaching piano musicianship and piano pedagogy in the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She also instructs adult classes and lessons in the Music Academy of Northwestern University. She served on the National Conference Program Committees of MTNA (2020) and NCKP (2021) and is a member of the NCKP Teaching Adults Committee.
“As president of Illinois State MTA, I commend how community engagement broadens the relevancy of who and how MTNA serves as a robust organization. Its global reach and diverse educational and professional development opportunities positively influences the role of arts with creative vision,” she says.


Nicholas Phillips Nicholas Phillips, NCTM
Nicholas Phillips, NCTM, is currently professor of piano at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and has maintained a studio of pre-college students for more than 20 years. He is an active performer and frequent presenter at conferences. Phillips was program chair for the 2019 MTNA National Conference in Spokane, president of the Wisconsin MTA from 2015–2018, and is Recordings editor for Piano Magazine.
“MTNA continues to be an integral part of my professional life, and the wonderful network of teachers, colleagues, and friends I have gained through the association has been truly invaluable. I would be honored to represent the East Central Division on the board,” he says.


Eastern Division

Alison Barr Alison Barr, NCTM
Alison Barr, NCTM, teaches piano in her independent studio in Massachusetts. In 1976, she helped found Maine Music Teachers Association. She’s served as president of Maine and Massachusetts MTAs, Eastern Division Certification Commissioner and National IMTF Chair. Alison created Massachusetts MTA’s Music Connect Program, which awards grants to deserving students. At the 2018 MTNA Conference, Alison was introduced to American Voices and now serves as cultural ambassador, volunteering with Middle Eastern piano students.
“I’ve been excited about MTNA since my early encounter! It’s afforded me profound opportunities to grow and contribute. I’m especially dedicated to MTNA’s work on behalf of IMTs,” she says.


Henning Vauth Henning Vauth, NCTM
German pianist Henning Vauth, NCTM, lives in Huntington, West Virginia, where he serves as professor of piano at Marshall University and co-directs the Center for Wellness in the Arts. Since receiving his DMA in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music under Nelita True in 2009, he has been active in leadership positions as treasurer and president of WVMTA, member of the MTNA 2021 Virtual Conference planning committee, certification commissioner, collegiate chapter advisor and others. Henning was named 2017 WVMTA Teacher of the Year.
“MTNA has been my key to a house full of wonderful musicians, teachers, and friends,” he says.


Northwest Division

Steven Hesla Steven Hesla, NCTM
Steven Hesla, NCTM, recently retired from teaching at the University of Montana for more than four decades. During his tenure, he served as MSMTA president, served on the MTNA Foundation Board of Trustees and was honored as an MTNA Foundation Fellow in 2016.
“MTNA has played an enormous role in shaping my life. I aspired to become a national finalist in the high school piano competition and achieved that status after years of diligent practice. While that goal fueled my life’s ambitions, I remain committed to promoting the benefits MTNA provides for all teachers and students, of every level and aspiration. We thrive together!” he says.


Jessica Olson Jessica Olson
Jessica Olson holds a BA degree in music from Oklahoma Christian University and currently owns a thriving private piano studio in Bozeman, Montana, where she encourages student achievement through a host of creative projects. Olson has held a number of positions in collegiate, local and state associations, most recently serving as president of the Montana State Music Teachers Association.
“I am so grateful for the role that MTNA plays in my professional development. I would be honored to serve our association as we strive to embrace the future in imaginative ways while maintaining MTNA’s long tradition of promoting excellent teaching,” she says.


South Central Division

Courtney Crappell Courtney Crappell, NCTM
Courtney Crappell, NCTM, serves as director and holds the Margaret M. Alkek and Margaret Alkek Williams Endowed Chair at the University of Houston Moores School of Music. As professor of piano and piano pedagogy, he has published more than 40 articles on music teaching and presented for teacher workshops and conferences around the world. His book Teaching Piano Pedagogy (Oxford, 2019) was described as “essential to the professional pedagogue’s bookshelf.” He has served as a regular columnist for AMT since 2010.
“MTNA has played a vital role in my professional career and I am honored to be nominated for this position,” he says.


Pamela Pike Pamela Pike, NCTM
Pamela D. Pike, NCTM, the Spillman Professor of Piano Pedagogy at LSU, has authored articles, chapters, and full-length books. Pike is committed to providing guidance and resources for teachers and students through university classes, digital resources and pedagogy workshops. She is past president of LMTA and BRMTA and has served on Arkansas and Louisiana state boards and the MTNA e-Journal editorial committee.
“My pedagogical development was nourished through MTNA and its local member teachers—our greatest resource. MTNA is essential for advocacy and professional advancement of our field. It is an honor to be nominated to serve the South Central Division members,” she says.


Southern Division

Erin Bennett Erin K. Bennett, NCTM
Erin K. Bennett, DMA, NCTM, is associate professor of piano and pedagogy at the University of North Florida. Currently serving on the Florida State MTA executive board in multiple capacities, she has also served on the AMT editorial committee, the 2017 National Conference planning committee and the National Certification Commission.
“MTNA has played a vital part at every stage in my career. I have benefitted from the inspiration, the camaraderie and the professional support it provides, and the opportunities afforded to my students. It’s an honor to be nominated to serve the organization that has nurtured me since I was a young student,” she says.


Joy Poole Joy Poole
Joy Poole earned a BA degree in piano performance and music education and has been in the music education field for 32 years enjoying teaching private lessons and teaching in schools. She is active in MTNA both on the local and state level serving in past years as president of Cobb County MTA and vice president of membership, vice president of Programs and president of Georgia MTA. During her administration many strides were made with online opportunities to keep members involved.
“Being a part of MTNA has been invaluable over the years from professional development to making life-long friends. It would be a pleasure to serve,” she says.


Southwest Division

Stephen Pierce Stephen Pierce
Stephen Pierce is on the piano faculty at the University of Southern California and teaches privately in Pasadena, California. He is editor of California’s state journal, CAPMT Connect and is California Collegiate State Chair. He has previously served on the MTNA e-Journal editorial committee and as CAPMT vice president for conferences.
“MTNA serves an essential role in society by providing community and continued professional development to music teachers of every kind, and meaningful learning opportunities to all music students. I would be honored to serve as Southwest Division Director-elect and would prioritize community and connection amongst our members in this role,” he says.


Kassandra Weleck Kassandra Weleck, NCTM
Kassandra Weleck, NCTM, has served as Arizona’s president, competitions chair and secretary as well as MTNA’s Southwest Division Composition Competitions coordinator. She holds degrees from Bowling Green State University and Arizona State University. Kassandra teaches at Pima Community College and in her Tucson private studio.
“Communication is the key to having members feel invested and involved. As MTNA Southwest Division Director-elect, I will focus on this to ensure all our colleagues are aware of opportunities for themselves and their students. I’m honored to be nominated and would love the opportunity to serve in this role for MTNA and you,” she says.


West Central Division

Robert Carney Robert Carney
Robert Carney is professor of piano at Southwest Baptist University and immediate past president of the Missouri Music Teachers Association. He has performed in Europe and throughout the U.S. and presented at numerous national and international conferences. Carney has held administrative positions in private music school and higher education settings.
“MTNA has been an invaluable resource for teachers and students for generations. I am extremely grateful for the selfless work of its members and am honored to be nominated to serve MTNA in this role,” he says.


Cyndie Caruth Cyndie Caruth, NCTM
Cyndie Caruth, NCTM, a BM graduate of Iowa State University and independent instructor since 1973, was among the first to achieve national certification through MTNA’s examination program. Cyndie was a 2017 MTNA Foundation Fellow, elected IMTA president 2007–2009 and 2017– 2019, chaired Local Associations, Auditions, Foundation, Theory, Certification and is IMT editor, advertising and web consultant. She received the 2019 “Steinway Top Teacher Award,” IMTA’s “Certified Teacher of the Year” and “Distinguished Service Award” in 2004.
“As a performer, adjudicator and clinician, my mission is to mentor and inspire parents, students and teachers to expand the level of professionalism in music education through MTNA,” she says.