Board of Directors


MTNA 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.



MTNA President-Elect 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 Vice President Kevin Chance, NCTM, serves as coordinator of the Gloria Narramore Moody Piano Area at the University of Alabama, where he has been recognized with the Walter R. Guyton Award for Excellence in Student Service. He has performed throughout North America, Europe and Asia as both soloist and collaborator. An active chamber musician, Chance is a member of the Semplice Duo with flutist Cristina Ballatori, and he frequently performs as a collaborator at the national conferences of the National Flute Association and the National Opera Association. Recently named the 2015–2016 Teacher of the Year by the Alabama Music Teachers Association, Chance is a dedicated teacher maintaining a prize-winning studio of collegiate and pre-collegiate students. In demand as a clinician and adjudicator, he presents workshops for local and state music teacher associations throughout the country. At the national level for MTNA, he served as the Southern Division Director and MTNA Finance Committee member from 2016–2018. He has previously been a member of the Conference Planning Committee, and he is currently the national chair of the MTNA–Stecher and Horowitz Two Piano Competition. At the division level, Chance chairs the MTNA Southern Division Competitions after serving for several years as the Southern Division Senior Competitions coordinator. Remaining active in the Alabama Music Teachers Association, he has served as the president and Certification chair, and he currently chairs the state auditions and serves as the state clinician.



MTNA Secretary-Treasurer Beth Gigante Klingenstein, NCTM, dedicated herself to her much-loved independent piano studio for the first 25 years of her career, during which time she published her first book, A Business Guide for the Music Teacher. Moving from Virginia to North Dakota, she accepted a teaching position at Valley City State University (VCSU), where she also founded and directed a community school of the arts. In honor of her energy and determination in bringing the arts to under-served rural communities, she received the ND Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2007. While at VCSU, Klingenstein created internationally successful online piano pedagogy courses and published her second book, The Independent Piano Teacher’s Studio Handbook, a widely used resource among current independent and pedagogy teachers. After teaching at VCSU for 20 years, eventually becoming department chair, Klingenstein took the position of executive director of the North Dakota Council on the Arts, a position she held until her recent retirement. As executive director, she was fiscally responsible for the agency, successfully overseeing a large budget and representing it to the state legislature. Klingenstein energetically served MTNA as West Central Division director-elect/director, on the 2009 national conference planning committee, and for five years on the American Music Teacher (AMT) editorial committee. She was the original author of AMT’s popular column, “It’s All of Your Business” and became a Foundation Fellow in 2006. Klingenstein’s many state/local positions include two terms as president of NDMTA. Her more than 160 presentations on business, pedagogical and advocacy issues have been enthusiastically received nationwide. Klingenstein earned degrees in piano performance from Syracuse University (BM) and the University of Michigan (MM), and a PhD in educational leadership from the University of North Dakota. She holds MTNA Permanent Professional Certification.



MTNA Immediate Past President Scott McBride Smith, NCTM, is a visionary leader in music education. He is the Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Kansas, a position he assumed in 2010 after teaching prizewinning students in Irvine, California, for 30 years. As CEO of the International Institute for Young Musicians, he leads a summer program that trains gifted young performers from around the world. His philosophical and cognitive approach to music has resulted in appearances before teachers groups across the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia and South America. Smith is co-author of the college text The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher and associate editor of Clavier Companion. He is co-author and editor of the groundbreaking series American Popular Piano and co-author of Christopher Norton’s Guide to Microjazz. He is a chamber music coach as well as a piano teacher. The Wakarusa Trio, a university-level group coached by him, were the 2013 MTNA Chamber Music String winners. His pre-college trio, Trio Aer, made its Merkin Hall debut in New York as the Grand Prize winners of the National Young Artist Chamber Music Competition in 2013. Smith received his doctorate from the University of Southern California, where he was co-winner of the Outstanding Graduate in Piano award. He is a past president of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers and a former member of the Music Teachers National Association Board of Directors.



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, Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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, Dr. 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, Dr. 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. Dr. 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, Dr. 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, Dr. 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.

Dr. 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.

Dr. 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, Dr. 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.