Board of Directors

  MTNA President 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 President-Elect Kevin Chance, NCTM, 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 soloist and collaborator. An active chamber musician, Kevin frequently collaborates at the national conferences of MTNA, the National Flute Association and the National Opera Association.
   Named the 2015–2016 Teacher of the Year by the Alabama Music Teachers Association and recently inducted into the inaugural class of the Steinway & Sons Music Teacher Hall of Fame in 2020, Kevin is a dedicated teacher maintaining a prize-winning studio of collegiate and pre-collegiate students. As a clinician and adjudicator, he presents workshops for local and state music teacher associations throughout the country.
   At the national level, he serves as the vice president (2019–2021) of MTNA. In the past, he was elected Southern Division director (2016–2018) and served the MTNA Finance Committee from 2016–2018 and 2019–2021. Kevin has been a member of the Conference Planning Committee, and he is currently the national chair of the MTNA-Stecher and Horowitz Two Piano Competition. Kevin has been in involved with the Southern Division Competitions for the past 11 years as Competitions chair and Senior Competitions coordinator. Remaining active in the Alabama Music Teachers Association, he served as the president and Certification chair and currently chairs the state auditions and serves as the state clinician.

  MTNA Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion William Chapman Nyaho, NCTM, grew up in Ghana, West Africa, where he attended Achimota School. He later earned degrees from St. Peter’s College, Oxford University, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Texas at Austin. He also studied at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève, Switzerland. Chapman Nyaho currently runs a successful private piano studio in Seattle, Washington and serves on the piano faculty at Pacific Lutheran University as well as the summer faculty of Interlochen Center for the Arts.
   Chapman Nyaho’s professional experience includes being a North Carolina visiting artist and associate professor of Music at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he held the Heymann Endowed Professorship and was the recipient of the Distinguished Professor Award. He has served as visiting professor of piano at Colby College, Maine; Pomona College, California; artist-in-residence at Willamette University, Oregon; and piano professor at Adamant Music School, Vermont.
   Chapman Nyaho is an active solo recitalist, duo pianist and chamber musician giving recitals and concerts in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean and in cities across the United States, where he promotes music by composers of African descent. He actively serves as guest clinician at colleges and universities around the United States and has been an adjudicator for several national and international piano competitions. He has served on national committees for the College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association and the National Endowment for the Arts. Chapman Nyaho also serves on the Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy board of trustees.
   As an advocate for music of Africa and its diaspora, Chapman Nyaho’s publications include a five-volume anthology Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora published by Oxford University Press and an entry on Oswald Russell in the International Directory of Black Musicians as well as an arrangement for duet in Piano Star Duets published by ABRSM. His recordings include Aaron Copland: Music for Two Pianos, Senku: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, Asa: Piano Music by Composers of African Descent and Kete: Piano Music of Africa and the African Diaspora.

  MTNA Vice President for Membership Barbara Fast, NCTM, serves on the piano faculty at the University of Oklahoma as director of piano pedagogy and piano area chair, where she coordinates the group piano program as well as teaches graduate and undergraduate piano pedagogy. Numerous teaching awards at OU include: David Ross Boyd Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching, Regents Award for Superior Teaching and the Rothbaum Presidential Professor of Excellence in the Arts Award. Former faculty appointments include the University of Northern Iowa, Hesston College and Woodstock International School in India.
   As an active member of MTNA, Barbara served as the 2020–2022 South Central Division director. Additionally, she served on the MTNA e-Journal Editorial committee. At the state level, she served on the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Board as president and Collegiate Chapter representative. Collaborating with the leadership team of OMTA while organizing two state conferences and encouraging new and younger members for the OMTA Board were highlights.
Mentoring students and young professionals remains a priority for Barbara, and the OU Collegiate Chapter won the MTNA Chapter of the Year award three different years. In recognition of her guidance of students, Barbara was the recipient of the Oklahoma Music Teacher of the Year award.
   Barbara also co-founded the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum (GP3) in 2000, a biannual conference. Active on the GP3 Executive committee, she appreciates MTNA’s commitment to fostering teaching in higher education as well as independent studios.
   A culmination of her interest in effective teaching, learning and practicing, resulted in the book iPractice: Technology in the 21st Century Music Practice Room (Oxford). Fast has presented at numerous conferences and webinars focused on practicing, the brain and learning and performance anxiety.

  MTNA Secretary-Treasurer Heather Smith, NCTM, maintains a multi-faceted career as a music educator, administrator and community arts advocate. She serves on the MTNA Development Committee (2016–current) and the MTNA Business Network (2021–current). Heather also served on the 2020 MTNA Conference Planning Committee. She is the director of development and advancement for The Frances Clark Center and is the co-creator of The Frances Clark Center’s online course, A Pianist’s Guide to Studio Management. Heather is a member of the College of Examiners for The Royal Conservatory of Music and examines students throughout North America. She has written several articles that were published in American Music Teacher, the MTNA Business Digest and Piano Magazine.
   As a Certified Change Leader with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, she regularly organizes local and national fundraising events to support music teachers, students and communities through the musical arts. Heather oversaw the creation of the Lenora Ford Brown Recital Venue in a local art center in her hometown. In 2021, she was awarded the Advocacy in Action Award by the Utah Music Teachers Association for her dedication to the betterment of Utah’s music and arts culture.
   Heather received a bachelor of music degree and a master of music degree in piano performance from the University of Utah. In addition to her music degrees, she has a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Maryville University and an MBA from Westminster College. Heather worked as a tax manager for several years before switching careers to become a music teacher. Formerly the assistant director and associate instructor at the University of Utah’s School of Music Preparatory Division, Heather now teaches private lessons and group classes in her home studio in Centerville, Utah.

MTNA Immediate Past 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.

  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.