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Autry _Philip Photo

Philip Autry, NCTM, is the music discipline coordinator in the Fisk University Department of Arts and Languages. He holds the doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Oklahoma, bachelor’s degree from Lipscomb University, master’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University and program certificates from the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, commemorating study at the Gnessin Institute and the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. Autry held offices in Middle Tennessee MTA, Nashville Area MTA, Central Oklahoma MTA, San Angelo MTA and each state organization. He has served on the MTNA Instructional Technology Committee and worked on MTNA’s Teacher of the Year Selection Committee.

Barker _Linda Photo

Linda Barker, NCTM, has taught piano for more than 35 years. She founded Lakeview Piano Studio in Chicago in 1976, and her teaching and coaching career has included students of all ages and levels of experience. She holds undergraduate degrees in elementary education and piano performance, as well as a master’s degree in music from Northwestern University. Barker joined MTNA in 1983 and immediately became active in her local chapter, the Chicago Area Music Teachers Association, eventually serving as president. From 2005–2008, Barker served as president of the Illinois State Music Teachers Association. She serves MTNA today as the National Certification Commissioner for the East Central Division.  

Bates _Art Photo

Art Bates is a Nebraska native holding music degrees from Nebraska Wesleyan University, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Northern Colorado. For nearly 30 years, he was a piano and theory professor at the University of Nebraska, Kearney, where he helped found the Kearney Area Music Teachers Association. He was active in MTNA from 1973 until his retirement in 1993 and was NMTA president from 1982–1986. Bates is still active after 60 years as part of a two-piano team with his wife, Fran. 

Bates _Michael Photo - SURPRISE FELLOW

Mike Bates is the senior member of the Institutional Solutions Group in the Keyboard Division of Yamaha Corporation of America, where he has worked the last 28 years. His career at Yamaha has included nine years as the general manager of the Music Education Division. He has also been responsible for numerous special projects, including developing the music and arts advocacy materials created by NAMM/MENC in the early 1990s. Bates was on the small team that developed the initial Technology Guidelines for Music Educators published by MENC and was a founding board member of The Technology Institute for Music Education.

Brewer _Ruth 1 Photo

Ruth Bradfield Brewer, NCTM, attended Pomona College as a music major, playing the viola in the college orchestra. She married in 1945, raising five children while she and her husband were stationed around the world during his military career. Brewer was an organist and choir director at several ports of call. After she and her husband retired and moved to Reno, Nevada, in 1976, Brewer returned to college and completed her bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Nevada-Reno. She became an active member of the Northern Nevada MTA and began teaching. Brewer has served in every office including president and is currently is the recital chairman. 

Brown _Rita

Rita Brown, NCTM, has taught piano for more than 40 years. She graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in piano performance. Brown taught vocal music grades 1 through 12 in public schools, as well as piano for the preparatory program at Elmhurst College. She has served the West Suburban chapter as certification, theory and performance chair. In 1997, she was selected Member of the Year. Brown has been State Theory Chairman since 2004. She has served in leadership roles in the Illinois MTA “Achievement in Music” program since its inception.

Burke _Catherine

Catherine Burke is an independent piano teacher in Iowa City, Iowa, where she has maintained a private studio for 50 years. A graduate of the University of Iowa School of Music, she began her professional career as a choral director and music teacher in the Iowa public school system. There, she was the supervisor and coordinator of the general music program in elementary schools. An active member of the East Central Music Teachers Association, Burke has held the offices of president, vice president and secretary; organized IMTA auditions and festivals; and chaired many committees. She has also served on the state board of IMTA in many capacities. 

Chao -Cason _Helen Photo

Helen Chao-Casano, NCTM, attended Northwestern University and the Crane School of Music, where her teachers included Frank Iogha, David Kaiserman, Frances Larimer and Elena Shishko. She also holds a Performer’s Certificate from the St. Petersburg Piano Institute in Russia. Chao-Casano has served on the executive boards of the Pacific School of the Performing Arts, the Honolulu Piano Teachers Association, the Hawaii Music Teachers Association and is currently the MTNA Southwest Division director-elect. Chao-Casano is a licensed Kindermusik educator and has taught piano at DePaul University, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is currently director of the Punahou Music School, Honolulu, Hawaii.


Cass _Richard 2

The late Richard Cass graduated summa cum laude from Furman University, where he majored in piano performance and French. As a Fulbright Scholar, he went on to study in Paris at the École Normale de Musique. Following his Paris debut, Cass began a performing and recording career with Columbia Artists Management in New York City, and performed throughout the world. In 1975, Cass became professor of piano at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, where he was named “Curator’s Professor,” the highest honor awarded by the university. He retired from UMKC and later returned to Furman as visiting “Distinguished Professor of Music.”

Chatain _Marlene Photo

Marlene Nepstad Chatain grew up in Alberta, Canada. After graduation from the University of Alberta, she obtained a master of music degree from the Eastman School of Music, studying piano with Eugene List. She later studied with Frank Glazer. In the doctoral program at Northwestern University, her professors included Frances Larimer and Laurence Davis. Chatain has been a member of the ISMTA Achievement in Music committee since before the 2003 Revision. This award recognizes her contributions to the Illinois Achievement in Music program and the North Shore MTA chapter. She and her husband live in Evanston, Illinois, where she teaches privately.

Conner _Susan Photo

Susan Conner, NCTM is an independent music teacher in Winters, Texas. She served for more than 20 years on the Texas MTA board as chairman, director, editor, vice-president and president, and is now a trustee for the Texas Music Teachers Educational Foundation. Conner is an adjudicator for the National Guild and many area festivals. She was honored by the Abilene MTA as Teacher of the Year in 1982 and 1995. In 2008, she was recognized as TMTA Teacher of the Year. Conner has published teacher resource materials with Alpha Major Music.

Dakin _Gloria

Gloria Henry Dakin, NCTM, is a Michigan native who earned her degree at Michigan State University, studying with Ernst Wolff. She studied during the summers at Chautauqua, New York, with James Friskin. Dakin joined MTNA and Oregon MTA when she began teaching privately in Portland, Oregon, in 1976. Since then, she has served as Portland District Certification chair; state certification chair and MTNA Northwest Division certification chair; state syllabus chair; conference chair; and state president. She helped organize and host a Russian exchange program for teachers and is a certified OMTA adjudicator. Playing chamber music is her musical passion; her six grandchildren are her joy.

Geri _Gibbs Photo

Geri Gibbs, NCTM, is an independent music teacher, adjudicator, lecturer and church musician. She has served MTNA and the Utah MTA in many capacities including Utah MTA state president, Southwest Division competition chair, MTNA Director, IMTF chair, Teacher of the Year selection committee chair, Studio Teacher Fellowship selection committee, 2012 MTNA Conference Planning committee and theAmerican Music TeacherEditorial committee. Gibbs has taught music for more than 48 years.

Hadfield Debra Preferred

Debra Spong Hadfield, NCTM, has taught piano lessons for 40 years. She was the 2013 Texas Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year. She served TMTA as president, president-elect, vice president and elected director. Hadfield was on the MTNA National Certification Commission for six years. She was president of the Plano Music Teachers Association. Hadfield has a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and received the BYU Outstanding Young Alumni award. She has published numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Hadfield taught piano lessons in Guatemala to 50 impoverished students and also founded Musica Amigos, a non-profit service organization.  

Hanrahan _Jill Photo

Jill Hanrahan, NCTM, is a highly respected teacher in Colorado, where she has been teaching private piano in her studio for 22 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Hood College. Hanrahan is very active with the Colorado State MTA and MTNA, serving as Colorado vice president of member services, vice president of conferences, Achievement Day chair and Colorado MTNA competitions chair. She was awarded the 2012 MTNA Piano Technicians Guild Recreational Music Making Scholarship and was selected by CSMTA as Teacher of the Year 2013. Hanrahan is the full-time accompanist at Carson Middle School and is very involved volunteering in many programs in her community.

Head _Mary Ann Photo

Mary Ann Head, NCTM, began teaching music at age 15 and has taught piano and theory ever since. She graduated from Northeastern State University, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, with a bachelor’s degree in music education. After teaching for two years in western Kansas and seven years in southern California public schools, Head returned to Tahlequah. In 1964, she joined Oklahoma MTA and organized the Tahlequah Area MTA in 1975, serving more than 25 years as its president. She served two terms as OMTA Northeast District president and as OMTA’s IMTF chair for more than 12 years.  

Hebda Marc Photo

Marc Hebda is the MTNA Southern Division Director-elect. He has previously served as president of Florida State Music Teachers Association, president of Florida State Music Teachers Foundation, state vice president both for Membership and District and Local Associations, and Southern Division Adjudicator chair. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Butler University, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University and an ARCM from the Royal College of Music, London. Hebda is an active adjudicator, collaborative musician and church musician, and maintains a private studio in Tallahassee.

Hegland _Jean Photo

Jean Hegland, NCTM, earned a bachelor’s degree in piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Minnesota in the 1950s and has maintained a private piano studio at her home since then. She became a member of the Minnesota MTA in college as part of her pedagogy program. Hegland was MMTA theory administrator for 10 years and served on the committee that created the state program and exams. She was vice president for conventions and MMTA president in the 1980s. Hegland has been an active member of the St. Paul Piano Teachers Association for more than 50 years and currently serves as mentor chair.

Hull _Kathryn Photo

Kathryn Hull, NCTM, is an independent piano and theory teacher with a studio in La Quinta, California. She served four years as a director on MTNA’s Executive Board, four years as treasurer, two years as Southwest Division coordinator and two years as vice president for professional activities. Hull was a charter member of CAPMT, serving as secretary and president and drafting its bylaws and developing its theory program. Since 1995, she has produced Encore! concerts presenting professional and young award-winning musicians in concert in private homes. Hull is a published composer and author of children’s books about musicians, among others.

Riecker -Karl _Jo Photo

Jo Riecker-Karl received a bachelor’s degree in vocal and instrumental music education at Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska-Kearney). After graduation, she worked in the business world, but dreamed of being an independent music teacher. Riecker-Karl retired from the State of Nebraska in 1999 to teach piano, guitar, voice, theory and composition in her home studio. She was able to update her skills by continuing education through MTNA/NMTA/LMTA, doing post-graduate work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and attending many music and songwriting workshops. Riecker-Karl is currently active on the board of the Nebraska MTA and the Lincoln MTA and has held various positions through the years, including president.  

Klose _Carol Photo

The late Carol Klose was an accomplished performer, teacher, clinician, composer and arranger. She taught piano and composition privately in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Formerly on the faculty of the Wisconsin College Conservatory of Music, Klose conducted workshops and master classes in the United States and Australia, specializing in student composition. With more than 30 years in the music publishing field, her original works include piano solos, duets, art songs, a musical version of Dickens’A Christmas Carol, a book for teachers calledCreative Composition. She also composed pieces for theHal Leonard Student Piano Libraryand the NGPTAllison Contemporary Piano Collection. Klose passed away in 2013.

Kramer _Rachel Photo - SURPRISE FELLOW

Rachel Kramer, NCTM, is MTNA’s director of member development and president of the Music Learning Center, Inc., in Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance from Eastern Illinois University and a master of music degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Michigan. Kramer served as manager of educational programs for the Baldwin Piano & Organ Co. and was an assistant executive director at MTNA. She is a part-time faculty member at Wilmington College, associate director of music at St. Johns Unitarian Church and past president for the OMTA Southwest District. In 2009, she was named Ohio Independent Music Teacher of the Year.

Lanier _Glenda Photo

Glenda Ann Lanier, NCTM, passed away September 2, 2013, at age 75. Lanier began her career as an elementary school teacher, but eventually opened an independent piano studio. She received a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy at Cal State University in Fullerton, California. Lanier taught piano lessons in California for 20 years and was actively involved in Pomona MTA. She moved to Texas in 2001 and became active in the Plano MTA and Texas MTA. She was nominated for TMTA Teacher of the Year in 2009. Lanier was serving as the TMTA vice president for student activities at the time of her passing.

Lin _Chiu -Ling Photo

Chiu-Ling Lin, NCTM, began her piano teaching career at Indiana University at South Bend in 1975 as artist in residence and continued at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, until 2005. Her 30 years of college teaching experience concluded as chair of the music department and professor of piano. Lin is the immediate past president of the New Jersey Music Teachers Association and also the tri-state representative of the Associated Board of Royal School of Music. She contributes to theClavier Companion Magazineand records for the FJH Publishing Company. Lin has been in frequent demand as a clinician, presenting workshops and master classes throughout the world. 

George Litterst George Litterst, a graduate of Vassar College and New England Conservatory, has had a long and distinguished career as an educator, clinician and performer. Litterst is an internationally recognized expert on distance learning and artistic applications of the Yamaha Disklavier. He is a “Random Access” columnist for American Music Teacher magazine, technology editor for Clavier Companion magazine and regularly contributes to many other publications. Two products—the Yamaha Disklavier and Litterst’s own software creation Home Concert Xtreme—have been awarded the MTNA Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award under his guidance. 
Morrow _Diane Photo

Diane Morrow, NCTM, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of California at Santa Barbara, continuing her graduate study at the Bavarian Conservatory of Music in Wurzburg, Germany, and the University of Texas at El Paso. Morrow became a member of MTNA in l982 and is nationally certified in piano and theory. As part of the El Paso MTA, she has been the theory chairman for 27 years and has directed the piano ensembles for 26 years. Morrow has served as president and vice president, and was named Teacher of the Year in l998. She currently serves on the Texas MTA board.

Murata Emi Photo 2

Emi Murata, NCTM, debuted at age 16 as soloist with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra. Currently a member of Piano à la Quartette, she co-organizes theGlorious Grands, an eight-piano concert held at College of DuPage and Chicago’s Symphony Center. She has taught at Columbia College, College of DuPage, Sherwood Conservatory and her own studio. Murata is an experienced clinician, has published articles and enjoys presenting master classes. An active member of several performing/educational organizations, she served as president of the Salt Creek Music Teachers Association and Musicians Club of Women, and was chosen as Member of the Year by CAMTA and SCMTA. 

Norman _Cheryl (2)

Cheryl Peterson Norman, NCTM, has served on the MTNA Board of Directors, National Certification Commission and as SPAC chair. She has also written articles forAmerican Music Teacher. Norman earned a master’s degree in piano performance and pedagogy at Brigham Young University in 1994 and has been an adjunct professor at BYU and Utah Valley University. She was Utah MTA president from 2004–2006. Norman has performed in the western United States, including the Gina Bachauer Recital series; China; Italy; Guatemala and in southern Mexico, where, with her husband, she recently organized a humanitarian piano program for teenagers.

Okerlund _Karen Photo (2)

Karen Okerlund received a bachelor’s degree in music with a piano emphasis from Concordia College, continuing graduate studies at the University of Colorado, Greeley. She also studied at the MacPhail School of Music and trained in Kindermusik. Okerlund is an active member of the Fargo-Moorhead MTA and has held numerous offices and given many presentations. She was named NDMTA Teacher of the Year in 2007. Okerlund has served as a chair person for Guild and Festival and as adjudicator for the NDMTA Music Rally and Minnesota and South Dakota Festivals and competitions.

Robertson _Patti Photo (2)

Patti Robertson, NCTM, graduated from Whitman College with a degree in music and a soloist diploma. She has taught piano in Kennewick, Washington, for more than 30 years. Robertson is an accompanist for middle school, high school and college competitions in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. She has accompanied four national winners in the MTNA high school voice competition at the state, Northwest Division and national levels. Robertson has served her chapter as adjudications chair and WSMTA as district vice president for two terms. She is treasurer for the Washington State MTA.

Rohrer _Jean Photo

Jean Rohrer, NCTM, was an active piano teacher for more than 50 years, teaching up to 80 students a week for many years before retiring in 2011. She always had recitals in her home each spring, where she had to do three separate recitals because she had so many students. Rohrer first joined MTNA in 1947. She was president of the Montana State Music Teachers Association in 1995–1996 and held the position of treasurer of the Billings Music Teachers Association for many years. She organized the MTNA and State Fall Festival competitions for about five years. Rohrer was always a highly requested adjudicator throughout the Northwest.  

Steinbauer _Robert Photo (2)

Robert A. Steinbauer, NCTM, held his first academic position in Kansas on the piano faculty of Wichita State University. He later served Kansas State University as the head of the music department and dean of visual and performing arts, and prior to his retirement he was named professor emeritus. In 1968, he was elected president of the Kansas Music Teachers Association, which later named him Kansas Teacher of the Year. His influence in the field of music is evident in the number of his students who have gone on to successful careers in the field, a number of whom are active in MTNA at the state and national levels.

Steiner _Christina Photo (2)

Christine Geiser Steiner, NCTM, of Wooster, Ohio, has a degree in music education from Heidelberg University and is an independent teacher of piano and theory. Steiner is past president of Ohio MTA and served MTNA as East Central Division certification commissioner, and junior and senior high competitions coordinator. She holds Level III certification from the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association and is also certified by the American Guild of Organists. Steiner has been a member of MTNA her entire career. She held many local, district and state positions in Ohio MTA. She is passionate about collaborative music making and served many years as a conductor for the All-Ohio Piano Ensemble. 

Stout _Helen Photo (2)

Helen Louise Stout, a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a master’s degree in music education, has taught at all levels in private and public schools including LeTourneau College in Longview, Texas. She holds memberships in the MacDowell Music Club, the Chattanooga Music Club, Cleveland Music Club, Tennessee Music Teachers Association and Ocoee Music Teachers Association, where she served as president and was selected as Teacher of the Year. Her membership in TMTA and MTNA began when she was in graduate school in 1956, and her first office was that of treasurer of TMTA. She and Margaret Ann Randolph have performed as a duo-piano concert team for more than 30 years. 

Stricklin _Marjorie _Mc Cord

Marjorie McCord Stricklin, NCTM, has operated an independent piano studio is in Monroe, Louisiana, since 1967. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Murray State University and master’s of music degree from Louisiana State University. Stricklin was named Louisiana MTA Outstanding Music Teacher in 1995. For more than 40 years, she was principal double bass in the Monroe Symphony Orchestra. She also served as chair of the orchestra’s Young Artists Competition for 17 years, which was eventually renamed in her honor. The Monroe Symphony Orchestra gave her the Roger DiGiulian Lifetime Musician Award in 2005 and inducted her into its Hall of Fame in 2010.

Weber _Eileen

Eileen Weber began piano lessons at an early age and started giving piano lessons in high school. She educated herself through the Progressive Series Plan of study. Weber eventually joined the Ohio MTA in 1959. Locally, she joined the Middle West District, where she has held offices such as chairman and treasurer. Weber also was state treasurer for four years. She continued her education, eventually attending the St. Louis Institute of Music. Weber attended a workshop every summer but two and has received numerous certificates, including one for a program for non-degree teachers.

Webster _Margee Photo (2)

Margee Webster, NCTM, has been teaching piano professionally for more than 30 years. She maintains an independent studio and is a member of the piano faculty at Gonzaga University. She is also on the faculty for the Holy Names Music Center Piano Camp, teaching composition and ensemble classes. She previously taught piano pedagogy at Eastern Washington University.  Webster accompanies and performs in the Spokane area, and adjudicates in Washington, Idaho and Alaska. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Whitworth University with a bachelor’s degree in music/piano pedagogy. Webster has served as president of both the Spokane MTA and Washington State MTA.