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John Kenneth Adams graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Yale School of Music. After a Fulbright Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, he studied in Milan and Paris. A Steinway Artist and an internationally recognized scholar in French piano repertoire, Adams has performed in 22 countries. He taught at the University of Texas at Austin before beginning a 40-year career at the University of South Carolina. His honors include the Award of Merit from Yale, an Award of Appreciation from the State of South Carolina and a Lifetime Achievement Award from SCMTA.

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Lydia McCall Bratcher, NCTM, has taught private piano and theory for 38 years in Waco, Texas. She majored in piano pedagogy at Baylor University, where she studied with Roger Keyes and Jane Abbott-Kirk. She holds permanent professional certificates in piano and theory from MTNA. A member of the Waco MTA since 1978, Bratcher has served as treasurer, student affiliate chair, high school ensemble director and twice as president. She has served on the board of directors of the Texas MTA and was awarded TMTA Teacher of the Year in 2006. She is now serving as TMTA trustee.


Edna Lovett Brown (1931–2010) served on the Birmingham-Southern College faculty for 46 years after graduating from BSC in 1953, where she was a student of Dorsey Whittington. Throughout her career, she worked tirelessly to build and support the Birmingham-Southern College Conservatory—the educational outreach program of the college’s music department. A supremely dedicated and insightful teacher, the BSC Conservatory expanded to multiple satellite campuses to serve the entire Birmingham community under her guidance, while offering a comprehensive music education that included theory classes, regular recitals and regular repertory classes in addition to weekly private lessons.


Patricia Staffel Carter-Zagorski is emeritus professor of piano at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, where she taught group piano and piano pedagogy for 50 years. As director of the group piano program, she was instrumental in class piano curriculum development. She performed as a duo-piano team for 30 years with her late husband, William Carter, and served as principle pianist of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra for nine years. Her texts for both class piano and the private studio are used nationally to establish a musical approach to sight-reading. Carter-Zagorski maintains a private studio and is a volunteer teacher at the Joy of Music School in Knoxville.


A native of Taiwan, Su-Shing Chiu received both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in her native country. Her love of teaching can be traced to her two grandfathers, both educators. Chiu has extensive experience in psychology and child development, which she credits for her ability to connect with students. She has taught all levels of Yamaha classes, from beginners to the most advanced. Chiu joined the Irvine Yamaha Music School staff in 1986, where she currently teaches the special advanced courses. She also teaches private piano students at her own studio.


Lynd Corley, NCTM, holds a master’s degree in music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she studied piano, organ, voice and oboe. Her doctoral degree in public policy analysis from Loyola is ABD. Corley has served as director of bands for the Glenview, Illinois, public school district, sang professionally with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and maintains a private piano studio in Glenview. She served on the Illinois State MTA board, is past president of the North Shore MTA and a member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Sigma Alpha Iota. Corley taught adult and pre-college piano classes at the Music Academy of Northwestern University.


Gerald R. “Skip” Daynes has been the president of Daynes Music Company since 1967. Daynes Music is America’s second-oldest music store and is the oldest Steinway dealership west of New York, representing Steinway & Sons since 1873. Daynes Music is a generous supporter of all Utah MTA events. He has also donated office space to Ballet West and the Utah Opera Company, prize money and pianos to the International Bachauer Competition, and pianos for the national ACDA convention, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the 2002 SLC Winter Olympics. Daynes also helped develop the interactive Internet “U Play Piano” program.


Sue Field, pianist and mezzo-soprano, is past president of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers. She grew up in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States in 1982. Field sang with Opera Colorado and San Diego Opera. In San Diego, she directed staged performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with her studio. Field worked in various churches for many years as mezzo-soprano, pianist, organist and music director. She served on the San Francisco Board of NATS and holds a diploma in piano performance. She attended Lady Spencer Churchill College, Oxford, and is currently MTNA Southwest Division director-elect.



Janet Davis Gray, a graduate of the Mississippi University for Women, taught piano for 57 years, motivating hundreds of young people to serve their community through music. An active member of Mississippi MTA, the National Guild of Piano Teachers and Mississippi Federation of Music Clubs, she served as an officer, organizer, participant and audition chair, both locally and regionally. She was named 1994 Citizen of the Year from Junior Auxiliary of Corinth for her contributions to the community. In 2015, she was surprised with a community-wide tribute for her service to music, the arts and the community.


Jan Herr, NCTM, began her musical career at age 3, when she was invited to sing weekly on the nationally syndicated Christian radio program Children’s Bible Hour. She eventually attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, where she graduated and met her husband. She began teaching piano in 1985. Herr then enrolled in a year of applied piano instruction with Inta Stahl at Concordia College. She holds the permanent professional status from the MTNA Certification program and North Dakota state certification. Herr is an active member of Fargo Moorhead MTA and North Dakota MTA and has served on both boards.


Steven Hesla has inspired University of Montana piano majors for 38 years with a unique teaching style he frequently shares with other piano teachers. Hesla performs around the United States and Europe, but always finds time to serve local, state, regional or national MTNA organizations. He served six years on the MTNA Foundation Board of Trustees and two years as Montana State MTA President. Growing up on a South Dakota farm, he learned about hard work, taking that same work ethic to the piano, zooming through the Oberlin Conservatory and University of Illinois to a teaching post at Western Michigan University.


Jessica Johnson is professor of piano and piano pedagogy and director of graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2006, she was the recipient of UW-Madison’s Emil Steiger Distinguished Teaching Award. Johnson commissions and programs contemporary solo and chamber works and performs with Sole Nero, a piano and percussion duo. She has held residencies at major universities and colleges throughout North America, Europe and China. Johnson has articles published in American Music Teacher, Piano Journal of the European Piano Teachers Association, Clavier Companion, Piano Pedagogy Forum and Piano Adventures Teacher Newsletter. She is a two-time winner of the AMT Article of the Year Award.


Dianne Johnston maintains an active piano studio in her home in Washington State, which she began shortly after receiving her degree in music from the University of Washington. She has served as choir and worship pianist in various churches including the last 30 years at Gateway Fellowship in Poulsbo, where she also directed bell choirs. Johnston has served the Kitsap MTA in many capacities including president. For 18 years, she has been on the Washington State MTA Board of Directors, holds Washington State MTA Permanent Professional Certification and is an Honorary Life Member.


Barbara Jones received a bachelor of music in piano performance and music education degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and a master of music in piano performance degree from the University of Denver. She taught general music in the Lincoln Public Schools for 32 years, during which she received two Cooper Foundation Awards for Teaching Excellence. She maintained a private piano studio for 37 years. Jones was the director of the Lincoln Suzuki Institute at Nebraska Wesleyan University for 20 years. She served as chair of the Nebraska MTA Lincoln District Festival and has held leadership positions in the Lincoln MTA and the Nebraska MTA.


Ouida Keck, NCTM, professor emerita of music, received a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Ouachita Baptist University, a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Arkansas and a doctorate in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Iowa. Keck operated her own independent piano studio for 12 years and served on the Ouachita Baptist University faculty for 30 years before her retirement in 2014. Keck has served as president of the Arkansas State MTA. In 1997, she was honored as Outstanding College Teacher of the year by ASMTA. She was president of the National Federation of Music Clubs from 1999–2003.


Pianist Thomas Labé enjoys a multifaceted career as a teacher, performer, recording artist and published scholar. Recent performances have taken him across Europe and India, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Shanghai. His discography of internationally released recordings is heard on the playlists of classical music radio stations the world over, and his YouTube channel has garnered nearly 2 million views. As a member of the recording academy, he takes part in the voting processes for the annual Grammy Awards. A professor of piano in the department of music at Cameron University, he serves as vice president for communications for the Oklahoma Music Teachers Association. .

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Chiu-Tze Lin is a conductor, pianist and teacher. She is the conductor of the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bravura Youth Orchestra, and has an independent piano studio in her home. She was a finalist in the orchestral conducting division of the 2010 American Prize Award. As a pianist, Lin has performed around the world and won numerous international music competitions, including the World Piano International Competition and Artists International Young Musicians competition. Lin has served on the executive board of the New Jersey MTA for 20 years and has received the NJMTA Teacher of the Year and Service Award.


Melissa Marrion is professor emerita of music from the Virginia Commonwealth University. During her tenure at VCU, she taught both graduate and undergraduate students in applied piano, piano pedagogy, class piano and accompanying. She received bachelor of music and master of music degrees in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Marrion has served as Virginia MTA president and on national, division and state committees. She was the parliamentarian of VMTA for many years, serving 10 presidents in this role, and is currently the parliamentarian of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota.


Fern L. McArthur, NCTM, is past president of Oregon MTA and the Eugene District. She also held offices of president-elect/conference chair and treasurer. Her committee service includes MTNA competitions, education, syllabus, ethics, finance and budget. McArthur has taught piano, theory and composition in her private studio for 35 years. She adjudicates for the Oregon Syllabus program and has presented programs throughout the state. She established the District Presidents Round Table to bring ideas to the state board of directors. McArthur also enjoys directing the Songspinners, a community women’s choral group dedicated to public service.


Sara McDaniel is a pianist, performer, teacher, clinician and adjudicator. Much of her work has been done through MTNA affiliates. Her performance specialty is chamber music, and she collaborates regularly with musicians of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and faculty of Colorado colleges. McDaniel has given piano pedagogy workshops and master classes throughout Colorado and many other states. She has taught in both an independent studio and on the faculty at Peak Community College. In 2001, she was Colorado’s first nominee for MTNA Teacher of the Year. McDaniel is a graduate of CSU Pueblo and received her master’s degree from the University of Hawaii.


Margaret Pressley is one of the foremost instructors of violin pedagogy in the country and is founder/director of Seattle Conservatory of Music. A member of the Washington State MTA Hall of Fame, she is former string chair for the Seattle Chapter. A recipient of a Dorothy Richard Starling Violin Foundation Grant, she was American String Teacher Association’s Washington State Outstanding Studio Teacher of the Year and has been an author and feature in music periodicals. Faculty positions have included scholar-in-residence at UC Boulder, lecturer at Western Washington University and adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University.


Linda Rogers, NCTM, is an independent piano teacher from Norfolk, Nebraska. She received bachelor’s degrees in music and education from the College of St. Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. An active member of the Nebraska MTA since 1989, she has served as chair of membership, foundation, junior competitions and currently, district festival chair for northeast Nebraska. In 2006, Rogers received the Nebraska MTA’s Outstanding Service Award. For more than 50 years, she has served as pianist and organist for parishes in the Omaha Archdiocese. She has served as piano adjudicator and has accompanied various school groups, soloists, church and community groups.


Dorothy Swindle Sahlmann, NCTM, joined MTNA in 1968 in Arkansas. Currently a member of the Louisiana MTA, she recently retired after 27 years of independent piano teaching. With degrees in piano performance from the University of Arkansas and post-graduate studies in music theory at the University of North Texas, she held teaching positions at McNeese State University, Sam Houston University, Arkansas State University and the University of Central Arkansas. She served LMTA as vice president for rallies and chaired elementary and high school auditions. LMTA honored her and her husband, Fred Sahlmann, with the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award.


Béla Siki is a concert pianist, recording artist, juror of international piano competitions and teacher. Born in Budapest, he was a student of Leo Weiner and Ernest von Dohnányi at the Franz Liszt Music Academy. In 1945, he moved to Geneva where he studied with Dinu Lipatti and won the 1948 Concours International d’Executions Musicales. This led to his international solo career performing on all five continents with distinguished conductors and orchestras. In 1965, Siki moved to the United States teaching at the University of Washington until 2001, including a five-year appointment at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.


Lynn Singleton, NCTM, is on the faculty of the Ohio State University School of Music. She received master’s and bachelor’s of music degrees in performance from Bowling Green State University. She is an active member of MTNA and Ohio MTA and was named 2003 Ohio MTA State Certified Teacher of the Year. Known for her focus on musician wellness, she is a member of the Performing Arts Medical Association and a faculty member of the School of Music Wellness Program at OSU. In her private studio, Singleton Piano and Wellness Studio, she offers a unique combination of piano instruction and performance-related injury prevention/rehabilitation.


Diane M. Smith, NCTM, has taught piano as an independent music teacher in West Des Moines, Iowa, for more than 50 years. She has been an active member of MTNA since 1976, working on the local, state and division levels and serving in a variety of offices including president of the Iowa MTA. Smith was honored by the Iowa MTA as Certified Teacher of the Year in 1999 and with the Distinguished Service Award in 2008. Smith founded and directed the Music and Movement Center, Inc., of West Des Moines, which was one of the largest centers for early childhood music education in the country.


Before retiring in 2011, Richard Smith served for seven years on the faculty of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, and 27 years at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Missouri. He has toured throughout the country a soloist and chamber musician. He was pianist with the Cambiano Trio, which served on the roster of the Missouri Arts Council’s Artists in Education Residency Program. Smith earned bachelor of music and master of music degrees at Northwestern Louisiana State University and completed a doctor of musical arts degree at Louisiana State University.


Kathryn Stimson, a native of Dumas, Arkansas, majored in music history at Hollins College, where she studied piano with Donald Bolger. She earned a master of music degree in piano performance, studying with Daniel Fletcher, at the University of Memphis. She teaches piano at Rhodes College and at the Community Music School, both in Memphis, Tennessee. A member of the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association, she has served as president of that organization and was named GMMTA Teacher of the Year in 2010. Recipient of the Tennessee MTA Distinguished Service Award in 2011, Stimson served as TMTA President 2013–2015.


Merrily Stone, NCTM, has been an independent music teacher for 53 years. She has a performance degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. During her junior year, she studied at the Mozarteum Musik Akademie in Salzburg. Stone served for 10 years as the Minnesota MTA State Contest Chair. She and her husband received the Minnesota MTA President’s award in 2013 for their many years of work in contest scheduling. Stone was recognized at the 2015 MTNA National Conference as a 50-year member of MTNA.


Peggy Swaizey, NCTM, of San Antonio, Texas, has been a member of MTNA since 1972. She began piano lessons at age 3, learning from her mother. Swaizey eventually earned her bachelor and master of music degrees while attending San Francisco State Teachers College, Incarnate Word University and Trinity University. She is an honorary member of the San Antonio MTA and was named Teacher of Distinction in 2015. Swaizey holds Permanent Professional Certification in piano. She has taught in public schools, Catholic schools and in her private home piano studio in Texas.


Connie H. Swett has been an independent piano instructor in Florida for 20 years, and she has served in local and state MTA positions. She received a bachelor of arts degree in music from Tennessee Wesleyan College and has also served as president of Greater Memphis MTA from 1987–1989, GMMTA Teacher of the Year in 1993, president of “Friends of Music” in 2007, chairman of the Tennessee MTA Independent Music Teachers and founder of “Piano Practice-a-thon.” She was presented with the Volunteer Award by the Florida Arts and Humanities Council in 2009, and she continues to enjoy supporting young colleagues.


Suzanne Torkelson, NCTM, is professor of piano at Wartburg College. She has served MTNA in many capacities including National Certification Commissioner and West Central Division Director. She holds a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Iowa and a masters of music degree from Kansas State University. Torkelson frequently performs nationally and internationally as piano soloist and chamber musician. Very active in the field of piano pedagogy, she is in frequent demand as clinician and adjudicator. Iowa MTA awarded her the Distinguished Service Award in 1996 and the Certified Teacher of the Year Award in 2002.


Patricia Ward, NCTM, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee received a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University with a double major in piano and voice. She has been a private piano teacher since 1969 and has held many positions in the Tennessee MTA and Middle Tennessee MTA, including the president of each. She currently serves TMTA as executive secretary/treasurer. Ward received the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and TMTA Teacher of the Year in 2003 and Distinguished Service Award in 2012. She has performed in Carnegie Hall and on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion, and WPLN-In-Concert.


Roy Wylie, NCTM, pianist, has degrees from Southern Methodist University, Manhattan School of Music and the University of Texas at Austin. He has been president of Alabama MTA, MTNA Southern Division Director and served on the MTNA Board of Directors. Wylie has given many concert appearances as soloist and chamber musician throughout his career. For 12 summers, he coached at the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. He taught at Auburn University for 27 years and was honored as the Alabama MTA Teacher of the Year in 2002. Now in Houston, Texas, Wylie performs and serves on the Texas MTA Board of Directors.