2020 MTNA Award Recipients


MTNA is delighted to have the opportunity to recognize its outstanding affiliates and members for the work they are doing to further the mission of MTNA. These individuals and affiliates deserve our highest gratitude for their leadership and vision for the music teaching profession.

The awards are presented by MTNA President Martha Hilley.


Please click on MORE to view the virtual presentations.


The MTNA Achievement Award, MTNA’s highest honor, is bestowed upon individuals and entities who have made significant and lasting contributions to the music teaching profession. The 2020 MTNA Achievement Award recipient is the Chopin Foundation of the United States. Established in Miami, Florida in 1977 by Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, a local philanthropist and lover of the music of Chopin, the Foundation has assisted young, talented American pianists in their career development. In addition, the Foundation presents multiple concert recitals in Miami and around the country to further the music of Chopin and the performers’ careers. The Foundation presents the National Competition every five years, the winner of which receives a $100,000 grand prize, professional management, and the opportunity to compete at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Poland. MTNA has close ties with the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. In 2011, an agreement was executed between the Foundation and MTNA related to the MTNA piano competitions. Currently, the agreement commits the Foundation to sponsor a “Chopin Prize” for the best performance of a Chopin work to a finalist in two age groups of the MTNA Piano Performance Competitions: Junior and Senior. The prize is $500 for Junior and $1,000 for senior. Although no Chopin Prize is awarded in the Young Artist category; however, the best USA finalist may be invited by the Foundation to perform a two-performance recital in South Florida. The 2020 Achievement Award was presented personally to the Chopin Foundation and Lady Blanka by Executive Director & CEO Gary Ingle on February 29 in Miami at the U. S. Chopin Competition.


The American Music Teacher Article of the Year award is presented to the outstanding author or authors of a feature article written expressly for AMT. The author receives a cash award of $1,000, which is made possible by the MTNA Foundation Fund. This year’s recipients are Matthew Hoch and Patty Holley for their article “Engaging All Students: Connecting with Different Personality Types in the Studio,” published in the February/March 2019 issue of AMT.

Matthew Hoch, NCTM, holds a BM degree from Ithaca College, an MM degree from the Hartt School, a DMA degree from the New England Conservatory and the Certificate of Vocology from the National Center for Voice and Speech. He is the first author, coauthor or principal editor of seven books and 28 peer-reviewed articles in more than a dozen professional and academic journals. Matthew is currently associate professor of voice at Auburn University.

Patty Holley is a first-year graduate student at the University of Houston pursuing an MM degree in Performance (Voice). She is originally from Eclectic, Alabama, and graduated with concurrent degrees in vocal performance and music education from Auburn University.


The recipient of the 2020 MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year Award is the Texas Tech University Collegiate Chapter of MTNA. This award is given to the MTNA collegiate chapter that demonstrates excellence in its chapter activities. The Texas Tech chapter actively creates new events every semester. The chapter’s biggest accomplishment, to date, is the creation and organization of a new piano festival for the community, which promotes the performance of duet and concerto repertoire. This event, the Piano Plus+ Festival, was funded by this year’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter Enrichment Grant and will become an annual tradition at Texas Tech. The chapter also has focused on service-oriented experiences, practice-room and group piano classroom cleaning days, establishment of a website, mentoring programs, fundraisers, recitals for members’ private students and instrument petting zoos.



The MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award is conferred upon the composer of the most significant composition from among all works commissioned by the MTNA state affiliates. The recipient receives a $5,000 cash award, which is made possible by the MTNA Foundation Fund.Bret Bohman is a composer of acoustic and electronic music. With a background in dance music production and jazz guitar improvisation, his concert works meet somewhere in the cross-section of these influences and the modernist and post-modernist traditions of Western concert music. Themes of therapy, liminal spaces and art as a vehicle for healing are all central ideas to his recent work. Bohman was recently named the 2019 Distinguished Composer of the Year by the Music Teachers National Association. His winning work, Tides, will be performed in March 2020 at the national conference in Chicago. Mr. Bohman's compositions have been heard throughout the United States at various venues and festivals including National Sawdust, New Music Festival at Bowling Green State University, Strange Beautiful Music X in Detroit, New Music Gathering 3, Aspen Music Festival, New York City Electronic Music Festival at Abrons Playhouse, 73rd Wellesley Composers Conference, Trinosophes, Toronto International Electronic Symposium, SCI National Conference, SEAMUS National Conference, Electronic Music Midwest, Atlantic Music Festival, Society for New Music, 3rd Annual TUTTI Festival and more. His music received the 2019 Missouri Music Teachers Association Composition Commission in association with the Music Teachers National Association. Other recognition comes from the Society of New Music (Brian Israel Award), the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition. the Robert Avalon Composition Prize, ASCAP and the Michigan Music Teachers Association. He teaches in the composition department at the University of Missouri in Columbia. He also recently held lecture positions at the University of Michigan in the Comparative Literature Department and taught Electronic Music Seminar as a Graduate Student Instructor. He received his Doctorate from the University of Michigan in 2014. His primary teachers and mentors have been Michael Daugherty, Evan Chambers, Bright Sheng, Paul Schoenfeld, and Brian Bevelander.



The MTNA Distinguished Service Award recognizes MTNA leaders who have provided significant and lasting volunteer service to the national association. The recipient of the 2020 MTNA Distinguished Service Award is Brenda Dillon. Brenda is best known for her contributions to the Recreational Music Making movement. She served on the RMM committee that designed the RMM Track for MTNA’s Pedagogy Saturday. She also presented group piano and RMM sessions throughout the U.S. and served as a clinician at the International Society of Music Education conference in Bologna, Italy. In addition to serving as a teacher trainer, she has written extensive articles on both group piano and RMM teaching throughout her career. As a longtime project director for the National Piano Foundation, she served on the advisory board to the Frances Clark Center. She was a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 meeting of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. She has publications with both Hal Leonard and Alfred. She resides in Frisco, Texas, and is presently studying choral writing, as well as composing and arranging piano solos that can be used in worship services.


The Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award is an annual award established through a bequest to MTNA by the renowned pedagogue, Frances Clark. It is given to a person or company who has made significant contributions to the field of keyboard pedagogy through the creation and development of products and publications that further the profession. The award is in the amount of $2,500. The recipient of the 2020 Frances Clark Keyboard Award is Nocturnes, Books 1 and 2, written by Dennis Alexander. Since his affiliation with Alfred Publishing Company in 1986 as a composer and clinician, Dennis has earned an international reputation as one of North America’s most prolific and popular composers of educational piano music for students at all levels. He retired from his position as piano department chair at the University of Montana in May 1996, where he taught piano and piano pedagogy for 24 years. Upon moving to California, he taught privately in addition to serving on the faculties of Cal State Fullerton and Cal State Northridge. A former president of the Montana State Music Teachers Association, Dennis currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he maintains an active composing and touring schedule for Alfred Publishing Company.



2018–2020 Board of Directors

Janice Razaq, NCTM, Illinois, East Central Division
Nanette Solomon, NCTM, Pennsylvania, Eastern Division
Cindy Peterson-Peart, NCTM, Oregon, Northwest Division
Sharon Callahan, Texas, South Central Division
Diane Blanchard, NCTM, North Carolina, Southern Division
Geri Gibbs, NCTM, Utah, Southwest Division
Jill Hanrahan, NCTM, Colorado, West Central Division


Committee and Commission Leadership

E. L. Lancaster, NCTM, 2020 Conference Planning Committee Chair
Brandon Bascom, NCTM, 2018–2020 Certification Commissioner, Southwest Division
Erin Bennett, NCTM, 2018–2020 Certification Commissioner, Southern Division
Jessica Johnson, NCTM, 2018–2020 Certification Commissioner, East Central Division



The Central East District of Ohio Music Teachers Association has been named the 2020 Music Teachers National Association Local Association of the Year. This award is presented to the local MTA that makes the most significant contributions to the music teaching profession through participation in MTNA national programs and additional programs established within its state and local area. The local association, in the greater-Columbus, Ohio, metropolitan area, provides a tremendous array of exciting activities that ensure both students’ and teachers’ musical growth and community engagement. Highlights for students include The Out & About Program that consists of 10 public service performance opportunities including creative activities, recitals and performances in hospitals, senior living centers and malls; Pianorama, a multi-piano ensemble event where students learn to how to follow a conductor; and Summer Jam Camp, a one-day event offering classes on Taiko Drumming, Music & Movement, Notation Creation, The Mechanical Evolution of the Piano and Apps. Highlights for teachers include a very strong commitment to support MTNA’s National Certification Program, grants for professional development and district teacher conferences, piano workshops and master classes.


The MarySue Harris Studio Teacher Fellowship is a $3,000 award, funded by the MarySue Harris Endowment. It is designed to assist a music teacher with establishing, developing and enhancing their studio. Karen Zhang, of Mason, Ohio, is the recipient of the 2020 MarySue Harris Studio Fellowship. Karen is a National Merit Scholarship Recipient and attended the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. While at CCM, she was a winner of the Van Cliburn Scholarship Competition, the Glenn Miller Society Scholarship Competition and Three Arts Scholarship Competition. Karen is an independent teacher in Mason, Ohio, where she directs her studio, Musical Moments along with her husband, Korean pianist Jaesung Kim.


The MTNA e-Journal Article of the Year award is presented to the outstanding author of a feature article written expressly for the MTNA e-Journal. The author receives a cash award of $1,000, made possible by the MTNA Foundation Fund. The 2020 MTNA e-Journal Article of the Year award is presented to Clara Boyett Hassan for her article “Music Performance Anxiety: The Role of Teachers in Addressing Anxiety in Adolescent Students and Beyond,” published in the February 2019 issue of the MTNA e-Journal. Clara Boyett Hassen, NCTM, earned a master’s degree in piano pedagogy and performance from Baylor University and a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Stephen F. Austin State University. Clara is an active performer, teacher and presenter pursuing a DMA in piano performance and pedagogy at the University of Oklahoma. She lives in Shawnee, Oklahoma, with her husband, Josiah.


MTNA Foundation Fellows
and Legacy Society

MTNA is privileged to work with the Piano Technicians Guild on a variety of projects. Through the generosity of the Piano Technicians Guild and the Piano Technicians Guild Foundation, two Teacher Continuing Education scholarships have been established to recognize outstanding MTNA certified teachers.

This year’s recipient of the $1,000 PTG Scholarship is Monique Arar, an independent teacher in Atlanta, Georgia. Monique also has taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Clayton State University, the University of North Georgia, and the Georgia Academy of Music.

The recipient of the $750 PTG Foundation Scholarship is Jennifer Scott, an independent teacher in Richmond, Virginia who has served in various positions for the Richmond (Virginia) Music Teachers Association, including president, vice president and program chair. Jennifer currently serves as theory co-chair, recording secretary and website coordinator.






For the first time in the history of the award, MTNA has presented two State Affiliate of the Year Awards. This award recognizes the state MTA that makes the most significant contributions to the music teaching profession through participation in MTNA national programs and additional programs established with its state.

The California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) and the North Carolina Music Teachers Association both were recognized with the award.

CAPMT continues to lead the nation in membership growth and retention, new technology, leadership, innovative programs and global visibility. Recent highlights of the state affiliate include moving management back to a volunteer-based model, improving the budget to flourish financially, the success of the Young Professional Leadership Network which continues to spur membership growth and participation within the younger demographic, a brand new website launched in July, the establishment of a new CAPMT YouTube channel that highlights leadership and participation, continuation of the James Ramos International Video Competition to increase global visibility, and more.

North Carolina MTA has a rich tradition and history of excellence and success in its dedication to servicing students, sharing professional goals and active participation across all levels of MTNA. NCMTA’s energetic engagement, enhanced visibility and raised public awareness of the quality and inclusiveness of their organization run rampant through their activities and accomplishments of the recent year. Some highlights include going online with all publications, receiving the MTNA Affiliate Enrichment Grant to support the second annual NCMTA Summit event, the massive success of the NCMTA Performance Festival, establishing a new Collegiate Chapter at Salem College, UNC-Chapel Hill sophomores Jane Zhao and Cody Qiu receiving the first prize at the 2019 MTNA–Stecher and Horowitz Two Piano Competition, establishing the detailed process for NCMTA Officers’ Handbook creation and more.



The MTNA Teacher of the Year Award recognizes a teacher who has made a significant difference in the lives of students, has contributed to the advancement of music in their community and is an outstanding example of a professional music educator. The recipient of the 2020 MTNA Teacher of the Year Award is Yu-Jane Yang Yu-Jane Yang is a presidential distinguished professor and the director of keyboard studies at Weber State University in Utah. Yang received her doctoral degree with the highest honor from the University of Michigan, a master of music degree and a master of science degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an undergraduate degree in piano performance from the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan. Yang served on the state board of the Utah Music Teachers Association for more than 20 years, including serving as the UMTA State President, State Competition Chair, State Conference Chair and State Collegiate Faculty Chair. She also was a co-chair of the Collegiate Pedagogy Teaching Committee and the Internship Committee of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy as well as the artistic director of the Sid and Mary Foulger International Music Festival for Strings and Piano. Yang was awarded the MTNA “Benjamin Whitten Collegiate Chapter Advisor of the Year” in 2008, recognized with the 2019 NCKP Outstanding Service Award by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, selected as the 2010 Endowed Scholar/Artist of the Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities at Weber State University and received the Utah Music Teachers Association’s 2010 Legacy Award for her exceptional teaching, outstanding professional achievements and superior service to the music profession and to Weber State University.



Christine Armstrong, NCTM; Longmont, Colorado
Robert W. Beals; North Lauderdale, Florida
Janice Elaine Brink; Lynden, Washington
Kenneth L. Burky, NCTM; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thelma Cooper; Waco, Texas
Mary Bronaugh Davis, NCTM; Kansas City, Missouri
Louise H. Earhart, NCTM; Long Beach, California
Ruth S. Edwards, NCTM; Simsbury, Connecticut
Helene Ursula Frei; Severna Park, Maryland
Barbara H. Fricks, NCTM; Buford, Georgia
Sherry P. Frush, NCTM; Abilene, Texas
Renee K. Glaubitz, NCTM; River Falls, Wisconsin
Jackie Gore; Orting: Washington
Brenda Baird Goslee, NCTM; Knoxville, Tennessee
Claudette L. Horwitz; Rockville, Maryland
Martha S. Iley, NCTM; Harrisburg, North Carolina
Marjorie L. Johnson, NCTM; Fargo, North Dakota
Gloria N. Johnson, NCTM; Tulsa, Oklahoma
George L. Katz, NCTM; San Diego, California
Ann Kennedy; Smyrna, Georgia
Linda Collins King; Centennial, Colorado
Gwendolyn Koch; Seattle, Washington
Patricia Kreuziger; Edina, Minnesota
Kathleen Kristensen; Salt Lake City, Utah
Patricia A. Kroft, NCTM; Louisville, Ohio
Jane Keyte Landon, NCTM; Montoursville, Pennsylvania
Patricia K. Langer; Edina, Minnesota
Ronald E. Lewis, NCTM; Shawnee, Oklahoma
Priscilla Stovall Long, NCTM; Richardson, Texas
Marilyn E. White Lowe, NCTM; Springfield, Missouri
Donald L. Macey; Augusta, Georgia
Eleanor S. Marshal; Vernal, Utah
Donald L. Morelock; Ann Arbor, Michigan
Karen M. Okerlund; Fargo, North Dakota
Phyllis I. Pieffer, NCTM; Evergreen, Colorado
Marilyn Frances Pinson, NCTM; Honea Path, South Carolina
Glenda Rue Potts, NCTM; Birmingham, Alabama
Carol Prescher, NCTM; Wabasha, Minnesota
Judy Randi; Orange, Connecticut
Carol E. Ratzlaf, NCTM; Portland, Oregon
Joyce Reid; Deckerville, Michigan
Masson Lee Robertson, NCTM; Ft Wayne, Indiana
Paul Sheftel; New York, New York
Charlotte Shifrin; Kensington, Maryland
Carole Singer, NCTM; North Canton, Ohio
Karen Vandivere; Amarillo, Texas
Jan Ward NCTM; Louisville, Kentucky
Joan Westgate; Glendale, California
Patricia Wilken; Oak Park, Illinois
Virginia Willard; Idaho Falls, Indiana
Barbara T. Young; Gainsville; Florida