Utah Music Teachers Association

Past Conferences

November 3 & 4, 2017
Salt Lake Community College Taylorsville-Redwood Campus Student Center



Randall Faber

Fred Karpoff


November 4-5, 2016 at Weber State University,
Ogden Courtyard Hilton (host hotel)

This year's conference was headed up by President-elect Laurisa Cope and her undaunting committee! Thanks for a great Conference and for all of your hard work!!

Here are just a few pictures with some of the highlights:

David Grayson, Professor of Musicology at the University of Minnesota; Joanne Haroutounian , George Mason University; Juliet Preston, NCTM; Laurisa Cope, NCTM; Kevin Olson, NCTM.

There were many great workshops and master classes given. Lydia Artymiw worked with some Intermediates students, giving excellent critique and suggestions. Jazz workshops with Kevin Olson were enjoyed by many. MTNA certification classes and technology workshops were among the others!

One of the great highlights of Conference each year is the Piano Performance Competition. This is a rigorous, and highly competitive 3-day event. Winners advance to the Southwest Regional Division competition of the MTNA Performance Competitions. (This year to be held in Hawaii!)

The Piano Performance Competition is headed up by Dr. Lynn Dean, who does an incredible job each year. Judges are brought in from out-of-state and have come highly recommended. They spend many hours each day judging and writing endless comments. This year's judges were: John Weems, Texas; John Olson, New Mexico; and Craig Shepard, Washington.

Friday night's Honors Banquet was a memorable event! The food was delicious, catered by Weber State University's Food Services, the honorees were very deserving, and the performance by Lydia Artymiw was stellar. What a great evening!! The Legacy Award winner was Carla Cleavinger, and the Foundation Fellow named was Susan Goodfellow.

Presenters included: Dr. Joanne Haroutounian, Dr. Nancy Allred; Dr. Hillary Demske; Dr. Yu-Jane Yang; Dr. Kevin Olson; Dr. Daniel Olsen; and presenters from Piano Marvel

Elizabeth Lund did a FABULOUS job overseeing the Foundation table, with all of its raffle baskets and donations. AIM materials very available with lots of help and encouragement, too! And the many exhibitors showed their products to all in attendance with lots of new products making their way into our studios!

Workshops got people up and moving, involved and learning!! The Teacher Forum luncheon gave us time to interact with others and share ideas all while enjoying lunch and being together!! A great place to make new friends!!

Conference was a great time for "Photo Ops" too!! Leanna Minnick with Joanne Haroutounian; the NEBO CHAPTER, always out in great force at Conference!!; Patrice Hunt with Dr. David Grayson; and some of our recently nationally certified teachers!!

There were FOUR Honors Recitals held in conjunction with conference. These students came from all over the State of Utah, having performed well in the respective regions and being selected to perform here. Congratulations to these students for their hard work, and to the teachers, as well!! A big thanks to Angela McBride and Lois Matthews for their hours of hard work overseeing all of the evaluations throughout the state AND the Honors Recitals! Great job!

Hope to see you all next year!

"MUSIC ELEVATED -- CELEBRATING 60 YEARS!" was held November 6th & 7th, 2015 at the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah.

FABULOUS UMTA CONFERENCE, CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF MUSIC IN UTAH!! If you missed out, or were in attendance, you might enjoy the brief synopsis and pictures below. Perhaps we'll see YOU at next year's conference.

Thursday, many UMTA members participated in the AGO Conference. We were able to see and play many of the organs on Temple Square. It was a great experience for all!!

Teacher Forum Luncheon - Friday
Friday's Teacher Forum Luncheon was a great success! Not only was the meal fabulous, but the "Bright Ideas" presented in "three minutes or less" by each participant were great motivators. Ideas such as: Facebook pages, groups and private groups; Arm movement...where does your arm REALLY begin?; Legato finger action facilitated by Play Doh; Memorization helps...drawing out the phrasing, dynamics, etc., without notes; Recital ice breakers; The Performing Teacher benefits; Decide Now! app with spin-the-wheel action!; Open playing time in the teacher's home on Sunday afternoon/evening; Repertoire levels with point system to encourage fast progression.
And there you have the Teacher Luncheon Forum with a lot of Bright Ideas!
Our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Craig Jessop, former music director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, gave a moving and motivating talk about his early childhood, his many teachers from grade school, middle school and high school, as well as post-high, and their influences in his life. He mentioned the "four sacred callings" ...first and foremost being "Teacher." One of the quotes we took away from this inspiring talk was, "You never know the destiny of the Human Soul."

Who would have expected a young boy, from Nibley, Utah, to achieve all that Dr. Jessop has. We are thankful to him, and to each of his wonderful teachers!!

There were many more wonderful workshops and presentations on Friday! We hope you were able to join us for this conference and take some tidbits home to inspire you in your teaching!

This year UMTA celebrated its 60th year since being established, and there were many wonderful displays documenting this history! There were even old song books that some of the "ancient teachers" had learned to play the piano from! Pictures of past presidents, notable past conferences from long-ago and more recently, and information from the past 35 years of UMTA/MTNA Performance Competitions. What a legacy Utah has created in the musical arts!! We are all proud to be affiliated with UMTA!

Where would UMTA be without Skip Daynes and DAYNES MUSIC?!?!

Skip, and his amazing staff at Daynes Music, have been integral and generous supporters of UMTA and our annual UMTA Conference for many, many years!! They have hauled more 9 ft. Steinways around the state than should be legally allowed..and have always gone above and beyond in promoting music throughout the state of Utah.

We are so very grateful to Skip for his contributions, and are proud to have selected him as our 2015-1016 Foundation Fellow. THANK YOU, SKIP, (and Susan) DAYNES!!

There were several great performances Friday evening at the Awards Banquet and Concert. Dr. Lindsey Wright and sister, Ann Christensen; Tatyana Ekshteyn and Marina Osipova; Merla Little and Gretchen Tanner; Jie Deng Lu and Ning Lu; and Dr. Kevin Olson's premiere performance of his commissioned piano solo, Momentum. It was a memorable evening.

9 Ft Steinway - Daynes' Signature Edition

The TWO beautiful 9 ft. Steinways brought in by Daynes Music for the Banquet concert were wonderful to listen to. Then, when Skip explained that when Lang Lang had performed on the Steinway (closest to the audience) he told Skip that he wanted THAT piano. He signed his name on the inside so he would know for sure that THIS was the piano he wanted. Many other artists have also signed this remarkable instrument. Many went up afterwards to view the signatures in the piano. Lang Lang will be getting his piano soon!!

Laurissa Cope, our newly elected "President Elect" is very comfortable serving in UMTA.She was one of many great presenters on Saturday; others included, Sharalyn Heath; Julia Olson and Dr. Kevin Olson; Eugene and Dr. Vera Watanabe; Stephanie Stuart; Dr. Scott Holden;Danielle Dallas; Juliet Preston.

Dr. Yu-Jane Yang of Weber State University gave a wonderful Intermediate level master class; there was a panel of the teachers from four universities: U of U, Dr. Susan Duehlmeier; Weber State University, Dr. Yu-Jane Yang; Brigham Young University, Dr. Scott Holden; and Utah Valley University, Dr. Hilary Demsk, who addressed the topic of "Preparing a Student for Successful Collegiate Music Study; Kevin Olson presented a Master Class on Composition; and David Love presented a Showcase on the amazing Piano Maestro app for Ipad.

A panel consisting of Dr. Irene Peery-Fox, BYU; Dr. Yu-Jane Yang, WSU; and Dr. Susan Duehlmeier, U of U, moderated by Lezlee Bishop, discussed "What I wish I would have known when I first began teaching."

The Nebo Chapter sure enjoyed being together at this memorable conference and HAD to have a picture with all of them in it! Congrats Nebo teachers!!

Conference attendees tried to take every word in!! Saturday's "Studio Tour" presented by Patrice Hunt, shared video clips from 12 UMTA teachers' studios, giving some great ideas for improving where we teach.

Honor's Recitals were held on Friday and Saturday, with students traveling from all over the state (even St. George!) to perform. Students were selected from their various locations by the judges of the Performance Evaluations in each area. Utah has some great talent!!

Lynda Broadbent, NCTM from Nebo Chapter; Cindy Hartley, NCTM (newly certified member) from Ogden Chapter; Melissa Bearden, Timpanogos Chapter; Jill Gubler, Davis Chapter; Rachel Mecham, NCTM, Timpanogos Chapter; Oh, look!! It's the Nebo Chapter, again!! and Desiree Gonzales with Student Teacher of the Year, Katherine Chipman.

UMTA/MTNA PIANO PERFORMANCE COMPETITIONS were held Thursday, Friday and Saturday during conference at Daynes Music. This was three days of very intense competition and powerful performances. Dr. Lynn Dean of the St. George Chapter has been the 2nd Vice-President for many years, overseeing this very competitive weekend. This year there were

The judges were Dr. Jane Abbott-Kirk from Baylor University, Texas; Dr. Mykola Suk from UNLV; and Dr. Alvin Chow from Oberlin University in Ohio. There were overwhelmed with the talented performances they heard over the three days of competition.

There were nine competitors in the Junior Division; nine competitors in the Senior Division and twelve competitors in the Collegiate Division.

Junior Winner - Junhao Wang, student of Jie and Ning Lu
Senior Winner - Anastasia Magamedova, student of Heather Connor and Scott Holden
Collegiate Winner - Ling-Yu-Lee, student of Yu-Jane Yang

The Collegiate Fair boasted many of the Universities and Colleges throughout the state. Questions were answered and information was made available to those who made it into the Fair.

Dr. Ralph van der Beek from WSU; Dr. Hilary Demske from UVU; Dr. Nancy Allred from Dixie State University; Forrest Howell from BYU and representatives from SLCC, SUU among others.

FAIM Award Recipients and Composition Winners from Saturday's Student Award Luncheon

* * * * * * FAIM BOWL COMPETITIONS * * * * * *

Our WONDERFUL conference would never have happened so spectacularly without so many great volunteers!! There are many people "behind the scenes" that don't get thanked...so THANK YOU!

Cheryl Rytting's husband was definitely the "right-hand man" who helped out in so many different ways. We thank him for all of his contributions, and for supporting his wife so well!!

The registration people did an outstanding job, even though they were by the COLD entrance door; and Danielle Dallas and her crew did an awesome job at the Foundation Table, where each of us bought tickets in the hopes we would win one of the wonderful baskets brought by each chapter.

Thanks to everyone for attending, and making UTAH a matchless, musical state!!


2014 UMTA conference was held at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo Utah. Our Theme was "All in Good Time. and our marvelous presenters were Peter Mack, Martha Hilley, Wynn-Anne Rossi and Ralph van der Beek.
This year's LEGACY AWARDS were given to Mary Key Harper and Cheryl Rytting. Our MTNA FOUNDATION FELLOW was Lezlee Bishop.

The 2013 UMTA Conference was held at the newly remodeled University Marriott Hotel in Salt Lake City. The theme was "Measure for Measure" and the guest clinicians were Jody Graves, Jane Magrath, Martha Hilley, Brandon Bascom, Pamela Jones, and Ken Foster. Another great feature to this years conference was "Flex-time" which gave participants time to observe other teachers, visiting the exhibit hall and technology room, as well as asking questions at the "Genius Bar." Legacy Award recipients included Barbara Elison and Lezlee Bishop. The 2013 Foundation Fellows were Geri Gibbs and Cheryl Norman.

The 2012 UMTA Conference was held at Weber State University, Weber, Utah October 26-27, 2012. The theme was "Music...and the Beauty Within" with guest presenters including Marvin Blickenstaff, Kevin Olson, and Scott McBride Smith. We had MANY excellent presentations throughout the conference.

The Friday evening banquet was well-attended, and special Legacy Awards were given to Carolee Eriksson, NCTM; Sandra Preysz, NCTM; and Dr. Lynn Dean, NCTM.

The very prestigious MTNA Foundation Fellow Award was awarded, to his great surprise, to Dr. Lynn Dean. It was a lovely evening enjoyed by all in attendance.

The UMTA/MTNA Piano Performance Competitions were held in conjunction with the conference, in the Wildcat Theater. Amazing performances by very talented students were heard over the three days of competition!! Congratulations to these students and their wonderful teachers! Utah is a great place to live and to be a part of the musical culture that is so prevalent!! Thanks, also to our out-of-state judges, who listened to hours and hours of incredible music. Their decisions were hard to make at times, but they were amazed at the talent in our small state!

All in all, the 2012 UMTA Conference was a huge success!! Thanks to our President-Elect, Rosemary Olsen, and her committee, for putting together such a great conference!!

The Piano Performance Competition Judges included: Stewart Gordon, Nancy Weems, and John Olsen
The 2011 UMTA Conference took place at Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus in Sandy, Utah October 14-15. The featured presenters included Ingrid Clairfied and Gail Smith.

Performance Competition Judges were: Caio Pagano, Giorgi Latsabidze, and Mykola Suk
The 2010 UMTA Conference took place at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. Featured presenters included William Westney and Robert Vandall.

Judges for the Performance Competitions were Bill Westney, Jane Abbott-Kirk and Fei Xu
The 2009 UMTA Conference took place at the Davis Convention Center in Layton, Utah. Our main Presenter was John Weems,

The Utah-MTNA Piano Performance Competitions were held at the Davis Convention Center as well, making it possible for many conference attendees to hear some remarkable piano performances! The judges for this competition were John Weems, Jack Winerock, and Kirill Gliadkovsky.

The 2008 UMTA Conference was held at South Towne Convention Center and featured Guest Presenter Nelita True! There were many excellent workshops held in addition to the general meetings. Some of these included:
Dr. Paul Pollei: Essential Technique for the Pianist
Lezlee Bishop, NCTM: The Magic of Musical Memory
Geri Cheney Gibbs NCTM: Maximizing Your Most Valuable Resource: TIME

The Performance Competitions were held at Daynes Music. Judges for the three days of competition were: Nelita True, Frank Wiens, and Karen Maison