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 the MarySue Harris Studio Fellowship award. She advises the Butler MTNA Collegiate Chapter, which has presented at state and national conferences. “I am devoted to mentoring young professionals. I believe they are essential to MTNA and our profession,” Thickstun says.
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 business column for American Music Teacher. Her articles have also appeared in Keyboard Companion and Clavier Companion. She has presented business and pedagogy sessions at local, state and national 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. Thickstun has developed a network of community partners to provide access to the arts for innercity youth. To fund outreach classes, Thickstun has written and received grants for more than $100,000 annually for the past eight years.
“I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the arts in meaningful ways. MTNA programs enlighten and challenge our members, as well as students, colleagues, and communities. MTNA has played a vital role in my own professional development. I pledge to bring my passion, integrity, and work ethic to the position of MTNA President-elect. I am honored to be nominated and will strive to maintain high quality programs while developing new ideas that engage and transform,” she says.
IMTA is excited to announce that the Benjamin Krause has been named the 2018 MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year!
Krause was the 2018 MTNA/IMTA Commissioned Composer whose piece, Taxonimies of Pulse, a work for two pianos, was premiered at the 2018 State Conference at Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne.
This award is conferred upon the composer of the most significant composition from among all works commissioned by the MTNA state affiliates. This year there were 28 submissions.
The recipient of the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award receives a $5,000 cash prize, made possible by the MTNA FOUNDATION FUND. The award also includes a performance of the composition at the 2019 MTNA National Conference, which will be held from March 16-20, 2019 in Spokane, Washington. The actual performance is scheduled on Sunday, March 17 from 11:00 a.m. -12:00 noon in the Conference Theater in the Spokane Convention Center.
The judges for the 2018 MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year Award were:
- Dr. Philip Schuessler, 2017 MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year, Instructor of Music Theory & Composition at Southeastern Louisiana University
- Dr. M. Shawn Hundley, Lecturer in Composition and Music Theory at University of Hawaii, Manoa
- Dr. Michael-Thomas Foumai, Associate Professor of Composition & Music Theory Bethune-Cookman University.
Benjamin Krause’s work has been recognized through grants, commissions, and awards by the Houston Symphony, Copland House, Network for New Music, Presser Foundation, ASCAP, Da Camera of Houston, and The American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. Drawing freely from varied traditions and aesthetics, his music is characterized by its visceral rhythmic drive, motivic control, and colorful, dense harmonies reminiscent of jazz. As a pianist, he regularly performs new music, jazz, and the classical repertoire, appearing at Carnegie Hall, Zilkha Hall (Houston), the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Menil Collection, and in collaboration with such artists as Molly Barth (Eighth Blackbird), Jeffrey Zeigler (the Kronos Quartet), Timothy McAllister (PRISM Saxophone Quartet), and Ronald Feldman (the Boston Symphony). He has held residencies and fellowships at the Oregon Bach Festival Composers’ Symposium, Lutheran Summer Music, and the Bennington Chamber Music Conference, and will be in residency at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts (WY) in Fall 2018. He was also recently awarded the prestigious Copland House Residency Award, which will grant him time to work and reside at Aaron Copland’s New York home.
Krause holds composition degrees from Rice University (D.M.A.) and the University of Oregon (M.M.), and a B.M. in piano performance from Valparaiso University, where he also served as Visiting Assistant Professor of Music (2015-2018). He lives in Chicago with his wife, pianist Christina Giuca Krause.
IMTA wishes to express it’s heartfelt sympathies to the family of Dr. Catherine A. Smith who passed away on January 2. Dr. Smith was active with IMTA for more than 10 years (approximately from the late ’80s through the early 2000s) serving on the board and various committees. Her obituary is posted below.
Catherine A. Smith
OCTOBER 27, 1924 – JANUARY 2, 2019
Dr. Catherine A. Smith, distinguished faculty emerita, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston, Illinois, passed away January 2 at Meadowood. She was born in LaPorte, Indiana, on October 27, 1925, to H. Myron and Marie (Burgoon) Smith. Cay graduated from Bloomington High School and received her B.M. and M.M. with distinction from the I.U. School of Music. She earned her A.D. Music degree from Florida State University under the tutelage of Ernst Von Dohnanyi. She was the first woman in the U.S. to earn a doctorate in piano performance. Cay taught piano for some 40 years, most of which were at Eastern Illinois University. She also taught classes and performed piano programs around the world. She led music and art European tours. At Eastern Illinois University she received the Distinguished Faculty Award, served as chairman of the Keyboard Department and was involved in faculty governance. She served on the Faculty Senate, Council on Academic Affairs. Cay served two terms as President of the Illinois Music Teachers Association. After retiring in 1988, Cay returned to Bloomington. She served as president of the National Society of Arts and Letters and the Community Chamber Music Association. She served on the boards of the Friends of Music, the Bloomington Adult Community Center, Meals on Wheels and the Indiana State Music Association. Cay was also involved with Sigma Alpha Iota, Community Kitchen, Catholic Social Services, Friday Musicale and the St. Charles Peace and Justice Committee. She was also an avid duplicate bridge player; sometimes playing with three different groups a week. Kay is survived by her sister, Marie Mitchell and 19 nieces and nephews. Several nieces and nephews live in Bloomington: Cathy Carter, Steve Carter, Mike Carter, Sally Carter, John Carter, and Susie McGlasson. She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers, Henry Myron Smith, Jr, Joseph Smith, and Patrick Smith; and one sister, Margaret Carter. A mass of Catholic Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Tuesday, January 8, at St. Charles Borromeo Church. Visitation will be from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at the Church prior to the mass. Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home, 4150 E. Third St., Bloomington, Indiana 47401 is entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences may be given to the family at www.DayDeremiahFrye.com
Music Teachers National Association is pleased to announce the results of the composition competition for the East Central Division.
Winner: Dhruv Moorthy, Student of Natalia Cernaianu, IL
Honorable mention: Madelyn Tanner, Student of Amy Chaplin, IN
The winning compositions automatically advance to the national competition as national finalists. The results of that competition will be announced by the end of January. Congratulations to all of the participants in the competition! We hope that the comments you receive from the judges will be helpful to you and your teacher. Your efforts are to be commended, and we hope that you will continue to learn and grow as a composer. Good luck with your musical studies!
Christopher Goldston, National Composition Coordinator
When: Saturday, January 26, 2019
Where: Moreau Center for the Arts, St.Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN
Registration Deadline: December 17, 2018
Nonrefundable Application Fee: MTNA members $ 25 per student; non-members $ 35 per student
Gold Medalists Recitals: Saturday, January 26, 2019 at Little Theatre, Moreau Center for the Arts, St.Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN (Time:TBA)
- Participants will perform one movement of any sonatina or sonata without repeats.
- He/she may perform the piece (1) memorized or (2) with music for evaluation only.
- A copy of the music must be provided to the judges with every measure numbered.
- No photocopies are permitted.
For more information, including an online application, visit https://www.sbamta.org/sonata-
In other news from SBAMTA:
SBAMTA is pleased to announce that Marvin Blickenstaff, past President of the Frances Clark Center, will be presenting “Teaching Little Ears to Hear” after our February meeting at Shirks Piano Gallery (4125 Grape Rd., Mishawaka, IN) at 10am on Friday, Feb. 1.
Earlier this month, Vicki King presented a program, Color and Style in the Intermediate Works of Debussy, for the Wabash Valley Music Teachers.
The deadline to apply for or nominate someone for the 2019 MTNA/IMTA Commissioned Composer is December 1, 2018.
The selected Commissioned Composer will be asked to write a piece for the 2019 IMTA State Conference and will then have their composition submitted by IMTA along with composers from other states to compete for the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the year.
Nomination are not limited in any way. Please visit the IMTA/MTNA Composer Commissioning page for more information and to fill out the online nomination form.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. We look forward to your nominations!
Caroline KyungA Ahn
MTNA/IMTA Composer Commissioning Chair