Two Indiana Students Win Top Prizes in MTNA Performance Competitions

Dominic Muzzi, who studies with Robert Plano at Indiana University, won first place in the MTNA Young Artist Piano competition. Dominic performed in the winners recital on Tuesday afternoon and was awarded a $5,00 cash prize sponsored by Steinway.

Elina Rubio Pentcheva, student of Indiana teacher Mauricio Fuks was awarded 2nd place in the Young Artist strings competition. Ms. Pentcheva attends Indiana University School of Music. She was awarded a $1,500 cash prize made possible by the MTNA Foundation Fund.

Congratulations to both students for their hard work and dedication to their art!

Indiana Teacher Karen Thickstun Wins MTNA Election

Dear IMTA colleagues,

At the MTNA conference this month, the election results were officially announced and I was sworn in as MTNA President-elect. I am deeply honored and humbled by this awesome responsibility.  This means that I will be MTNA President-elect for the 2019-2021 biennium (and then MTNA President for 2021-2023 biennium, and Immediate Past President for the 2023-2025).

I am excited to serve MTNA in this capacity and to represent the great state of Indiana in doing so!  With immense gratitude, I thank all of you for being a part of this journey with me – who I am today is partially the result of everything that we have done together over the years for IMTA, starting way back in the ‘90s when I began my IMTA experience as newsletter editor.  Thank you for supporting me in the recent election (and prior elections too!).

All the best, Karen

Karen Thickstun

Karen Thickstun

MTNA Competition Winners Headed to National

James Helton, MTNA Competitions Chair

Here are the Indiana Winners that passed through ECD and are headed to the National Finals this weekend!! Please wish them luck in Spokane, and stop by to hear their performances if you can.

Young Artist Piano
Dominic Muzzi – student of Robert Plano

Young Artist Strings
Elina Rubio Pentcheva, violin – student of Mauricio Fuks

Stay on the lookout for the results of the Young Artist Composition Competition. Our representative, Katherine Bodor (student of Don Freund), had no competition at the division level, so she went directly to the national finals. Her piece will be performed if she wins.


Nancy Spahr-Huskey, Certification Chair

Are you going to the National Conference? If not, I certainly hope you plan to come to our State Conference September 20-21. This kind of continuing education is vital to our continued growth and rejuvenation as music teachers!

When you are at a conference, do keep your eyes open for these letters: NCTM. “Nationally Certified Teacher of Music “ means this individual has demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in their area of expertise and met these standards:

  • Professional preparation
  • Professional teaching practice
  • Professional business management
  • Professionalism and partnerships
  • Professional and personal renewal

Is it any wonder that you see so many NCTMs floating around at conferences? These are the people we learn from. If you don’t already have these initials after your name, you can! Visit; click on “Engage” and then “MTNA Certification Program.” Feel free to contact me at with questions.

Passing of World-Renowned Choral Director Joseph Flummerfelt 

World-renowned choral director Joseph Flummerfelt passed on Friday, March 1.  He was the son of Mavorette Flummerfelt, a long time piano teacher and member of  IMTA for many years (who attended IMTA conferences into her 80’s). Flummerfelt was recently diagnosed with glioblastoma, but had a massive stroke before treatments could begin.

View the article “Joseph Flummerfelt, a Force Behind Mighty Choruses, Dies at 82” on the New York Times.

Proposals Now Being Accepted for 2019 Conference

The conference planning committee is seeking proposal submissions for the 2019 Indiana Music Teachers Association State Conference to be held at the University of Indianapolis on Friday and Saturday, September 20-21, 2019.

Proposals on all aspects of music teaching including teaching, learning, creation, performance, scholarship, career considerations, and other areas of interest to independent and college music teachers are welcome.

Full sessions are 50 min. in length including 5 min. Q&A time.
Lightning sessions are 7 min. in length including 2 min. Q&A time.

Submission deadline:  May 1, 2019.
Notification: The first presenter listed on the proposal will be notified by email of the committee’s decision no later than June 30, 2019.

Visit this page for more information.

Updated Details for Hoosier Auditions Districts A and C

Details for Hoosier Auditions for Districts A (Valparaiso) and C (Indianapolis) is now available!

District A

Audition Date: Saturday, April 13th, 2019
Postmark Deadline: Monday, April 1st, 2019
Location: Valparaiso University Center for the Arts. 1709 Chapel Dr., Valparaiso, IN 46383
District A Chair: Nicole Lee; (253) 212-6411

Visit the District A Page

District C

Please note that because we were unable to secure a district chairman, all contestants will compete in District D (Anderson).

Please refer to the District D map for information on deadlines, date of the audition, and contact information.

District C contestants will compete in a separate room, and individual winners will be chosen from each category apart from those of district D.

For questions, please contact Daniel Lin, Hoosier Auditions Chair

Winter Weather

Nancy Spahr Huskey, IMTA Certification Chair

This is the season of bad weather which results in two-hour delays or school closings.  What do you do when students can’t make their lessons because of the weather?

Maybe this is a good time to get online and look up MTNA Certification at  Click on “Engage” and then on “MTNA Certification Program.”  Start with the testimonials by three celebrated teachers, then explore “Get Certified:  Learn More.”  At the bottom of that page, you will find some more categories to read.  Click some more to see what it’s all about, what you will need to do, and how to go about it.

Now how about making a timeline for yourself?  Breaking the task down into small segments can make it all manageable.  After all, this much didn’t take too much of your time.  Now you can get started with one part at a time.  Working on a little bit during those canceled lesson times can help you make progress little by little.  Before you know it, you’ll have completed a sizeable portion of your certification!

I am always available to encourage and answer questions ( or 765-438-6435).

Announcing the 24th Annual Hartman Stickley Memorial Piano Competition & Festival Winners Recital


Event: 24th Annual Hartman Stickley Memorial Piano Competition & Festival Winners Recital
Date: Sunday, March 24, 2019
Place: Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall, Indiana University, South Bend, Indiana
Time: 2:30 pm
Free Event and Open to the Public

Announcement is made of the 24th Annual Hartman Stickley Memorial Piano Competition & Festival Winners Recital, which will be held on March 24, 2019 in the Louise E. Addicott and Yatish J. Joshi Performance Hall, Indiana University, South Bend, Indiana, at 2:30 pm.

The competition and festival itself will be held on March 15th & 16th at Indiana University, South Bend, and is open to pre-college students. The winners of the competition from each division will perform in the Winners Recital on March 24th and will receive cash prizes:

Division VI Ages 16 – 18 ($175)
Division V Ages 14 & 15 ($150)
Division IV Ages 12 &13 ($125)
Division III Ages 10 &11 ($100)
Division II Ages 8 & 9 ($75)
Division I Ages 7 & under ($50)

Contestants who receive honorable mention will also win cash prizes. All awards will be dispersed following the recital.

The competition and festival, sponsored by the South Bend Area Music Teachers Association, is open to piano students of teachers residing in Berrien, Cass, and St. Joseph counties, Michigan; and Allen, Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Noble, St. Joseph, and Starke counties, Indiana. Prize money is made available through the Elnora Hartman Stickley Scholarship Fund.

For more information, please contact the competition chair, Paula Laskowski,
574-276-9313 or You may also visit the South Bend Area Music Teachers Association’s website:

Change in President for Northeast Indiana MTA

Amy Hansel, President of Northeast Indiana MTA (NIMTA) will be relocating to Wisconsin due to a job move for her husband. The IMTA Board of Directors is sad to see her go as she has been a wonderful asset to the board as well as to the members of NIMTA. Most recently, Amy oversaw a big revision in the Bylaws of her local group.
As of March 1, Sara Davis, Vice President of the group, will step in to finish out the final two months of Hansel’s term.
Several members of the group met this past Saturday for a farewell luncheon. Hansel is pictured on the far right of the photo.

NIMTA Farewell Luncheon