Legacy Award Winners - Archived


Cindy Hartley, NCTM
Cindy Hartley, NCTM, is the Utah MTA State Treasurer, having served since 2001. She is also the UFMC State Treasurer, having serve since 2011. She has also served in the Ogden Chapter as Vice President over programs. For 8 years she worked as the Lowrey Organ Company Program Director at the Piano Gallery in Riverdale, Utah. She worked weekly with approximately 150 senior citizens in the beginning music classes at the Piano Gallery. She has served as the “Yamaha, Say Yes to Music” program coordinator for Weber county. She has been active in the PTA, having served as the Farr West Elementary PTA President. She has also served as a Farr West Community Council Member. She continues to be active in her community and church service. She served for 18 months as a proselyting/welfare service missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Guayaquil, Ecuador. While serving there, she and her companion were asked to write a basic music program to teach music/piano lesson. Years later, that program was expanded by the church and is now taught worldwide in many languages. She began piano lessons at age 7 and continued on through her college years. She became a Nationally Certified Music Teacher through MTNA in November 2015. Cindy has taught piano for over 35 years and continues to teach today. She and her husband, Dan, have been married for 33 years and live in Farr West, Utah. They are the proud parents of 5 children. They are Nana and Papa to 4 adorable grandchildren. “Many years ago, I was encouraged by a friend to join UMTA. It has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. It has impacted every aspect of my music career, enhancing my teaching and therefore benefitting my students. Perhaps my greatest sense of accomplishment comes from the many students who have gone on to become teachers, directly impacting the minds and lives of others.” – Cindy Hartley

Lois Matthews, NCTM was raised in the small town of Ashton, Idaho, and began taking piano lessons in the sixth grade, becoming church organist at age 14. After receiving her Associate of Arts Degree from Ricks College, attending the University of Wyoming and BYU, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Honors English/Communications from Weber State University. She worked for five years as an Admitting Coordinator at the LDS Hospital in SLC, two years as a bookkeeper at the Ramada Inn in Evanston, Wyoming, and five years as a Deputy Court Clerk in Layton, Utah.

Lois has taught private piano for 51 years, full-time for the last 30 years. Her students have participated in several International PianoTeams® competitions, including Gina Bachauer, where her teachers' team, The Rocky Mountain PianoTeam, placed in the finals, and KSL interviewed her students. She is a Permanent Professional Certified Teacher of Music with the National Music Teachers Association as well as a licensed teacher of the Well-Prepared Pianist. She has studied with N. Jane Tan, Seymour Fink, David Engle, Paul Pollei and Seymour Bernstein. Earlier, she enjoyed studying with Barbara Stucki, Lenora Brown and Madelyn Taylor.

Her dual membership in the Ogden/Davis Chapters, service as UMTA President and ongoing service, have provided opportunities for further musical growth and great associations. Maintaining a large and varied clientele of private students, coaching PianoTeams® and performing at community events helps fulfill her lifelong pursuit of music. She is proud to claim six children, sixteen grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Carla Cleavenger, NCTM, has served with MTNA for over 30 years and taught more than 400 piano students. With a BS in elementary education and a music minor from BYU, she began her career as a 3rd grade teacher in Wyoming. A year later she married Howard and moved to Colorado, where she "fell into" teaching piano. Finding the CSMTA/NW chapter was a godsend, as she was welcomed, mentored, appointed as secretary, and subsequently prepared for a lifetime of teaching.

In 1985, Carla joined UMTA. In the Vernal/Roosevelt chapter she served as president (3x), vice-president, secretary, program chair, recruitment, and public relations director. Carla was chair of UFMC Vernal Piano Area for 10 years. In 2012, she became co-founder and Board Secretary for the Uintah Basin Orchestra and instructor through USU, a high school choir accompanist, elementary music specialist, and a professional development partner through the Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program.

Carla has served for over 50 years in church music by teaching children and youth, accompanying, directing choirs (including the Vernal Temple Ground-breaking and Dedication choirs), and training church musicians in conducting, organ and accompanying.

Carla continues learning through organ study and as rehearsal accompanist and member of Utah Millenial Choirs and Orchestra/Provo. She currently resides and teaches in Salem. She loves to travel and spend time with her husband, children and grandchildren. She is grateful for her husband's support and encouragement along this musical path.

Coila Robinson, NCTM, a fifth generation native of Cache Valley, has lived in five states throughout her life, due to father's and husband's jobs, and has established studios in five locations. The Robinson family moved to Bountiful in 1987, where Coila opened her current studio, Coila's Music Studio, and teaches private and group lessons. She involves her students in as much ensemble work as possible.

Coila graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Music in Choral Performance with Secondary Education Option, having attended Boise State College for lower division classes. Along with vocal and choral studies, she studied piano with Irving Wasserman; her favorite class at USU was Piano Ensemble!

Coila joined Utah Music Teachers Association (UMTA) and Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) in 1973, and has beenactive through the years. She belonged to Washington State Music Teachers Association the 7 years her family lived in Washington State, serving as President of the Walla Walla, WA chapter for 3 years.

She served as President of Davis Chapter (UMTA) 1989-1991, and Treasurer 2002-2004. She served as UMTA Recording Secretary, 1994-2004; UMTA Newsletter Editor 1995-2004; and UMTA Historian 1994-2010. She also served 2012-present as co-compiler of the UMTA 50 year History, published in 2006. She was UMTA President 2010-2012.

Coila has served on 3 MTNA committees: IMTF 2007-8; MTNA Task force - Pre-College Student Membership 2009; MTNA Teacher of the Year 2014-2015.

Coila has directed church choirs, served as a Family History Consultant, and is currently Humanitarian liaison for her LDS ward. Her husband is retired and they love to travel.

Mary Kay Harper was born in North Carolina, but grew up in Ogden Canyon. At Weber High School she was the accompanist for the a Capella choir and participated in the National Federation of Music Clubs solo and concerto events as well as solo and ensemble festivals. She attended Brigham Young University receiving a minor in music. While at BYU she accompanied the Women's Chorus under Maughan McMurdie and had duet lessons from Dr. Reid Nibley.

She opened her own private studio in the late 1960's teaching her own children and many others. Her students have participated in festivals as she did as a youth, and she is co-chair of her local festival group, involved with scheduling venues and judging students.

She joined UMTA in 1974, and was privileged to hear many wonderful presentations over the years from Dr. Paul Pollei, Dr. Bryce Rytting and many others. Attending State UMTA Conference has always been and still is a great priority in her busy schedule. Her students entered Student Achievement, and now Achievement in Music. She served as chapter president, vice-president, and AIM chair local and regionally. She has been state recording secretary in 2004 and enjoys working with the state and local officers, many great musical friends.

A quote given to her by a former piano student shares one of her personal beliefs; "Without Music Life would B flat (using a flat symbol)." She plans to continue to teach many students and share the joy of music with them throughout the rest of her life.

Cheryl Graham Rytting, BM, NCTM, has been teaching music in her independent music studio for over 40 years. she received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Utah with an emphasis in Musicology. While at the University, she studied piano with Lennox Larsen and organ with Dr. Alexander Schreiner, Roy Darley, and Dr. Clay Christiansen. She is MTNA Certified and Piano and Organ.

Cheryl has been a member of UMTA for over 30 years and has always felt it is important to contribute to UMTA by serving where she can. She has served in her local associations as Jordan River Chapter President, Sandy Chapter Certification Chair, and Salt Lake Chapter 2nd Vice-President Membership. She has been on the UMTA State Board as Certification Chair and is currently serving as UMTA First Vice-President Elect and Conference Chair. Cheryl had the opportunity to serve nationally on the MTNA Certification Commission as Southwest Commissioner (2010-2014). She is also an active member of Utah Federation of Music Clubs, having served as Salt Lake West Chair for 16 years and currently serving on the UFMC State Board. She is also a member of the American Guild of Organists.

She loves to continually learn by attending chapter meetings, classes, workshops and most importantly, through her interaction with her students. She enjoys sharing what she learns with her students and colleagues. She is actively engaged in providing music in the community and for church services. She and her very supportive husband, Todd are parents of five married children and have nine grandchildren. Her family is the joy of her life.

Barbara Elison has been a member of UMTA for over 25 years and her love for music and children has grown over the 64 years she has been teaching. An active member of the Provo/Orem chapter, she has served as president and also secretary. Barbara also served a term on the state UMTA board and presented workshops at the state conference. She has also been pleased to prepare and present workshops for other UMTA chapters throughout the state and at piano stores.

Most of Barbara's musical training was under Professor J.J. Keeler, Organ professor at Brigham Young University. She studied piano with him for 13 years. She credits her pedagogy training to tons of workshops, UMTA meetings, State Music Conferences, other teachers with ideas to share, and especially Jane Tan who for six years taught a group of piano teachers in the area. Taking Robert Pace classes were also a big help in organizing the teaching of musical concepts and inspiring creative, fun ways of involving students in their music. While at BYU, Barbara was a member of the Organ Guild and rehearsal accompanist for Opera Workshop.

Barbara has received two awards for serving the community through teaching piano: the SCERA which is an arts organization that blesses the area with classes, musical productions and other music-related programs for children and adults; and "Citizen of the Year," which she received with her husband, Jerry Elison for community service to the arts.

Barbara's two famous students, Kurt Bestor and David Glen Hatch still give her hugs every time they see her. Barbara feels her greatest accomplishment, however, has been the rearing of 7 children. It has been a joy for her to pass on her love of music.

UMTA Legacy Award Winners - List

2018 Cindy Hartley, NCTM
2017 Lois Matthews, NCTM
2016 Carla Cleavinger, NCTM
2015 Coila Robinson, NCTM
2014 Mary Kay Harper / Cheryl Graham Rytting, NCTM
2013 Lezlee Bishop, NCTM / Barbara Elison
2012 Lynn Dean, NCTM, / Carolee G. Eriksson, NCTM / Sandra Preysz, NCTM
2011 Debra Gamero, NCTM / Eleanor Marshall
2010 Kathie Caldwell / Yu-Jane Yang, NCTM
2009 Jenny Bennett, NCTM (Posthumous) / Bernice Williams, NCTM (Posthumous)
2008 Karen Gygi, NCTM (Posthumous) / Iris Moon, NCTM (Posthumous)
2007 Jeffrey Shumway
2006 Dora Curtis, NCTM / Beverly Nelson, NCTM (Posthumous)
2005 Susan Goodfellow, NCTM / Yvonne Egbert (Posthumous) / William and Norma Foxley, NCTM (Posthumous)
2004 Paul Pollei, NCTM / Katharine Brough, NCTM (Posthumous)
2003 Solveig Madsen, NCTM