MTNA Awards

MTNA annually presents several awards, which recognize excellence in music teaching, research and other significant contributions to music education. Those awarded to UMTA members are shown below. Past winners are found in the UMTA Archives.

2021 - 2022 MTNA Foundation Fellow

Dr. Nancy Allred, NCTM, is Professor of Music, Director of Piano Studies, and Associate Dean for the College of the Arts at Dixie State University. She has developed an outstanding piano program and mentors a wonderful studio of piano majors.

Dr. Allred has developed courses in piano pedagogy, literature, ensemble, accompanying, group piano and private piano. Recently, she developed a “Piano Pedagogy Certificate Program” for DSU.

An accomplished soloist and chamber musician, Dr. Allred is a distinguished collaborator of vocal, choral and instrumental music. She holds advanced degrees from BYU and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, studying piano with Paul Pollei, Robert Smith, and renowned professor Joanne Baker. Nancy is the director for Castle Rock Piano Camps, held annually at Dixie State. She is also the co-director with Dr. Christian Bohnenstengel, for the annual Southern Utah Pedagogy Conference.

Nancy was president of the BYU Student Chapter of UMTA as a graduate student, and directed the first and second annual BYU Piano Festivals, 1987 and 1988.

After moving to St. George, Dr. Allred organized the St. George Chapter of UMTA. The first meeting was held at the Tuacahn Center for the Arts in 1994. With support from her mentor, Dr. Paul Pollei, she was the first president of the St. George Chapter. Nancy was UMTA Performance Competitions Coordinator, 2006-07. She frequently presents at chapter meetings and state conferences. Dr. Allred continuously sponsors UMTA chapter meetings, performance evaluations, and honors recitals held at the DSU Eccles Fine Arts Center.

2021 - 2022 MTNA MarySue Harris Studio Teacher Fellowship

Dr. Desireé González-Miller, NCTM was awarded the MarySue Harris Studio Teacher Fellowship. This award is a $3,000 fellowship, funded by the MarySue Harris Endowment. It is designed to assist a music teacher with establishing, developing and enhancing their studio.

Desireé González-Miller holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a DMA degree from the University of Utah. Desireé has served on the BYU piano faculty as a visiting assistant professor of piano. While there, she served as pianist for the Sundance Trio. She maintains an active schedule maintaining a private studio, coordinating the U Piano Outreach Program, and as an associate instructor at the preparatory division at the University of Utah. She received the Reid Nibley Scholar award twice while studying at Brigham Young University (BYU).

In 2014, she was given the Student Teacher of the Year Award by the Utah Music Teachers’ Association, and the following year, she won the Janet Mann Teaching Excellence Award at the University of Utah.

Desireé served as the BYU Collegiate Chapter president and was a member of the 2015 MTNA National Conference Planning committee. She served on the planning committee for the 2015–2017 MTNA Collegiate Chapters Piano Pedagogy Symposiums and she is a current member of the MTNA Nominating committee.

2020 - 2021 MTNA Teacher of the Year

Dr. Yu-Jane Yang is a Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor, Endowed Scholar/Artist of the College of Arts & Humanities, and the Director of Keyboard Studies at Weber State University in Utah. Yu-Jane feels extremely privileged being selected as the national recipient of the 2020 MTNA Teacher of the Year, and being named as an MTNA Foundation Fellow in 2011. She served on the State Board of the Utah Music Teachers Association for more than twenty years, including serving as the UMTA State President, State Competition Chair, State Conference Chair, and State Collegiate Faculty Chair. Yu-Jane also served as a co-chair of the Collegiate Pedagogy Teaching Committee and the Internship Committee of the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy from 2007 to 2018. She was recognized with an Outstanding Service Award in 2019 by NCKP, and was bestowed with the prestigious honor of UMTA’s Legacy Award in 2010 for her exceptional teaching, outstanding professional achievements, and superior service to the music profession.

Much in demand as a presenter, performer, and master class teacher, Yu-Jane has given numerous piano workshops, master classes, and concert performances in Austria, Poland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany, Singapore, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Canada, and the United States. She also appears frequently as an adjudicator for piano competitions nationally and internationally, including judging the MTNA National Finals of the Senior Piano Duets Competition, MTNA Southwest Division Piano Competitions, and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition preliminary auditions.

Yu-Jane’s piano students have been top prizewinners in both collegiate and pre-college divisions in numerous state, national, and international piano competitions, including the national first place winner of the 2010 MTNA Steinway Young Artist Collegiate Piano Competition, and the 2020 Gilmore Young Artist Award winner. Her WSU Pedagogy students have also won state and national recognition for their outstanding teaching, including seven state winners of the UMTA Collegiate Student Teacher of the Year, one national winner of the MTNA Studio Teaching Fellowship, and four-time national winners of the MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year.

Sandra Preysz Endowment Fund

The Music Teachers National Association has an established endowment program to honor prestigious music teachers throughout the United States. The Sandra Preysz Endowment Fund was created in 2018-19 to honor Sandra Preysz by her friends and family, current and former students, and music colleagues.

As a member of the Utah Music Teachers Association State Board for more than 39 years, Sandra Lewis Preysz, NCTM, has served in various capacities including Membership Chair and State Newsletter editor. She is equally devoted to the National Federation of Music Clubs and Utah Federation of Music Clubs and serves as the Festivals Chair for both organizations. Sandra attended the University of Utah where she graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English. She currently teaches more than 75 students. In her free time, Sandra loves to read, sail, ski, play tennis, cook, and travel the world. Sandra’s life-long dedication to her students and her profession is unprecedented. The legacy she has left can be found in the countless lives she has influenced throughout her lifetime.

MTNA Note: These endowments support MTNA programs, grants and awards. Contributors to MTNA may direct their donation to a specific endowment, thus increasing its value and earning power. There are 32 named endowment funds. Several of these funds are directed to the support of the teacher enrichment grant program, while others provide funds for local association grants, competition awards and other MTNA programs.

MTNA's "Local Association" Nominee

MTNA honored Tooele, Utah's UMTA chapter with the Southwest Division Local Association Nominee award.

Over the years, teachers in the Tooele Chapter of Utah Music Teachers Association have continued in their valiant efforts to strengthen their local association despite a small number of members. They have raised awareness of their presence in the community and have actively recruited teachers through open houses, personal invitations and networking. They are hoping to help local teachers recognize the benefits of being a member of UMTA/MTNA. They are optimistic and enthusiastic as they work to increase membership.

They implement a strong Achievement in Music (AIM) program that has been successful for many years. Not only do they provide excellent chapter meetings with interesting presentations, but they organize regular chapter recitals and ensemble and concerto concerts. Teachers perform in all events as well as the students. Each teacher benefits from association with other teachers and their students benefit from the activities provided.

The teachers in this chapter use creativity and ingenuity as they plan activities. Just before school started last year, a preschool activity was held in the park, where students played music theory games. A silent movie was also accompanied by students. An ensemble concert with a theme was a lot of fun for students as they attended in costume. Service projects were scheduled in nursing homes.

The teachers of the Tooele Chapter are a tribute to the power and influence of a handful of dedicated teachers. They have made their town a better place and enriched the lives of hundreds of students over the years. That’s what MTNA is all about.

UMTA Receives MTNA Affiliate Enrichment Grant

At the beginning of June 2018, UMTA was advised that the Affiliate Enrichment Grant applied for had been granted. The application was made in an effort to help fund the re-structuring of the UMTA website. This was to be a major overhaul and would take a lot of time and money. The last major renovation of UMTA's website presence took place in 2010. It was definitely time to make improvements, and the enrichment grant helped make it possible.