UMTA Awards

UMTA offers awards for exemplary service. These include the Legacy Award, the AIM Teacher of the Year Award, and the Advocacy in Action Award. Looking for past winners? Find them in the UMTA Archives.
The Legacy Award recognizes teachers who've created a great legacy for the music community. Criteria for consideration includes having a membership of at least 10 years in UMTA and MTNA, and service as an officer at the local or state level. Professional accomplishments, service to the community, and the nurturing and mentoring of students are also taken into consideration. Nominations are made and voted upon by UMTA Board Members.

​UMTA Awards 2022 Legacy Award Winners

SHAWN BASTIAN, NCTM, grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. She began piano lessons at age 5 and became a Nationally Certified Music Teacher through MTNA in 2013. She has been a member of UMTA for over 25 years, has taught piano for over 30 years and continues to teach today. She is an active member of the Timpanogos chapter, and has served as president, and the State and Chapter AIM Chair.

“My mom, Zina Riches, brought me to my first UMTA conference in 1992 and pointed me down this musical path, a path that I am truly thankful for. I have been blessed to teach so many truly talented students and work with great teachers and friends. You have all impacted every aspect of my musical career and my life. THANK YOU!!” Shawn Bastian



BONNIE SLAUGHTER, NCTM, has been a piano teacher for over 40 years. She is active in the Utah Music Teachers Association where she has served as President of the Bridgerland and Ogden Chapters and on the Utah MTA State Board and Region FAIM (Future Artists in Music) Coordinator. She was the Northern Utah Coordinator for the renowned international pedagogue N. Jane Tan.

Bonnie is the director of the Oakwood Performing Arts Academy. She has over 100 students including "The Oakwood 88’s" 5 Piano Teams. Members of the teams have enjoyed performing at area events including opening for Jon Schmidt. The teams have also competed at state and international levels.

She has published 5 music camps, a series of Theory Workbooks called “Theory Strips” and a set of CDs about Surviving the Music Lesson Rollercoaster. She enjoys sharing them with music teachers across the country. She has given workshops and presentations to teachers across Utah, California, Colorado and New Mexico. She is married and has five children and 21 grandchildren.

​UMTA Awards 2021 AIM Teacher of the Year

Caroline Jennings received her master and bachelor degrees in piano performance from the University of Utah. Ms. Jennings became a Permanent Professional National Certified Teacher of Music in 2020. She has enjoyed serving in UMTA as the president of the St. George chapter, a member of the State AIM Board, and as local AIM chapter chairman. Caroline maintains an active private studio and is a part time professor at Dixie State University.

​UMTA Awards 2021 Advocacy in Action Award

In 2017, Heather K. Smith, NCTM, produced Utah’s first Silent Film Festival for Davis and Salt Lake City Chapters, held at the Bountiful Davis Art Center, where Heather served on the Executive Board.

This year the Davis Chapter repeated a similar event. Eleven films were presented at the Legacy Crossing Megaplex in Centerville. As a Co-chair, Heather organized 23 teachers and over 250 students in this all-day event. Sponsors, ticket- sales, and student participation fees combined to make the donation of two Boston upright pianos a reality for assisted living centers in Davis County.

Heather also organized the Davis Monster Concert, which raised funds for a piano at a Layton community theater. Heather is a certified Change Leader with the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. For her certification project, she oversaw the fundraising and creation of the Lenora Ford Brown recital venue at Bountiful Davis Art Center, including the purchase of two Steinway Grands.

As an educator, Heather was pivotal in expanding RCM adjudications in Utah. She is a member of the College of Examiners for RCM, and serves on the MTNA Development Committee and the MTNA Business Network.

Heather received a Bachelor and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Utah, and a BS in Accounting from Maryville University in St. Louis. She is currently completing an MBA at Westminster College. Formerly the Assistant Director at the U of U School of Music, Preparatory Division, Heather now teaches private lessons and group classes in her home studio in Centerville, Utah.