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 2021 Legacy Award Winners
Judith (Judy) Johnson, a member of the Provo/Orem chapter, has a long history with music and UMTA. Judy grew up in Wyoming, next door to her grandmother, who was the town piano teacher. When Judy was 12, her father was choir director and Judy accompanied. She learned early on to transpose pieces to a lower key so the choir could sing them.
Judy attended BYU, where she studied piano with Robert Cundick and theory with Crawford Gates. Judy also performed for the Program Bureau under Janie Thompson at BYU. Judy graduated in 1962 with an Elementary Education major and a Music minor.
Judy has been a member of UMTA/MTNA for over 50 years. Some of Judy’s earliest memories of UMTA include riding from Provo to Salt Lake to attend meetings with William Foxley (6th UMTA President: 1970-1974).
Judy has served as Secretary of the Provo/Orem chapter of UMTA. She also served as the Federation chair for 35 years. She has also played for many church and community functions over the years. Judy’s teaching career began when a neighbor asked her to teach a little boy that several piano teachers had given up on. Judy’s success with this student quickly led to many students. To better help her students, she completed extensive Robert Pace program training. She has also loved attending the UMTA conferences and chapter meetings. Judy said, “Music has opened so many doors for me my whole life. Music has been such a huge part of
June Christenson always knew she wanted to be a piano
teacher—and she learned from the best, studying with Martha
Greene, Florence Brinton and Gladys Gladstone. In high school,
she accepted the challenge to learn the Grieg Concerto within a
month and perform it as a substitute soloist with the Granite
Youth Symphony. She placed twice in the Utah State Fair
Beginning as congregational pianist at age nine, June has shared
music in her community playing for countless church meetings,
funerals, and weddings. She has accompanied outstanding
vocalists and instrumentalists, and directed and accompanied
June graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in
Music Composite Secondary Education. She began teaching at
age 14—which led to 60+ years experience, 700 private
students, 300 studio recitals, and exhibits at 50 state and national conventions.
She credits much of her pedagogy to UMTA workshops, meetings, and conferences where she soaked
in wisdom from master teachers and composers.
Dr. Paul Pollei’s amazing pedagogy class inspired June to create and market 100+ teaching aids that
promote better reading, rhythm, and theory skills, plus insights about composers, history, the piano, and
June has presented in UMTA meetings statewide and served as Magazine Coordinator, Music.ed You
Chair, Chapter Secretary, Salt Lake Chapter President, and UMTA State Publicity Board.
June has five brilliant children who played the piano under her tutelage. They return the favor with
technology assistance and strong opinions. June and her husband pay forward their love of the arts by
funding scholarships for deserving students.