The UMTA Adjudicators List is a compilation of potential judges for piano, instrumental or vocal judges. It is not all-inclusive. It is provided simply to facilitate finding qualified judges. Individuals or groups seeking judges for their events may find this a useful resource. Adjudicators on this list are current members of UMTA.
Melissa Bearden, NCTM maintains a private piano studio in Lehi, Utah. She has adjudicated Solo, Ensemble, Concerto, and Hymn performances for Utah Federation of Music Clubs, as well as Performance and Technique requirements for UMTA's AIM program. She is currently the AIM Chair for the Timpanogos Chapter of UMTA.
Dr. Bohnenstengel earned graduate degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has been teaching at Southern Utah University since 2008, and currently serves as Director of Keyboard Studies at SUU. He has adjudicated for various AIM testing and Performance Evaluations.
Jan Chamberlin is nationally certified in voice through MTNA. She has a voice teaching teaching degree from BYU and has been teaching voice privately for 40 years. She has judged the vocal competitions for MTNA southwest division.
Associate Degree, Ricks College, 1981, student of Del Parkinson, Piano Performance Major, had several students while attending Ricks College (younger students, teens, and adults), nominated student of the year from the Music Department, performed Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto, 2nd mvt, with the Ricks College symphony. Bachelor of Music Degree, USU, 1983, student of Gary Amano, Piano Performance Major, taught in the Youth Conservatory, taught college students piano for credit, performed Prokofiev 3rd Piano Concerto, 3rd mvt, with the USU symphony. Currently at Kaysville Piano Academy.
Miho was a student of Jorg Demus and has won numerous competitions including the All Japan soloist contest. She studied with Dr. Susan Duelmeirer. Miho has accompanied various instruments, voices, operas, orchestra and bands. She was an accompanist for the "Beethoven's 9th with a cast of 10,000". She also taught lessons at Yamaha music school in Osaka Japan. See Miho Everitt for more information.
Mary judged in Pennsylvania for the Dorothy Sutton Preliminary Piano Festival. She was chairperson for the Connie Murray Piano Festival for eight years, a total of 604 students at one point! She is currently chairperson of the Central Utah NFMC.
Emily Jorgensen earned both her BM in Piano Performance and MA in Music Education from BYU. She has maintained a private studio in the Provo/Orem area for over 25 years. She has extensive adjudicating experience across the Wasatch Front. She is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Education.
Dr. Pamela Palmer Jones is a much sought-after collaborative keyboardist in the Intermountain area, and has also worked extensively as a solo and collaborative pianist in Los Angeles, London, St. Louis, and Chicago. She performs regularly with the Beethoven Park City Chamber Music Festival, Ensemble Iris, Utopia Early Music, The Vivaldi Virtuosi, and Utah's new professional chamber orchestra, Sinfonia Salt Lake. Currently Dr. Jones is a music professor at the University of Utah School of Music. Dr. Jones has previously taught at Salt Lake Community College, Harper College, and College of Lake County. In 2011, Dr. Jones earned the Permanent Professional Certified Teacher of Music in Piano, conferred by the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).
Ms. Preston holds a Masters degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin and has had 20 years professional judging experience, including MTNA Regional Competition, UMTA Concerto Competition, Salt Lake Piano Competition, Performance Evaluations, Encore Concerto Competition, Utah State Fair Talent Competition, and AIM Performance Evaluations. Juliet has judged for UMTA Concerto Competition, Composition Competition, UVU Solo Competition, MTNA District Competition, plus yearly AIM, Encore, and local judging. She performs professionally in both classical and commercial genres. In addition, she is a composer and arranger.
Susan Schofield attended the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department and then later Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Department where she received her certificate in piano. She then studied with Mona Smith at Brigham Young University and received a Bachelor of Music degree in piano pedagogy. She later earned a Masters of Music in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Utah studying with Janet Mann.
Heather K. Smith, NCTM is an independent music teacher. She maintains a piano studio in her home in Centerville, Utah. Studying under the direction of Professor Lenora Ford Brown, Heather received a Master of Music and Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Utah. While in school, Heather was the Assistant Director and an Associate Instructor at the University of Utah’s School of Music Preparatory Division. She is active in her professional organizations and serves on several executive boards including: Utah Music Teachers Association, Mundi Project, and Bountiful Davis Art Center. In addition, she is a member of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums Change Leader Program. As part of her Change Leader certification, Heather oversaw the fundraising and creation of a recital space at Bountiful Davis Art Center. Heather was recognized for her teaching and was honored with the National MTNA Student Achievement Recognition Award. She was also awarded the Student Teacher of the Year by the Utah Music Teachers Association. She is a certified teacher through the Music Teachers National Association and the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Dr. Christie Sowby, NCTM, is a professional piano coach, chamber musician, pianist, and accompanist. She has performed throughout the world and is an adjudicator, music advocate, and a winner of piano competitions. Dr. Sowby has won state and national awards for her teaching and has presented at local, university, state, national, and international music conferences. She strives to be at the cutting edge of music technology, pedagogy, new music, and performance. Dr. Sowby attended Brigham Young University, the New England Conservatory of Music, Harvard University, and the University of Utah
Sean R. Steiner has served as an adjudicator for piano competitions and events for Encore and UMTA groups from Salt Lake City to Vernal. He is also a frequent judge for Utah State University's Piano Festival, the The Salt Lake Piano Competition, and most recently, the new Utah International Piano Academy and Competition held at the University of Utah. Mr. Steiner holds a Bachelor's degree in performance from Eastman School of Music and currently operates Steiner Piano Studio and also teaches as adjunct faculty at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
Tricia West received her Bachelor’s Degree in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Utah in 1991. She studied piano with Bonnie Gritton and Susan Duehlmeier. She has been teaching piano for 36 years and currently has 65 students she teaches each week. Tricia is a member of the Sandy Music Teachers Association and is the Chairperson for the Sandy MTA Piano Festival. She runs the Progressive Artist Competition in that festival as well. Tricia enjoys accompanying instrumentals and playing music with her four daughters, two of which are majoring in piano as well. Tricia has judged for the State Piano Solo and Ensemble, Davis and Sandy Music Teachers Associations AIM evaluations and Encore evaluations.
Evelyn has been teaching for 30-plus years, is a member of UMTA, UFMC and teaches beginner to early advanced students. She has been an NCTM for 10 years and was an assistant conductor for the Choral Arts Society of Utah, CASU, under the direction of Sterling Poulson.
Anneliese received her BA in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Whitworth University and her MA in Music from Washington State University. She also studied with Dr. Peter Mack, Dr. Jeffrey Savage and Dr. Karen Savage, and has enjoyed teaching piano throughout her music career.
Dr. Williams is from Utah County and began piano lessons at the age of 4 ½. She made her orchestra debut at the age of seven soloing with the Utah Valley Symphony performing Bach’s F minor Concerto. She grew up competing and concertizing at the local, national and international level. Her accomplishments include winning First Prize at the Fryderyk Chopin Society International Piano Competition in Rome, Italy. First Prize at the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition, in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The Grand Prix Ivo Pogorelich Award resulting in a concert debut at the Esterhazy Palace in Austria. First Prize in the Young Keyboard Artists Association International Piano Competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan. First Prize in the Golden Classical Music Awards including a performance at Carnegie Hall. She has soloed three separate times with the Utah Symphony in Abravanel Hall beginning at age eight, ten and thirteen. Her performing career has taken her to Russia, Germany, Italy, Florida, New York, California, Illinois, Michigan and California. She was featured on the cover of Clavier Magazine at the age of 8 years old. She performed and recorded the complete Bach Goldberg Variations for her Sophomore recital and enjoys playing Bach in particular. She was awarded the OC Tanner Service Scholar during her studies at the University of Utah. Her responsibilities included visiting underprivileged schools in the Salt Lake Valley performing and teaching them about classical music. She served as BYU’s MTNA chapter president as well as President of Utah County’s Encore Organization.
Dr. Williams holds degrees from Brigham Young University in Provo and the University of Utah. Her teachers have included Dr. Irene Peery-Fox and Dr. Ning Lu.
DMA, (Related field in Theory) University of Utah
MM, Piano Performance, Brigham Young University
BM, Piano Performance, Brigham Young University
I have been teaching piano for over 25 years; I have a BM and MM from Brigham Young University, Provo. For the past 10 years I have adjudicated various festivals in Idaho, including the Treasure Valley Sonata festival, Certificate of Achievement (similar to AIM), and Federation.
Emily Ezola is an active pianist and educator. She serves as a member of the piano faculty at Utah State University where she directs the USU Youth Conservatory and teaches courses including Pedagogy Practicum, Keyboard Harmony, Individual Piano Instruction, Intro to Music, and USU Connections. The USU Youth Conservatory is a pre-college prep program which provides weekly lessons and group classes to more than 150 students in the community. The conservatory has been recognized as a model for pre-college piano instruction programs by the National Association of Schools of Music.
Emily is an active performer with a love for producing multimedia concerts featuring art and music. The artists she has collaborated with include Ryoichi Suzuki, Myles Howell, and Chuck Landvatter. In 2019 Emily and her piano duo partner Kevin Olson performed the world premiere of Wynn-Anne Rossi’s ‘Source in Three Movements’, a piece commissioned by USU for the Woman of the Year Celebration. Other premieres include a performance of ‘Vocalise’ composed by Emma Cardon and the Utah Premiere of ‘Velvet’ composed by Linda Catlin Smith for the USU Museum + Music concert series. Other collaborations include performances with pianists Elzbieta Bilicka, Mayumi Matzen, Cahill Smith, Sarah Chiesa, soprano Cindy Dewey; and Rebecca McFaul of the Fry Street Quartet.
With a strength in Arts Administration, Emily is the Executive Director of the Fry Street Chamber Music Festival. She served as the student chapter President of the Music Teachers National Association, and currently serves as the Program Chairman for the Chamber Music Society of Logan. She often presents at state and national music teacher conferences including the MTNA conference and NCKP.
In collaboration with Kevin and Julia Olson, Emily helped to write piano activity books for The Perfect Start series published by FJH and has co-written an online piano course with Per Danielsson for Educational Advantage School of Music. Emily has a vibrant teaching studio where she works with college and pre-college piano students. She holds a Piano Performance and Pedagogy master’s degree from Utah State University and has been mentored by Tony Caramia, Professor of Piano at Eastman School of Music since 2019. Emily is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, she currently serves on the Utah Music Teachers Association State Board as the Collegiate Chapter Chairman and in 2020 she was recognized with the Utah State University Community Engagement Presidential Award.
As a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and a certified piano teacher through MTNA, Merla Little has been providing a high standard of music education across the Wasatch front for over 40 years. In addition to teaching Piano Pedagogy at the University of Utah, she was the Assistant Director and ultimately Director of the Preparatory Division. Merla recently retired from the School of Music after 27 years and continues to teach part-time through the Preparatory Division along with having a thriving private studio. She also performs throughout the Salt Lake Valley as a member of the two-piano Little-Tanner Duo.
Barbara Shelton, NCTM, has maintained a private piano studio for years, teaching several students who have gone on to study music at the collegiate level, students who received Sterling Scholar in music, and students who have received highest honors. She has taught private piano, music theory/ear training and music appreciation classes at Salt Lake Community College for many years. She has adjudicated concerto, duet, and solo performances, performed as an accompanist and a soloist in religious, community, and educational settings.
Mariah Sam (24) has competed across the state of Utah since the age of four and has won over 17 first place awards. She is grateful to have won opportunities such as soloing with the Utah Symphony, soloing at Assembly Hall, Soloing with BYU’s Symphony Orchestra, winning first in the collegiate level of MTNA (2020), and most recently being named a finalist in the Great Masters International Piano Competition (2021). Mariah Sam is a highly sought after piano teacher. She currently teaches 22 students! She will graduate this December from BYU with her bachelor degree in Piano Performance. Mariah is a passionate performer and teacher, and is excited to continue her education!
Las Vegas musician Dr. Lindsey N. O’Connor is the Adjunct Professor of Saxophone at Southern Utah University and the College of Southern Nevada, the Woodwinds Paraprofessional for Clark County School District, the Director of Woodwinds for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestras, and the Artistic Director of the Las Vegas Youth Saxophone Ensembles. As a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM), she maintains a private woodwind and piano studio of more than thirty students at Family Music Centers Academy, Nevada’s largest private music teaching institution. O’Connor was previously on faculty at Faith Conservatory of the Fine Arts and Union College, and was a Band Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
O’Connor’s performances have been described as “extraordinary” (Mesquite Local News), “flawless” (Walter White, Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra Co-Concertmaster), and “beautifully played” (Moapa Valley Progress). She is an active solo artist, as well as soprano saxophonist of the Red Rock Saxophone Quartet and principal clarinetist of the Nevada Chamber Orchestra. In August 2021, O'Connor was the saxophonist for The After Party in the Venetian featuring Joey Fatone (*NSYNC), AJ McLean (Backstreet Boys), Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys), and Wanya Morris (Boyz II Men). She has also been a saxophonist with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra and has played in musical productions on the Las Vegas Strip including Jesus Christ Superstar at the Tropicana and Guys and Dolls at the Westgate. O'Connor performed Marcello's "Concerto” for oboe [or soprano saxophone] with the Southern Nevada Symphony Orchestra, Russell Peterson’s “…Who Needs Enemies?” for saxophone quartet and wind orchestra at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, the North American premiere of Jun Nagao’s “Die Heldenzeit” for alto saxophone and wind orchestra with the Desert Winds, and Henri Tomasi’s “Ballade” for alto saxophone with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Symphony Orchestra as a Graduate Solo Competition Winner. An advocate for new music, she has premiered solo and chamber works by Krista Abrahamson, Daniel Dorff, Garrett Hope, Kincaid Rabb, and David Von Kampen.
O'Connor is the Vice President - Social Media/Publicity and Woodwind Chair of the Nevada Music Teachers Association. As an educator, she frequently serves as an adjudicator and clinician for the Nevada Music Educators Association, Southern Nevada Band Association, and Las Vegas Music Teachers Association. An active member of the North American Saxophone Alliance since 2003, O'Connor has given master classes, lectured on “The Music of Benjamin Boone,” and performed in various solo and chamber settings at several regional and biennial conferences. She has been featured in Pan Pipes (Spring 2020) and The Instrumentalist Magazine (December 2016).
O'Connor's research is focused on the life and works of David C. Heath, British composer and flutist currently residing in Scotland. Her dissertation, "A Performer’s Guide to and Analysis of David Heath’s Out of the Cool, Rumania, and Coltrane," is the first and only academic document on Heath, making her the foremost scholar of both him and his music.
O’Connor received a Doctor of Musical Arts in Saxophone Performance cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a Master of Music in Saxophone Performance magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelor of Music in Saxophone Performance cum laude from Michigan State University. Her primary teachers include John Bailey, Phillip Barham, Paul Haar, Joseph Lulloff, and Diego Rivera; she has also performed in solo master classes for Claude Delangle, Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Ellis Marsalis, Bennie Wallace, and Walt Weiskopf. O'Connor's professional memberships include the American Federation of Musicians, College Music Society, International Clarinet Association, Music Teachers National Association, North American Saxophone Alliance, Pi Kappa Lambda (ΠΚΛ) National Music Honor Society, and Sigma Alpha Iota (ΣΑΙ) International Music Fraternity. She is the President of the Sigma Alpha Iota Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter and founding director of both the Las Vegas Saxophone Day and Las Vegas Clarinet Day.
O’Connor is a Vandoren Artist-Clinician and performs exclusively on Vandoren and Yamaha products. She is also an endorsing artist for Meridian Winds’ Center Brace Resonance Weights and Ergonomic Heavy Mass Saxophone Neck Screws.
Amanda Bishop is beginning her fourth year majoring in Piano Performance and Pedagogy working to obtain her BMU at the University of Utah. She has played piano for fourteen years and has won many awards in an expansive variety of performance and theory programs, including ten years of the UMTA Achievement in Music (AIM) program, eleven years of Piano Federation Solo and Concerto Festivals, and countless recitals. She auditioned and was chosen out of many other pianists to play for the April 2017 Federation Honors Recital at Assembly Hall on Temple Square. She has studied piano with two brilliant and hard-working piano teachers: Karlyen Tan for eleven years, and currently Dr. Jie Lu in the University of Utah's School of Music program.
Matthew holds a PhD in composition from the University of Utah. In addition to composing, teaching, and playing the piano, he has also studied trombone for many years and performed with a number of ensembles. His music has been performed throughout the United States at various concerts and festivals. Matthew enjoys music of many styles and genres, and that interest is often reflected in his compositions. They can vary from quite traditional to more complex, atonal works. He particularly enjoys writing for winds and brass and has a number of pieces published for solo instruments and small ensembles through Cherry Classics, Trevco-Varner Music, and Waterton Brass. His music has also been recorded and produced by Navona Records. Often times his work is influenced by the sweeping vistas of the American West, particularly Idaho and Utah.
Currently, Matthew serves at the University of Utah as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the music theory area. He is also a member of the theory faculty of the Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City.
When he is not teaching or working on music he is outdoors hiking and climbing mountains or spending time with family. Matthew is from Preston, Idaho and currently resides in Midvale, Utah with his wife and kids.
Cassandra Broadhead earned her Bachelor's in Piano Performance from Utah State University as a student of Gary Amano. She taught at the Youth Conservatory at Utah State University. She earned her Master's Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Utah as a student of Gladys G. Rosenberg in 1998. Her students have won recognition in MTNA competitions, Youth Guild, Salute to Youth, and other competitions. She enjoys the opportunity to judge and adjudicate students.
Leah graduated from USU with a degree in vocal performance with University and Departmental Honors and been teaching in her private studio for more than 13 years. In addition to a dynamic studio, Leah leads an active performance and music directing career. She is currently the chair for NATS Northern Utah Auditions and hold trainings for voice adjudicators each year. To stay on top of current trends in performance, pedagogy and technology, she continues studying with her teacher in NYC and recently took 3rd place and an honorable mention in the NYC Music Theatre and Classical NATS Competitions, adult divisions.
Koji Attwood, a Kansas native, made his solo debut at the age of ten, and one year later won 2nd prize at the Young Keyboard Artists International Competition. He earned 2nd prize at both the Stravinsky and Missouri Southern International Keyboard competitions, and was a participant in the International William Kapell Keyboard and the Hamamatsu International Piano competitions. He received honorable mention at the VII International Web Concert Hall Competition, which entitled him to a performance that will continue to be broadcast on the internet, via the Web Concert Hall Artist Series, over the next seven years. Koji was also a winner of Astral Artistic Services' 2003 International Auditions, and was the featured artist on yamahamusicsoft.com's "New York City Rising Star" series.
Mr. Attwood has performed numerous solo recitals across much of the country, including concerts in Steinway Hall, Lincoln Center, and on the Kosciuszko Foundation Concert Series. He appeared regularly on the "World of the Piano" series at the Juilliard School and was frequently heard on a weekly radio show on New York's WQXR, hosted by David Dubal entitled, "Reflections From the Keyboard: the Pianist in Comparative Performance" and currently on Dubal's new show, "The Piano Matters" on WWFM.
Committed to the performance of contemporary music, Mr. Attwood has given world premiere performances of works by Cynthia Folio, Hector Martinez Morales, and Daniel Ott. Also active in chamber music, Mr. Attwood has performed with members of the Borromeo, St. Lawrence, Koryo, and Enso quartets, and is a regular collaborator with Mikhail Baryshnikov. He performed with the dancer's White Oak Dance Project, and partnered with Mr. Baryshnikov for his 2002-3 solo tour of the United States--providing solo interludes as well as accompaniment for the dances--garnering praise for being a "phenomenal pianist" [Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin], "beautifully nuanced" [Cleveland Plain Dealer], "enchanting" [Santa Barbara News Press], "wonderful pianist" [Seattle Times], "Koji Attwood...is a pianist of rare gifts, both as a solo artist and as a collaborator. Playing solo pieces of Scriabin, Scarlatti, Liszt and Soler, this young pianist was much more than fill. He is a concert pianist with an impeccable technique, a rich tone, and an assured sense of good interpretive taste" [Nevada-Events], and described by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: "Koji Attwood percolated rapturously...they (Baryshnikov and Attwood) displayed lovely chemistry in a performance full of virtuosity, and humor, whimsy and seriousness. Their coordination was so tight that it sometimes seemed as though the dancer's limbs were attached to the musician's notes." Mr. Attwood has also performed throughout the United States and in Europe with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Wally Cardona Quartet, and C. Eule Dance. In May and June 2010 he joined the American Ballet Theatre for eight sold-out all-Chopin performances at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, playing in the company's critically lauded premiere of the John Neumeier ballet Lady of the Camellias, and was invited back the following year for seven repeat performances.
Mr. Attwood's recent performances include a highly acclaimed recital at Merkin Hall in New York City, a European debut at the prestigious Husum festival in Germany, debut in Canada, performing in Montreal at the Theatre Outremont, and invitation by the Fondation Cziffra to perform at the Chapelle Royale Saint-Frambourg in France. He is featured, along with pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin, Lev Vinacour, and Daniel Berman on the 2009 "Rarities of Piano" Danacord release, and as an avid transcriber, has over twenty arrangements to his credit.
Prior to receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Seymour Lipkin, Koji studied at the University of Kansas with Richard Angeletti. He then went on to earn a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal. Mr. Attwood currently serves on the faculty of the Gifted Music School, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a Visiting Associate Professor of piano at the University of Utah. Koji is a Yamaha Artist.
Dr. Scott Holden is currently the director of the piano program at Brigham Young University. He has performed across the US, Europe, and Asia, including two solo recitals at Carnegie Hall. Recording CDs for Tantara, Bridge, Naxos and Parma Records, he has made numerous world premiere recordings. Dr. Holden’s students have been accepted to nearly every major piano program in the country and have won numerous national competitions and awards. He is a frequent adjudicator and clinician around the country. Dr. Holden has been on the faculty of Juilliard Summer Performing Arts in Geneva Switzerland since 2017. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Manhattan School of Music, the Juilliard School, and was a Fulbright Scholar in Budapest, Hungary at the Liszt Academy