Find an Adjudicator
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.
Anneliese Autry, NCTM
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.
Melissa Bearden, NCTM
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.
Amanda Jane Bishop
Salt Lake City,
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.
Christian Bohnenstengel, NCTM
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.
Cassandra L. Broadhead, NCTM
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
Jan M. Chamberlin, NCTM
Jan Chamberlin is nationally certified in voice through MTNA. She has a voice teaching degree from BYU and has been teaching voice privately for 40 years. She has judged the vocal competitions for MTNA Southwest Division.
Matthew R. Durrant
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.
Penni Daun Eads, NCTM
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.
Chari has judged for NATs and Federation.
Emily Dawn Ezola, NCTM
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.
Mary W. Hood
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.
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.
Emily S. Jorgensen, NCTM
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.
Merla Little, NCTM
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.
Salt Lake City,
Trained in China and US. Love to share music through teaching and performing.
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, NCTM
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.
Barbara J. Shelton, NCTM
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.
Heather K. Smith, NCTM
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 K. Sowby, NCTM
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, NCTM
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.
Cynthia D. Wells, NCTM
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.
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 F. Westwood
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.