Arts Advocacy / DEI
Become an Advocate
Music and the Arts connects us with those who have gone before us, those who are among us, and those who are coming behind us. Thankfully, they do not have an expiration date.
Learn to expand your music and art network in our community by engaging with music and art organizations, school music programs, and local art councils. Have fun and create a project with your students to provide opportunities and art experiences for your students and your community.
Potential Arts Advocacy through Action Projects in Your Community
- Search for and provide more performing opportunities for students
- Establish a quality recital venue space
- Develop or participate in a local music festival Form a community orchestra
- Make available more competitions for students
- Place a grand piano in a public space
- Offer educational classes for adult learners
- Support music education programs in the schools
- Create professional development classes for music educators
Utah’s associations are impactful. The Utah Cultural Alliance, provides educational opportunities, resources, and Utah Legislature updates.
- Create intergenerational music learning opportunities
- Produce interactive and inspiring live music events for all
- Provide access to piano ownership through Piano Bank
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Arts Awareness and Advocacy Award
This award is presented to a UMTA member, UMTA chapter, community member, or organization who has exemplified exceptional dedication to the betterment of music and the arts culture. This year’s (2023) award was given to Christian Bohnenstengal.
Pianist Christian Bohnenstengel feels equally at home in a wide range of musical genres.
Christian just performed the Carnival of the Animals with the Orchestra of Southern Utah for their Children’s Jubilee concert (an afternoon outreach concert with many activities for kids such as an instrument petting zoo; the other pianist was one of his college students). He also provides and plays the harpsichord for the annual Messiah performances of the Orchestra of Southern Utah.
A couple of former students and Christian planned and performed in a benefit concert for Allies2Refugees this past spring in the 900 seat Heritage Center Theater. Last spring, Christian also took their piano ensemble to perform at the Saint George Tabernacle.
Dr. Nancy Allred from Utah Tech University and Christian have been organizing and hosting the annual Southern Utah Piano Pedagogy Conference (alternately at Utah Tech and Southern Utah University). Their goal has been to offer the “conference experience” to local teachers who are otherwise not able to travel to major conferences.
Christian regularly performs for the Cedar City Art Walks during the summer and frequently provides jazz music for show openings and other special events at local art galleries. These are all service activities and free of charge.
Praised as “a master of contrasts” (Aalener Nachrichten) and for his ability to “put the audience into a state of sheer awe” (Gmünder Tagespost), Christian’s performances have taken him all over the United States, to South America, Asia, and to Europe. Christian is a founding member of Southern Utah University’s faculty jazz combo Kind of Blue, and he frequently performs with different jazz ensembles and combos.
Christian has performed on public radio, and he has presented at state, regional, national and international conferences. David DeBoer Canfield (Fanfare Magazine) remarked about his Albany Records CD Set No Limits with clarinetist Dr. Jessica Lindsey that the “piano parts are superbly rendered by Christian Bohnenstengel, whose artistry also greatly impresses me.” His latest recordings are Jazz Hands II with the Shawn Owens Project Trio and Southern Utah Jazz Collective.
Christian has been Director of Keyboard Studies at Southern Utah University since 2011. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Missouri Western State University, and he earned Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Christian founded the MTNA collegiate chapter at SUU, and he served as chair for collegiate programs on the UMTA state board.