All IMTA past presidents who maintain membership and regularly attend board meetings are lifetime voting members as a part of the Presidents Advisory Committee and serve to provide information, continuity and support to the entire body of the IMTA board.
Current IMTA Local Association Presidents have IMTA Board voting privileges. We request their presence at all board meetings as a representative of the local association and their members.
To view bios click on photos / names
Cyndie Caruth of Ankeny, Iowa has been a certified independent piano instructor for over 40 years and was among the first in the U.S. to be nationally certified through the MTNA examination program. As a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in music education, she taught in the public school five years while maintaining her private studio.
She has served on the Iowa Music Teachers board in a variety of capacities as well as committee work with the West Central division and MTNA. Cyndie was the sole recipient of the 2004 Certified Teacher of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award at their annual state conference; the first to ever receive both awards concurrently. Cyndie is a past president of the Iowa Music Teachers Association, having served during the 2007-2009 term and in June 2017 was again elected to serve as IMTA President for the 2017-2019 term.
Cyndie was honored at the Music Teacher's National Association Conference as a Foundation Fellow in 2017.
Linda Benson, independent piano teacher from Gowrie, Iowa has served as an active board member with IMTA for many years. Linda's students remain active in all IMTA sponsored student events. Linda has also served in several positions in her local Fort Dodge area association, Solfeggietto Club where she enjoys the wealth of support and ideas exchanged by her fellow teachers.
A Council Bluffs native, Julie Bond graduated from Lewis Central in 1985, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Washburn University of Topeka in 1989. She later continued her studies at the University of Nebraska Omaha, receiving her Master of Music in Piano Performance in 1998. She has been teaching piano since 1987, and is also a retired piano technician. Julie and her husband, Craig, reside in Council Bluffs where she maintains a home piano studio.Julie enjoys her continued role as the Iowa Membership Chair.
Allison Chenoweth is originally from Ottumwa, Iowa and now resides in Cedar Rapids. She studied music and anthropology at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, IA, and went on to complete a Master's Degree in Ethnomusicology at The University of Chicago.
Allison has been teaching piano in Cedar Rapids since 2005, when she also became an IMTA member. She has served in various state board positions, and in offices in her local district.
Allison is also a member of the Cedar Rapids Community Strings and Marion Municipal band, where she plays clarinet.
In her spare time, Allison loves to read and garden and tries to keep up with the latest developments in the world of ethnomusicology. She enjoys finding piano music that focuses on the music of other countries and teaching her students about it.
Allison enjoys being a member of IMTA, where she has learned many new things about music and teaching. She is also glad to meet new teachers and fellow musicians and exchange stories.
Sharon Jensen holds music degrees from Calvin College, University of Texas and University of Michigan. As the recipient of a Rotary Fellowship, she studied at the Hochschule for Musik in Vienna, Austria where she earned the Artist's Diploma. She has performed recitals in Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada and the U.S. In 2016 Sharon performed with members of the Czech Philharmonic at Smetana Hall in Prague during the Prague Proms Festival. Jensen has been the featured soloist with orchestras throughout the Midwest, including the University of Michigan Symphony, Augustana Symphony and the Quad Cities Mozart Festival orchestra. In 2007 she made her solo debut with the Dubuque Symphony. In March 2010 Dr. Jensen made her debut at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall and performed there for four consecutive years with flautist Peg Cornils Luke. She has also been heard on NPR's Live from Landmark Center, Live from the Chazen and Chicago's Dame Myra Hess Series.
Dr. Jensen was chair of keyboard studies at Augustana College (Rock Island, IL) from 1986-1993 where she was also a member of the Augustana Trio. She taught at UW-Platteville for one year and from 1996-2013 she was a faculty member at Emmaus Bible College (Dubuque, IA). She is currently Assistant Professor of Music at Clarke University where she teaches piano, music history and keyboard skills. She has also served on the faculties of Calvin College, Bay View Music Festival, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Lutheran Summer Music Camp. Sharon is active as a teacher and adjudicator in Iowa Music Teachers Association where her students have earned honors at district and state auditions. In 2015 she was honored as the Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year from the state of Iowa.
Carroll resides in Ankeny with his wife Cyndie who has been a long-time member of IMTA. They have two grown sons and four grandsons. He brings years of experience from his various positions in the automotive industry. Carroll is a numbers guy who truly enjoys his most recent position as IMTA Treasurer.
Sherri teaches private piano lessons and quarterly group lessons in her home studio near Otley, IA, to children and adults of all ages in the surrounding areas of Pella, Monroe, and Knoxville. She loves teaching piano performance, technique, and ear-training, as well as theory and music history. Her goal is to provide quality instruction in an environment of love, encouragement and communication to meet each student’s individual needs, interests, and goals. She strives to cultivate a lifetime love of music and music making.
As an active member of IMTA for 5 years, Sherri’s students have successfully participated in District Festivals and Auditions, as well as participated in State Piano Auditions. Sherri enjoys the many opportunities provided by membership in IMTA including connecting with other teachers, sharing ideas, and learning from the many helpful topics presented at monthly meetings.
Sherri was the Treasurer for South Central IMTA from 2014-2016. Currently, in addition to serving as the IMTA Recording Secretary, she serves on the IMTA Theory Committee, and she manages the website for the Des Moines Music Teachers Association.
Sherri is passionate about growing and learning new things, especially about teaching and helping her students grow as musicians and individuals. When Sherri is not teaching, researching, or creating for her studio, you can find her enjoying time with her husband, Steve, and three children. She also loves to garden, exercise, and spend time outdoors.
Dr. Jason Sifford, NCTM is a freelance pianist, teacher and composer with a wide range of abilities and interests. He maintains a private teaching studio in Iowa City and is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician, lecturing on such diverse topics as classical performance practice, jazz pedagogy, technical development in young pianists, composition, and music technology. He also appears regularly as a music director and theater musician for area theaters including Hancher Auditorium, the University of Iowa Theater Department, and the City Circle Acting Company of Coralville.
Currently, Dr. Sifford is Immediate Past President of the Iowa Music Teachers Association and serves on the Independent Music Teachers Committee for the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy.
As a composer, Jason is primarily interested in didactic literature for the piano, and his catalogue includes three solo collections, a baroque suite, and several arrangements of popular and traditional songs. His music is featured in the state syllabi for Iowa and Minnesota, the bulletin for the National Federation of Music Clubs, and the Royal Conservatory of Music (Canada). Dr. Sifford holds degrees from Missouri State University, Louisiana State University, and The University of Michigan.
Yamaha Artist and Fellow of the American Pianists Association, is active internationally as a performer, teacher and adjudicator. He earned degrees from Indiana University, Michigan State University, and the Hochschule for Musik in Munich as a DAAD Scholar. He studied with Edward Auer, Michel Block, Helmut Deutsch, Emilio del Rosario, Elisso Virsaladze and Ralph Votapek. Recordings are available on Blue Griffin, Innova, MSR Classics, NAXOS, and Proximal Records. Roth is Professor of Piano at Drake University.
Sarah Robinson teaches applied piano at Simpson College as well as students from a wide range of ages and backgrounds through her private studio in Indianola, Iowa. She received her Master's degree from the University of Missouri in piano pedagogy and her Bachelor's degree in piano performance from Wartburg College. Her primary mentors included Dr. Ted Reuter, Dr. Suzanne Torkelson, Dr. JaniceWenger, and Dr. Paola Savvidou.
In the past, she has taught through Wartburg College's Tower School program and the University of Missouri's Community Music Program working with adults and children of varying ages. She has also taught Group Piano Classes at the University of Missouri for non-piano college music majors, non-music majors, young children, and adults spanning a broad range of ages.
Currently, Sarah is an active member of the Iowa Music Teachers Association and serves as vice president for the Des Moines Music Teachers Association and treasurer for the Southern Iowa Music Teachers Association. Her students regularly participate in IMTA's pre-college auditions and have received honors at both the district and state level.
Dr. Schmidt, a native of St. Louis, has studied with Joanne Baker and Ralph Votapek at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and Michigan State University, respectively. He has given recitals and masterclasses throughout the U.S. and worked extensively in the fields of musical theatre and opera, both as an accompanist and musical director. He presented lectures for many organizations and has been featured several times on Iowa Public Radio.
Prior to joining Augustana College in 2009, Dr. Schmidt served on the faculty at Graceland University where he taught piano, piano literature, piano pedagogy and served as an accompanist. His students have gone on to top graduate programs in the U.S. and abroad and have won various competitions. He and his wife are the proud parents of three children.
Rachel McCoy is a graduate of Iowa State University where she studied piano and percussion.
She has been involved in IMTA for many years, first as a student and now at the local and state levels. Positions shehas held are local association President and district auditions chair, State Auditions Chair and State Festivals Chair.
Marian Lee made her New York City debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall as winner of the Artists International Award and has appeared internationally in Norway, Austria, Belgium, Italy, France, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Poland, Brazil, Byelorussia, Estonia, Hong Kong, Thailand, as well as in Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center's Millenium Stage, Seattle's Benaroya Hall, Moscow's Tchaikovsky Hall and Rachmaninoff Hall, and St. Petersburg, Russia at the Winter Palace. Marian Lee made her initial concert debut in high school performing with Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and Flint Symphony Orchestra in Michigan. She entered The Juilliard School as a scholarship student receiving a Bachelor of Music under the guidance of Gyorgy Sandor, whose own piano professor was Bela Bartok at the Liszt Academy in Hungary and is the author On Piano Playing: Motion, Sound, and Expression, a staple in the piano pedagogy literature. She went on to receive a Master of Music degree in piano performance with Seymour Lipkin at Juilliard and after graduation, was awarded the coveted Fulbright Grant to study with Naum Shtarkman, a Tchaikovsky competition laureate, at the Moscow Conservatory in what was then the Soviet Union. Upon her return to the United States, Dr. Lee completed her doctoral degree at the Peabody Conservatory of Music at The Johns Hopkins University with Boris Slutsky. Dr. Lee previously taught at the University of Delaware before moving to the Quad Cities. She has also taught at the University of Iowa as a sabbatical replacement for Ksenia Nosikova. In 2012, Marian Lee moved to the Quad Cities and was appointed piano professor and head of the keyboard area at St. Ambrose University. As an active teacher and frequent adjudicator, Dr. Lee is a proud member of the Iowa Music Teachers Association (IMTA), Quad City Music Teachers Association (QCMTA), the National Federation of Music Clubs (FMTA), and was the former president of the Delaware Music Teachers Association (DSMTA).
Karen Joan Hopkins was raised in Nebraska, graduating from UN - Lincoln with bachelor and master degrees in music education, with emphasis in piano, voice, and instrumental. Working in a busy music store was an additional part of her education as she filed new shipments and helped teachers, students, and performers find scores for their needs. She has taught vocal and instrumental music in public schools, and piano and voice for Iowa Central Community College, but most of her experience has been from her home music studio. She and her husband have three grown children and reside on a farm near Webster City. Joining MTNA in Nebraska and continuing membership with a move to Iowa in l981 has been a strong motivation to grow as a musician and educator, with the added benefit of friends in many locations. Joan has a genuine interest to connect with other colleagues to share and compare ideas.
Dr. Janci L. A. Bronson is the Coordinator of Class Piano and Piano Pedagogy at Iowa State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Music Education with an emphasis in Piano Pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma (OU) where she studied with Drs. Jane Magrath and Barbara Fast. She previously earned a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from OU and a Bachelor of Music, summa cum laude in Piano Performance from Kansas State University.
Dr. Bronson, NCTM serves as the state IMTA technology chair where she writes biannual articles for the Iowa Music Teacher magazine. She chaired the 2017 IMTA state conference planning committee. Leadership positions in her local association, the Music Teachers of Central Iowa include past president, vice president, and co-chair of the 2018 Ames District Auditions. Dr. Bronson received the honor of being named the 2016-2017 IMTA State Certified Teacher of the Year and receiving the 2016-2017 Distinguished Service Award.
Dr. Bronson is an active researcher, clinician, and adjudicator. She also maintains a successful private piano studio. She is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society, the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Golden Key National Honor Society, and was previously a Presser Scholar winner. Janci and her husband Jeremiah are the proud parents of three children.
Diane M. Smith, NCTM, has taught piano as an independent music teacher in West Des Moines, Iowa, for more than 50 years. She has been an active member of MTNA since 1976, working on the local, state and division levels and serving in a variety of offices including president of the Iowa MTA. Smith was honored by the Iowa MTA as Certified Teacher of the Year in 1999 and with the Distinguished Service Award in 2008. Smith founded and directed the Music and Movement Center, Inc., of West Des Moines, which was one of the largest centers for early childhood music education in the country.
Diane was a 2016 Foundation Fellow recipient.
Following graduation from UNI with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Doris taught Vocational Home Economics for 4 years at the middle school level in Des Moines.
After further study in the field of music, she began teaching piano in her home studio in 1978 and has continued for 40 years. She enjoys the music and students who she says may have taught me more than I have taught them.
As a member of the Federation and Des Moines Music Teachers, her students have participated in numerous festivals and auditions and have earned a number of awards, one of most exciting of being a student who earned 2nd place in the Terrace Hill Endowment for the Musical Arts in 2016.
Jeanette Hinkeldey operates a private piano/organ studio in the Storm Lake, IA area. She serves as Music Director at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Aurelia and is an accompanist for the Storm Lake Middle School and High School Choir Programs. Jeanette received M.M. degree in Organ Performance from Drake University and B.M. in Music Education and Piano Performance from University of South Dakota
Linda Allebach, NCTM, received a BMus and MA in Organ from the University of Iowa. She operates an independent piano and organ studio of 36 students in Davenport. In addition, Linda is on the music staff of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, where she serves as assistant organist.
Her professional associations include the American Guild of Organists (AGO), where she serves on the local board; the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC), where she serves as the local club president (FMTA); and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), where she is the local Festival Chair. With the MTNA, Linda has her National Certification for Teaching Music in both organ and piano.
Linda lives in Davenport with Don, her husband of 47 years. Their family includes three married daughters and eight grandchildren. In her spare time, Linda enjoys competitive and recreational sailing, sewing, and gardening.
Dr. Ted Reuter is professor of piano at Wartburg College, teaching piano and related courses, including music history and aesthetics. He received his bachelors degree from Knox College, his masters degree from the University of Illinois and his doctorate from the University of Iowa. Reuter has extensive experience as a performer and has given solo and chamber music recitals at colleges, universities, institutes, and on artist series throughout the country. Reuter is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician, and has done workshops and masterclasses at universities, high schools, and for private teacher organizations across the country. Reuter served the Iowa MTA as president and is currently the IMTA Scholarship Auditions chair. He was recognized in 2012 as a MTNA Foundation Fellow.
Dr. Richard Steinbach is a Professor of Music at Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa, where he holds the prestigious position of M.A.Martin Everist Foundation Artist-in-Residence. Steinbach holds degrees in piano performance from the University of Colorado, the Eastman School of Music and the University of Iowa. Dr. Steinbach performed his solo debut recital at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2015, premiering his seventh CD titled FUSION. Dr. Steinbach has performed extensively throughout the UnitedStates, Canada, Europe, South and Central America, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan and China. As the grand prizewinner in the France Piano International Competition, he performed his solo debut recital at the Salle Cortot in Paris in January 1996.
Dr. Suzanne Torkelson is Professor of Piano and Director of the Tower School (preparatory program) at Wartburg College. She is very active in the field of piano pedagogy, is Repertoire Chair and New Music Editor for the Iowa Music Teachers Association, and continues to work extensively with pre-college students. She has served MTNA as state president, Division Director for the eight-state West Central Division of MTNA, and on MTNA's national board, and has received their Master Teacher certification, the highest level of professional certification. She was honored as a MTNA Foundation Fellow in 2016.
Sherri Nicholson is a music professor at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, Iowa. She is an active collaborative pianist, adjudicator, and piano teacher.
Amy Jo Wrobel has been teaching piano lessons privately for 26 years and was introduced to IMTA through a local chapter, Northeast Area Music Teachers Association (Waterloo,Cedar Falls) in 2004. Since then she has been very active in her local chapter as secretary, treasurer, and president during the past 14 years until very recently moving to Ankeny. Amy Jo currently is getting involved in the Des Moines Music Teachers Association and is now an IMTA State board member serving as the new Advertising Editor. She is looking forward to serving in her new capacity and brings to the table enthusiasm, energy, and a willingness to learn.
After completing her Masters degree in piano performance at the University of Iowa, Amber and her husband Dave moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa where Amber has an active piano studio. Currently, she serves as the IMTA Webmaster for the iamta.org site. She also serves as a co-chair for the IMTA state auditions and will assume chair of that position in 2019.
Donita McCoy is a native of Mason City, Iowa and has been a member of MNTA/IMTA/MTCI since 1987. She earned a Bachelor of Music from Iowa State University at the age of 33 and has been living and teaching piano in Ames for 49 years. Mrs. McCoy maintains a private studio for piano and strings in her home. She continues to serve as the section bass player in the Des Moines Symphony as she has for 48 years, where she met her husband of 56 years, Richard McCoy. Mrs. McCoy is also currently the principal bass of her community orchestra in Ames.
Donita McCoy was a 2018 Foundation Fellow recipient.
Ethical Concerns Committee:(Chair) Doris Swanson, Donita McCoy, Cheryl Corbett
IMTA/MTNA Awards Committee: Past President, Current President & President-Elect Jason Sifford (Chair), Cyndie Caruth, Linda Benson