2006 VMTA Conference

VMTA Conference, October 26-29, 2006

George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

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From the rolling hills of Virginia to the shining Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Music Teachers will swarm the campus of George Mason University. Heading to Northern Virginia is a delightful trip through the fall colors and countryside. To start the conference off on the right foot, come join in the fun with Kathryn Rapier in some simple stretches and a short walk around the beautiful campus of George Mason University followed by an on-the-go breakfast. Kathryn will dazzle the group with inspiration for yourself and your students before heading off for a serious discussion group on all those questions music teachers ask with Marjorie Lee and Terry Compos-Falk. Lunch is a time to shop, browse and buy. Vendors will be here to appeal to all your senses. The afternoon plans are packed with motivating talks with Julie Slingerland and Audrey Peterbark followed by a relaxing recital atmosphere. Run to catch some dinner because the Orchestra Concert begins at 8:00 PM with our own Concerto Winners. End the day with good conversation and a cookie or two at the reception and it is off to bed. Set your alarm clock for that walk in the morning.

Melody Bober will attract many teachers far and wide for the Saturday?s clinics. Her talks on The Healthy Musician and Melody’s Melodies are just a few highlights. There will be a history lesson or two from Andrew Horowitz before Allan Blank debuts the Commissioned Composer piece. Don’t forget to browse the Vendors for that Melody Bober piece, or music software, maybe a music trinket or two. VMTA would not be complete without the Business Meeting. Come share new ideas and volunteer to make VMTA #1 across the country.

Saturday night is the time to relax and put on your Sunday best for a delicious meal and superb concert given by George Mason University?s Performing Professors, featuring John Healey and Linda Monson as two of the stand out artists.

Whatever your pleasure, be it education, networking, or camaraderie, you will find it at George Mason University at the end of October. Mark your calendars, book the hotel, and bring your friends for the biggest event of the season. Come and have a great learning experience that you will share with colleagues and students.

— Deborah Gunnerson

Conference Schedule


12:00 – 5:00 MTNA Competitions Junior High and High School Woodwinds
6:00 VMTA Executive Committee Dinner


8:00 – 4:30 Registration
8:30 – 5:00 Vendor Displays
8:45 – 12:15 Certification Exams
9:00 – 12:00 MTNA Competitions: Junior High Piano; Collegiate Woodwinds and Chamber Music
1:00 – 5:00 MTNA Competitions: Junior High and High School Strings, Brass, Percussion, Voice
9:00 – 10:00 Wake Up with Music and Movement! — Kathryn Rapier
Breakfast of Pastries and
Coffee/Tea included
10:15 – 11:30 Panel Discussion with Marjorie Lee, Terry Compos-Falk, and other guests — Jeri Bennett, moderator
11:45 – 1:45 General Lunch
Certification Lunch
2:00 – 3:00 Motivating Students to Practice — Julie Slingerland
3:15 – 4:14 Recital — GMU students
4:30 – 5:30 Stepping Stones: Bridging the gap between Festival and Competition — Audrey Peterbark
6:00 – 7:30 Dinner on your own
8:00 Orchestra Concert
9:30 Reception


8:00 – 1:00 Registration
8:30 – 3:00 Vendor Displays
9:00 – 4:30 State Auditions
8:00 – 8:45 Wake Up with Music and Movement! — Kathryn Rapier
Breakfast of Pastries and Coffee/Tea included
9:00 – 10:15 Melody’s Melodies — Melody Bober
10:15 – 11:00 Teaching Music History through Performance Practices in the Piano Lesson — Andrew Horowitz
11:15 – 12:45 General Lunch
Council of Presidents Lunch
1:00 – 2:15 The Healthy Musician — Melody Bober
2:30 – 3:15 Commissioned Composer — Allan Blank
3:30 – 5:00 VMTA Business Meeting
6:00 – 7:30 Banquet
8:00 Conference Artists, GMU Performing Professors
9:30 Reception


9:30 – 11:00 Master Class with John Healey
11:30 Winners Recital

The 2006 VMTA Conference Adjourns!

Artists and Clinicians


Piano instructor, music teacher, composer, and clinician Melody Bober has been active in music education for over 25 years. As a composer, her goal is to create exciting and challenging pieces that are strong teaching tools to promote a lifelong love, understanding, and appreciation for music. Pedagogy, ear training, and musical expression are fundamentals of Melody’s teaching, as well as fostering composition skills in her students. Melody graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) in music education, and later received a master’s degree in piano performance from Minnesota State University. Her career has included teaching music in public school and at the university level; church music director; soloist and accompanist. Currently, she teaches private piano lessons and conducts workshops across the nation. She and her husband Jeff reside near beautiful Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.


Dr. Sonya Suhnhee Kim, an International Steinway Artist, celebrated the opening of her 2006 concert series with a Mozart program during a concert in Vienna, Austria, on Mozart’s 250th Birthday, January 27, 2006. She continues to celebrate his “250th Birthday – the Spirit of Mozart” in various concert venues. Over the last decade she has lived in Germany, Austria and the United States. She performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts in these countries. While living in Germany, she conducted postdoctoral studies at Frankfurt’s University for the Performing Arts for two and one half years. At this time she performed in various cities to include Frankfurt, Oberammergau, Wiesbaden, and Mainz, including a successful benefit concert for Bosnian children. While in Vienna, she conducted research at the Vienna University, and continues to maintain close relations with her professors, Alexander Jenner and Paul Badura-Skoda.

In addition to recording for KBS Radio and MBC Television in her native Korea, she has performed solo recitals for Washington, D.C.?s classical music station, WGMS. While a faculty member with Keimyung University, she performed solo recitals and appeared with numerous chamber music ensembles throughout Korea. Dr. Kim served as chairman of the Youth Orchestra Exchange between U.S. and German Cities from 2002 to 2003 to enrich the lives of young musicians through cultural outreach. She performed as a guest pianist in a chamber music program with musicians of the Aachen Philharmonic Orchestra in 2002. She also performed in a chamber music concert sponsored by the America Haus, Cologne, Germany, with the musicians of the Aachen University, which critics lauded as “brilliant…elegant.” In the Nation’s Capital area, Dr. Kim has performed diverse solo recitals in various concert halls to include the U.S. State Department, museums, the World Bank, and universities. She taught piano at the Catholic University of America and currently is on the faculty at the George Mason University.

Dr. Kim performed Schubert compositions in the Austrian Embassy on FOX TV’s morning show at the invitation of the Austrian Embassy. Dr. Kim recently performed a chamber music concert with Austria’s acclaimed Aron Quartet in Vienna and a “Spring Concert” in Tyrol, Austria, where she is invited to return every year. She will return this June to Vienna, Austria, to further celebrate “Mozart’s 250th Birthday – the Spirit of Mozart” by performing a Mozart?s Concerto for Two Pianos and a solo recital during Vienna’sFestwochen 2006.

“…the Adagio passage of the Mozart brought the sensibility of audience into a rare state of harmony.” — Weghaupt, Vienna, Austria, January 27, 2006.


Kelly Ker Hackleman is adjunct music professor at George Mason University, where she teaches piano, sight singing and ear training, and keyboard literature. She has also been on the faculties of Shepherd College in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Frederick Community College in Maryland, as well as Rhodes College and the University of Memphis in Tennessee. Dr. Hackleman currently holds the position of organist at Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Springfield. Before moving to the Washington, D.C. area in September 2000, she was an active freelance musician in Montr‚al. She frequently played keyboard for the Montr‚al Symphony Orchestra and has performed with them in Europe, in the Canary Islands, and at Carnegie Hall. She has also played orchestral keyboard with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Concert Ballet, the Washington Choral Society, and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. She is currently principal pianist with the Alexandria Symphony and held the same position with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra for six years.

She is pianist for the Washington Symphonic Brass, and recorded a CD, “Voices with Brass,” with them which was released last fall, and includes Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana and Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony. In July of this year, she recorded two CD’s for french horn and piano with her husband, Martin Hackleman, both of which are scheduled to be released in early 2007. An accomplished chamber musician and accompanist, Dr. Hackleman was a founding member of the Peabody Trio of Memphis and has worked with such artists as Kallen Esperian and Richard Vernon, (Metropolitan Opera) Martin Hackleman, Tim Morrison, Scott Hartman, and Ofra Harnoy.

Dr. Hackleman has won or placed in numerous solo piano competitions, notably, the National Masters Piano Competition and second prize in the International Beethoven Sonata Competition. She holds a Masters of Music degree in performance with Distinction in Performance from the New England Conservatory and a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Memphis. Her teachers and coaches have included Anthony di Bonaventura, David Bar-Illan, Seymour Lipkin, Walter Trampler, Peter Wiley, Louis Krasner, and Menahem Pressler.


Julie Slingerland grew up in the Rochester, New York, area and attended the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department where she studied flute and voice. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University as a music education/piano major (George Mulfinger, piano teacher), she obtained an MA degree from Teachers College, Columbia University as a vocal music education major.

Julie taught vocal music education in the New York State public school system in Westchester County and in the Syracuse region. She was also active as a church organist and choir director. Since moving to Annandale, Virginia, almost thirty years ago, she has maintained an active piano studio. While living in this area she has been working on a second masters degree at both Catholic University and George Mason University. Her piano teachers at Catholic University have been James Litzelman and Thomas Mastronni. She has studied with Anna Balakerskaia at George Mason University.

A Nationally Certified Music Teacher (MTNA), Julie currently serves as the treasurer of the Virginia Music Teachers Association, and the president-elect of the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association.


A sought-after teacher in Northern Virginia, pianist Andrew Horowitz, NCTM, is also an active soloist and collaborator. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance form George Mason University and has studied with Dr. Joanne Haroutounian, Dr. Robert Wyatt, and the late Andrew DeGrado. In addition to solo performances at the Kreeger Museum and George Mason University, he has performed at numerous private functions throughout the Washington area. As an accompanist and instrumental coach, Mr. Horowitz has done work for musicals, choirs, and student instrumentalists of all levels. Devoting the majority of his time to teaching, Mr. Horowitz maintains an active studio of over fifty students in Alexandria and Falls Church.


Kathryn Rapier is a Piano and Musikgarten Instructor in Vienna, VA. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Gardner-Webb University where she studied music with a concentration in piano. She was among the first to earn George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts Professional Certification in Piano Pedagogy in May 2006. She also possesses a Master of Arts degree from Reformed Theological Seminary and is the Director of Worship at McLean Presbyterian Church in McLean, VA. Ms. Rapier recently co-represented George Mason University? s Music Department with Dr. Joanne Haroutounian as a presenter at the Music Teachers National Association convention in Austin, TX in March 2006 where she instructed music professionals how to match innovative teaching strategies with student learning styles. She has developed an online resource for music teachers to discuss student learning styles and share teaching strategies: www.kathrynrapier.com.


Dr. Linda Apple Monson, pianist, Associate Chair of the Department of Music at George Mason University, also serves as Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at GMU. In addition, she is the Director of Music at Springfield United Methodist Church. Dr. Monson has previously served on the music faculties of Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University, College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and Northern Virginia Community College. Professor Monson received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance, the Master of Music degree in Piano, and the Bachelor of Music Education degree (with a double-major in piano and bassoon), all from the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. She also earned a Diploma in Piano from M£sica en Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Dr. Monson has given numerous performances throughout the United States and Europe as piano soloist, accompanist, and chamber musician. Dr. Monson presented solo piano recitals and piano master classes in 2004-2005 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge; Davidson College in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. Recent invited lecture-recital performances for international, national, and regional conferences of the College Music Society include: University of Costa Rica in San Jose; University of Miami, Florida; and Meredith College in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has performed often at George Mason University in solo and chamber music, including a performance with Richard Stoltzman and the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. In addition, she served as a panelist and concert commentator for the 2003-2004 Virginia Chamber Orchestra satellite broadcasts, Music of the Romantic Era and Music by Modern Masters, which were broadcast to all community colleges in the U.S. during the 2003-04 seasons. Dr.

Monson also served as collaborative pianist for the International Clarinet Festival/Competition at the University of Maryland during July of 2004. She also performed in Madrid, Spain in June of 2005 as a featured lecture-recitalist for the International College Music Society Conference. In addition, she performed as piano soloist with the GMU Symphony Orchestra in October of 2005 in Turina’s Rapsodia Sinfonica. She recently performed a lecture-recital for the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities (Honolulu, January 2006). Additional recent lecture-recital performances include: Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music (February 2006), University of California at Berkeley (March 2006), Wilkes University in Wilkes Barre, PA (March 2006). She also presented a lecture-recital in Hanover, Germany (June 2006) for the Alban Berg Symposium/ Festival.


Teresa Compos-Falk, a resident of Yorktown, Virginia, received her earliest piano training in her Pennsylvania hometown at the Bethlehem Conservatory of Music, studying with Alma E. Hoch. During teen years, she studied with Eleanor Sokoloff of the Curtis Institute of Music and later, received Bachelors and Masters degrees from Juilliard School of Music, studying with famed pedagogue, Adele Marcus and also Ania Dorfman. Her extensive professional experience includes New York Times criticallyacclaimed solo recitals at Town Hall, NY, Carnegie Recital Hall, NY, and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. College and university concerts were given as Teri was a faculty member for fourteen years at 3 colleges in the New York/New Jersey area. As a piano soloist, she gave Faculty Exchange concerts at Dartmouth (Hopkins Hall), Seton Hill, Moravian College, numerous colleges on the Eastern Seaboard, and in the Midwest. Chamber music programs at Tanglewood, Aspen Music Festivals, Federal Hall, and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center were also a part of her performing experience. Concerts followed in Korea as part of securing a visiting professorship in Seoul, Korea. In 1987, Teresa received an MTNA Master Teacher certification and returned to the United States after having lived in Korea while her husband, John, served 2 years as an Army Chaplain in Seoul. In 1988, Teri opened a piano studio in Hampton Roads, VA and became VMTA treasurer shortly after.

She has served as a VMTA Baldwin and Yamaha judge before her studio yielded MTNA State, Southern Division, and National Baldwin and Yamaha winners. More recently, she served as local Peninsula Music Teachers president, and would like to “trim” her 50-plus student body in order to travel with husband John, a recent retiree, and son Jonathan who attends the University of Virginia.


Audrey Peterbark Ross has established herself as a new independent piano teacher in Northern Virginia. She is a graduate of Westminster Choir College of Rider University where she received a BM (2001) and a MM (2003) in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. While at Westminster, Audrey participated in a honors recital at Weill Recital hall and performed with the Westminster Community Orchestra. In addition to performing, she has received many prestigious awards for her outstanding achievement in the area of pedagogy. Audrey was a piano student of Ingrid Jacobson Clarfield and is a former student of Rosita Kerr Mang. She studied pedagogy with Phyllis Alphert Lehrer, Lillian Livingston, Marvin Blickenstaff, Betty Stoloff, Jean Stackhouse, and Jim Goldsworthy. She currently teaches from her private studio in Burke, Virginia. Audrey will present Stepping Stones: Bridging the gap between Festival and Competition: Pieces that challenge and help prepare your students for advanced repertoire.


A native of Missouri, John Paul Healey received degrees in piano from Truman State University and Texas Christian University before completing his doctorate at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. His principal teachers have been John Owings, Henry Meyer (chamber music) and Frank Weinstock. He has played chamber and solo concerts in America and Europe, including performances of Holocaust composer Viktor Ullmann’s piano music in German and Austrian synagogues.

While in Europe he recorded a compact disc of solo piano music by the 20th century Romanian/French composer Henrik Neugeboren (Rayuela Records, Stuttgart, Germany). A resident of the Washington, DC area since 1997, Dr. Healey acted as a visiting instructor of piano at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1999-2000 and as a vocal coach in the German for singers program at Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vt.). He currently serves on the keyboard faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, and as President of the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association. He maintains a private piano studio and freelances throughout the area as a collaborative and solo pianist. He lives with his wife and son in Alexandria, Virginia.


Allan Blank was born in New York in 1925. His early musical training was on the violin. He attended the High School of Music & Art where an interest in conducting and composition was fostered. Further studies were at the Juilliard School of Music (1945-1947), New York University (BA, 1948), University of Minnesota (MA, 1950) and the University of Iowa. He was a violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (1950-1952) and has taught at a number of schools and universities. He is Professor Emeritus of Composition at Virginia Commonwealth University (1978-1996) and currently teaches there parttime. He has a number of published works distributed among the following publishers: Boosey & Hawkes, Associated Music Publishers, Carl Fischer & Co., Smith Publications, Theodore Presser & Co., Seesaw Music Corp., Music For Percussion, Dorn Publications, Nichols Music Co., Roncorp Inc., Falls House Press, Association for the Promotion of New Music, International Opus and Edition Pro Nova. A number of his works have been recorded and are on the following labels: CRI, Orion, Advance, Open Loop, Centaur, Contemporary Society, Titanic Records, Pro Viva and North/South Recordings.

Awards include First Prize in the George Eastman Competition (1983) sponsored by the Eastman School of Music for his DUO FOR BASSOON & PIANO, and a grant (1983) from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of his one-act opera, THE MAGIC BONBONS. He was commissioned by the Virginia Shakespeare Festival at Williamsburg to.write music for their production of Measure for Measure. In 1985 he received a commission-from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Presenting Organization to write a clarinet quintet for the Roxburg Chamber Players. This work has been recorded and released on the OPUS ONE label. He has received three commissions (1979, 1988, 1991) from the Virginia Music Teachers Association.

In 1988 he won both the ERIC SATIE MOSTLY TONAL AWARD for his string trio, FANTASY ON CANTILLATION MOTIVES, and the ANNUAL CHORAL COMPETITION CONTEST sponsored by the Chautauqua Chamber Players for his setting called POOR RICHARD’S ALMANACK. In 1989 Mr. Blank was a winner in the LIND SOLO SONG COMPETITION sponsored by Cornel University, and in 1990 he was awarded a grant from the Virginia Commission of the Arts for a CONCERTO FOR CLARINET & STRING ORCHESTRA. Mr. Blank is listed in a number of references including the NEW GROVES DICTIONARY OF MUSIC & MUSICIANS. He has been invited to deposit manuscripts in the Hans Moldenhauer Archive and the Diehn Composer’s Room of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Two recent CDs include his MUSIC FOR BASSOON (Centaur CRC2485) and CHAMBER WORKS (Arizona University Recordings, AUR CD 3103).


(3535 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax, VA)

From Interstate 495: Take Interstate 66 West via exit 49C (on the left) toward Vienna/Front Royal. Take the VA-123 South exit number 60 toward Fairfax. Stay straight to go onto Chain Bridge Road/VA Route 123 South. Turn left onto Eaton Road at the first traffic light. The Hotel will be immediately on your left.

From 66 East: Take the Chain Bridge Road/VA-123 South exit number 60 toward Fairfax. Stay straight to go onto Chain Bridge Road/VA Route 123 South. Turn left onto Eaton Road at the first traffic light. The Hotel will be immediately on your left.

(Distance Approximately 2-1/2 miles.)

  • Turn Right onto Eaton Road as you exit the Hotel parking lot.
  • Turn Left onto Route 123/Chain Bridge Road.
  • Follow Route 123 through the City of Fairfax.
  • Turn left at University Drive.
  • Take first right on to Occoquan River Lane.
  • Turn right at the stop sign onto Patriot Circle.
  • At the pond, bear left to stay on Patriot Circle.
  • Take the first left onto ?Mason Pond Drive.


  • Take exit 54, Braddock Road West (Route 620)
  • Follow Braddock Road West for approximately six miles.
  • Pass the first entrance to the university.
  • Turn right at the stoplight at Roanoke River Road (sometimes signed as Roanoke Lane).
  • Bear right at the fork in the road.
  • Take the first left onto Mason Pond Drive.


  • Exit at the Fairfax County Parkway South (Route 7100).
  • Exit the Parkway at Braddock Road, and turn left (East) onto Braddock Rd.
  • Cross Route 123 (also called Chain Bridge Road or Ox Road).
  • Take the first left onto Roanoke River Road (Sometimes signed as Roanoke Lane).
  • Bear right at the fork in the road.
  • Take the first left onto Mason Pond Drive.


  • Take exit 60 at Route 123 South, Chain Bridge Road.
  • Follow Route 123 through the City of Fairfax.
  • Turn left at ?University Drive.
  • Take first right on to ?Occoquan River Lane.
  • Turn right at the stop sign onto Patriot Circle.
  • At the pond, bear left to stay on Patriot Circle.
  • Take the first left onto Mason Pond Drive.