Presenters

Nancy O-Neill Breth and Edwina Hunter

“Something for Everyone: A Treasure-Trove of Musical Ideas”

Artina McCain

Nancy O’Neill Breth teaches piano and chamber music in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She travels widely to interact with teachers and students around the country. Her videos and publications on practicing are in use world-wide.

Edwina E. Hunter has served piano students in the DMV area for over 40 years. Committed to diversity, she is chair of the newly-formed MSMTA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and MSMTA President.

“Something for Everyone: A Treasure-Trove of Musical Ideas”: Nancy Breth & Edwina Hunter bring you the fruits of their research into music by neglected composers: exciting repertoire for all levels and all instruments, sample performances, and links to both recorded performances and purchase options.

Gjergji Gaqi

“Expanding the Teaching Repertoire: Piano Pedagogy in the Works of Florence B. Price”

Artina McCain

Dr. Gjergji Gaqi is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. An active performer in both solo and collaborative settings, Gaqi is a frequently sought- after masterclass clinician and adjudicator.

“Expanding the Teaching Repertoire: Piano Pedagogy in the Works of Florence B. Price”: An analytical exploration of representative piano works at all levels of difficulty by African-American female composer Florence B. Price. Price’s masterful and imaginative compositions offer an excellent opportunity to expand the piano teaching repertoire.

Download session handout:

Gaqi – Florence B. Price Handout

Rok Palcic

“Independent Music Teachers Forum (IMTF) Meeting”

Rok Palcic

Dr. Rok Palcic is active as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Music School 21 and Chevy Chase Music as well as Artistic Director of the Cultural Arts Society Ars Haliaeti and President of the Art Music Society.

“Independent Music Teachers Forum (IMTF) Meeting”: Dr. Rok Palcic will lead a discussion with teachers about topics of concern in today’s music studio.

Richard Masters

“Introducing Your Students to the World of Collaborative Piano”

Rok Palcic

An active pianist, chamber musician, vocal coach and conductor, Richard Masters is an associate professor at Virginia Tech. He has performed with violinist Earl Carlyss, Grammy-winning baritone Donnie Ray Albert, and conductor Lorin Maazel.

“Introducing Your Students to the World of Collaborative Piano”: Piano students often see music-making as a solitary pursuit, not experiencing the same collaborative opportunities found amongst other instrumentalists and vocalists. You can provide those opportunities! We will discuss strategies and resources for sparking collaboration.

Julia Sansone

“Beyond the Private Studio: How to Expand Your Music Teaching Business”

Rok Palcic

Julia Sansone, NCTM, is the owner of Allegro Music School and a classically trained pianist with over 27 years of teaching experience. She’s passionate about nurturing students and enriching lives through music.

“Beyond the Private Studio: How to Expand Your Music Teaching Business” is an inspiring presentation for teachers seeking growth. It shares practical strategies, personal experiences, and key lessons from a successful transition from private teaching to owning a thriving music school, emphasizing growth, quality, and community impact.

Download session handout:

Sansone – Beyond the Private Studio

Melissa Marrion

Defining Passion, The Pianist

Rok Palcic

Melissa Marrion, nee Wuslich, is one of the VMTA Founders and a Past President of VMTA.  She grew up in Western Pennsylvania and attended the College-Conservatory of Cincinnati for her undergraduate and graduate degrees, studying with Mme. Karin Dayas. After graduation, she joined the Richmond Professional Institute faculty, which after five years became VCU, teaching for many years before retirement.  Her two most important passions were performing and teaching. 

Defining Passion, the Pianist is one of nine videos in the Series. It was the recipient of the Arts & Entertainment 2022 Telly Award, the premier award honoring the finest film and video productions. It tells the story of Melissa Marrion’s deep passion for playing piano that saw her through tragic setbacks and challenges. Overcoming these, she has left a legacy of successful students & professional musicians. It is inspirational.

William Averitt

Commissioned Composer Concert: Diversions

Rok Palcic

William Averitt is Professor Emeritus of Composition, Shenandoah Conservatory. His music is performed internationally, published by ECS, Walton and others, and is the subject of three doctoral dissertations. His choral pieces are featured on several recordings.

Diversions is a string quartet in seven short, contrasting movements. Movements 1, 3, 5 and 7 are written for full quartet, while 2, 4 and 6 are for a solo, duet and trio, respectively.

Performers for the commissioned composer work:

Sage Wright

Sage Wright is an avid performer and teacher. She runs a music program at the Richmond nonprofit FRIENDS Association for Children and teaches strings classes and private lessons at St. Christopher’s School.

Loretta McCray

Loretta McCray is the Director of the Lower School String Ensembles at St. Catherine’s and St. Christopher’s Schools in Richmond, Virginia.  She teaches private violin lessons and performs widely with her ensemble, Somerset.

Christopher Chorney

Christopher Chorney is a cello player and multi-instrumentalist who has played on numerous Grammy-Award Winning tracks with such artists as Kanye West and Jay-Z. He plays the cello solo at the start of the song “All of The Lights”, which has garnered over 250 million views on YouTube.

Christina Sienkiewicz

Christina Sienkiewicz is the Orchestra Director at the Specialty Center for the Arts at Thomas Dale High School in Chester, Virginia. She received both her Bachelor of Music in Music Education (2008) and Masters of Music (2012) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.