LMTA celebrates seventy-five years of excellence

Post date: Jun 5, 2017 6:46:13 PM

Originating in 1942, The Lincoln Music Teachers Association is celebrating 75 years of excellence in 2017. Pictured are members in attendance who have served as LMTA President. First Row, L to R: Alice Bowen, Charlotte Heermann, Wanda Mandigo, Lois Burger, Jo Riecker-Karl. Second Row, L to R: Joan Reist, Shirley Ficke, Marcia Wiebers, Shirley Schulz, MarySue Harris, Barbara Rader, Chad Houk, Nancy Schoen, Present LMTA President Svetlana Yashirin, and MTNA Executive Director and CEO Gary Ingle.

Past Presidents not pictured: Donna Gunn, Betty Little, Jean Hendersen, Margaret Nelson, Margot Peterson, Becky Seth and Susan Kerhli Moore. Deceased: Alice H.S. Rowell, Mrs. J.M. Neely, Mariel Jones, Ruth Dreamer, Daisy Sechrist, Grace Finch, Margaret McGregor, Marguerite Widener, Emma Loder, Mildred McFarland, Margaret Lindgren, Carol Work, Adelaide Spurgin, Ruth Dann, Lela Pierce and Ceil Brown.

By Jo Riecker-Karl

On May 17, 2017 the Lincoln Music Teachers Association [LMTA] hosted a luncheon to celebrate their seventy-fifth anniversary. Special guest Gary Ingle, Executive Director of MTNA [Music Teachers National Association] came from Cincinnati to join the festivities, and presented a plaque commemorating LMTA’s seventy-five years of excellence to LMTA President Svetlana Yashirin. Long-standing LMTA members Joan Reist and Charlotte Heermann presented a humorous account of how LMTA had evolved over the years, and Marcelo Lian, Argentinian-born pianist, performed tangos. Other special guests included retired past LMTA Presidents, faculty from UNL, UNK, Nebraska Wesleyan University, and Keith Heckman, retired part-owner of Dietze Music House. The event was catered by Greta’s Gourmet Catering. Committee members for the event included LMTA members Wanda Mandigo, Lois Burger, Joan Reist, Charlotte Heermann and Pris Kleiwer.

This has been a banner year in which LMTA has been recognized for its many years of living up to their motto “Revere Excellence” and their mission to “provide quality music instruction, continuing education and mutual support among members and their students and community outreach for the promotion of the arts”. LMTA recently received the Music Teachers National Association [MTNA] 2017 Local Association of the Year Award. Charlotte Heermann, long standing LMTA member, accepted a $1,000 check and plaque from MTNA President Johnson on behalf of LMTA at the MTNA National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland during their Annual Business Meeting in the spring. This national award recognizes the significant accomplishments and important work of LMTA for Nebraska MTA, MTNA, and the music teaching profession. MTNA stated in its congratulatory letter, "Your local association and its membership exemplify the very best in MTNA through your activities, participation in state and national programs, and membership growth".

As another way to celebrate its 75 years, LMTA reimbursed the ticket cost for students of LMTA members who attended the Piano Lied Series at the Lied Center for Performing Arts concert by artist Richard Goode in April.

LMTA is a nonprofit organization of independent music teachers and college faculty, The highlights for the 2016-17 school year include the LMTA Extravaganza (a monster concert consisting of a keyboard orchestra and strings), a Music Outreach fundraiser at Barnes and Noble, the biennial LMTA Composition Contest, NMTA Lincoln District Festival and Honors Recital and the Pre-Give to Lincoln “friendraiser” party which LMTA co-hosted with five local arts organizations.

In 2016 The Lincoln Music Teachers Association won the Gladys Lux Education Award from the Mayor’s Arts Awards for its LMTA Music Outreach Program which offers deeply discounted lessons, instruments and free sheet music to children who could not otherwise afford them. LMTA-MOP is supported in part by grants from the Lincoln Arts Council, Nebraska Arts Council & the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, the Lincoln Community Foundation, the Pearle Francis Finigan Foundation, the Cooper Foundation, the Harris Foundation and the Viking Foundation in addition to private donations, special gifts from General Dynamics and Elks Lodge #80, LMTA fundraisers and partnerships with local businesses. In 2011, the M.U.S.I.C. (Music for UnderServed Interested Children) Endowment was established with the Lincoln Community Foundation to benefit MOP.

Meetings with an educational component are held each month from September through May. Music teachers from all disciplines are invited to join as active or supporting members. More information may be found at www.LMTA.info. Tax-deductible donations to LMTA-MOP or the M.U.S.I.C. Endowment may be made through the website.