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Young Harris College Hosts 2012 Georgia Music Teachers Association Annual Conference

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE    
Media Contact: Krystin Dean
(706) 379-5310, kndean@yhc.edu

Young Harris College Hosts 2012 Georgia Music Teachers Association Annual Conference

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Young Harris College recently hosted the Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) annual conference. Held on the YHC campus, the three-day event featured lectures, workshops, competitions, master classes and performances that were attended by more than 1,000 conference participants and community members.

A state affiliate of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the GMTA is a nonprofit organization comprised of more than 700 independent and collegiate music teachers throughout the state committed to furthering the art of music through programs that support teaching, performance, composition and scholarly research. YHC Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Professor of Music Keith DeFoor, Ph.D., currently serves as immediate past president of the GMTA.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of GMTA officers, staff and members, as well as the YHC administration, faculty, staff and students, the conference was an outstanding success,” said Dr. DeFoor. “It was wonderful to have outstanding student performers, teachers, clinicians, conference headliners and exhibitors on our campus, and conference attendees were very impressed with the YHC campus, facilities and services, as well as the warm and caring hospitality they received.”

Members of the local community enjoyed two special performances during the conference. Internationally acclaimed Russian pianist Alexander Kobrin presented the conference headliner recital, while the DeKalb Symphony Orchestra performed with the 2012 winners of the GMTA piano and instrumental concerto competitions.

Competitions for the GMTA and MTNA took place throughout the week. Musicians took part in 13 events showcasing solo, duet and chamber performances.

The Young Harris College student ensemble Enotah Brass earned alternate (second place) honors in the GMTA/MTNA chamber music competition. 

Enotah Brass members include Jeremiah Kersting, a senior music education major from Sugar Hill, Ga., Rolando Fernandez, a senior music major from Canton, Ga., Chris Calloway, a sophomore business and public policy major from Young Harris, Ga., Jeff Stewart, a junior music education major from Young Harris, Ga., and Patrick Young, a sophomore music education major from Dawsonville, Ga. The group is coached by YHC Senior Instructor of Music and Director of Bands Mary Land.

The ensemble met several times each week this semester outside of regular rehearsals for other YHC ensembles to practice their 40-minute competition performance, which included Quintet No.1 By Victor Ewald, Monteregian Hills Suite by Morley Calvert and Canzona Bergamasca by Samuel Scheidt. The members also performed at the Winners Recital during the conference.

“Competing in a chamber competition increases the stress level because each person in the group is fully responsible for their part. There is no hiding in a five-person ensemble,” said Young. “After many late-night and early-morning rehearsals and countless hours of practicing, it was bittersweet to receive second place. Enotah Brass enjoys a challenge, and we definitely hope to participate again next year.”
 

Six YHC students and GMTA/MTNA student chapter members also took part in the conference, including Landon Lovell, a senior music major from Blairsville, Ga., Cody Killian, a junior music major from Murphy, N.C., Rocsane Tabulinar, a sophomore music major from Hiawassee, Ga., Lane Dorough, a sophomore music major from Marietta, Ga., John Fletcher, a freshman music major from Cumming, Ga., and Meredith Martin, a freshman music major from Cumming, Ga.

For more information about the GMTA, visit www.georgiamta.org.

About Young Harris College
Young Harris College is a private, baccalaureate degree-granting college located in the beautiful mountains of north Georgia. Founded in 1886 and historically affiliated with The United Methodist Church, Young Harris College educates, inspires and empowers students through the highest quality liberal arts education. The College currently has more than 1,000 students across five divisions—Education, Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, and Social and Behavioral Sciences—and plans to increase enrollment to 1,200 over the next few years. The historic campus in Young Harris, Ga., is currently undergoing major campus improvements to accommodate the College’s growth, including recent completion of a 200-bed, LEED Silver-certified residence hall, Georgia’s first higher education facility north of Atlanta to achieve this certification, a 57,000-square-foot, LEED-certified recreation center, the second higher educational recreation facility in Georgia to achieve this certification, and a 248-bed, apartment-style residential village. In 2011, the College was granted candidacy for NCAA Division II athletics. YHC is among fewer than 300 colleges and universities nationwide named to the 2012-2013 list of Colleges of Distinction. For more information, visit www.yhc.edu.

The DeKalb Symphony Orchestra returned to campus for a special performance during the 2012 Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) Annual Conference hosted by Young Harris College.

The 2012 Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) Annual Conference piano pedagogy headliner, award-winning professor and director Southern Methodist University’s Division of Music Dr. Sam Holland, presented a session titled “iPods, iPads and YouTube Oh My!” in Susan B. Harris Chapel on the Young Harris College campus.

Pianist and educator Dr. Carol W. Payne presented a session titled “Why Wait to Teach Your Young Piano Students to Play Concertos” during the 2012 Georgia Music Teachers Association (GMTA) Annual Conference hosted by Young Harris College.

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