April, 2015


Welcome to our special MusicLink Hall of Fame issue of eLINK, where we applaud the accomplishments of the teachers who have taught through the MusicLink Foundation from 5 to 20 years of service. MusicLink relies on the simple idea of linking an eager student with a caring teacher and watching this special relationship grow through musical training over many years. The success of the program relies on the commitment of our teachers to make a difference in the lives of these students through music. This issue highlights 111 teachers who exemplify the heart of MusicLink's success - they "create musicians, one student at a time."


MusicLink Teacher Laureate - 20 years

The MusicLink Foundation has established a special category for teachers who have reached 20 or more years of service to the program - MusicLink Teacher Laureate. We are recognizing Martha Smith (VA), one of our first MusicLink teachers, with this honor. Martha began teaching her first MusicLink student in 1993, and taught a total of six students through her years in MusicLink. In addition, she served as Virginia MusicLink coordinator for many years and is on the MusicLink Board of Directors, serving as its secretary.


"Giving back? Returning a favor? Only wish I could have done more. Teaching MusicLink students is the best way I found of passing the loving and generous instruction I received in an earlier era to a new generation of eager learners. I liked the diversity of backgrounds MusicLink added to my studio and the way exceptional MusicLink students inspired others. MusicLink linked me to wonderfully deserving students and to teachers with well-developed social consciences."


MusicLink Teachers of Distinction
with Honors - 15 plus years

Another Hall of Fame category initiated this year is MusicLink Teacher of Distinction with Honors, recognizing eight teachers who have taught from 15 to 19 years through MusicLink. We recognize and thank the following teachers, who have devoted all of these years to help MusicLink students thrive through musical training.


You will find the total number of years and students taught following each teacher's comments.


Sherry Penkert Frush, NCTM, TX is a pianist, accompanist, adjudicator, clinician and music instructor. She has taught music for 48 years. Frush is a Director-elect for Music Teachers National Association, MTNA Fellow, NFMC South Central Region Junior Composers chair, Texas Music Teachers Association Past President, 2005 Texas MTA Teacher of the Year and in the National Guild Hall of Fame.


"MusicLink has allowed my studio a national connection for deserving and talented dedicated students that greatly enhances what can be offered them. It is so rewarding to see their joy and passion and how much they appreciate the benefits and support from the MusicLink Foundation and MusicLink business partners. As a result, these students not only excel in music events, performances and competitions, but also give of their time and talents by serving in their community.


I cannot thank the MusicLink Foundation program enough for the blessings given." (16 years, 97 students)


Carole Gauthier, MD has a BA from the College of Notre Dame, Maryland, with an emphasis in performance, and has taught piano privately for over 30 years. In addition to maintaining a studio, she has also served as organist and choir and hand bell director. She is currently a member of MTNA and a charter member of CCMTA, her local association, where she is treasurer and past president. Her students participate in the National Guild of Piano and many musical events of MSMTA and CCMTA, as well as her studio recitals.


"I began teaching two sisters from the Gallagher family in September 1999. In 2001, their two twin sisters also began piano lessons. They studied throughout their school years and have since graduated from college.


Emily, the fifth Gallagher girl, began lessons in first grade and is now a freshman in high school. The girls come from a musical family of nine with varied interests in addition to piano. It has been and remains a joy to share music with such amazing young ladies. MusicLink has been a blessing for us all." (17 years, 5 students)


Virginia Koun, NCTM, VA was one of our first MusicLink teachers, teaching her first MusicLInk student in 1997. She served as MusicLink coordinator of the Tidewater Teachers Forum for many years as well. Virginia is a member of MTNA and enjoyed teaching for over 45 years in her vibrant Virginia Beach studio before recently retiring. Her very first MusicLink student, Justin Kauflin, has been featured in our eLINK as an up and coming young jazz musician.


"MusicLink was a natural way of reaching students who showed the eagerness to learn music and I wanted to give back to these very special students." (15 years, 9 students)


Peggy Newhall, NCTM, VA: "I have been working with MusicLink as a teacher and a coordinator for quite a few years. It has been a very rewarding experience. It gives me great joy to encourage a love of music to students who could not afford it otherwise." (15 years, 10 students)


Diane Beyer Perett, Ph.D., NCTM, VA: "I still remember how excited I was to teach my first piano student in the pilot program for MusicLink, and I am even more enthusiastic about the program now after all these years, as I teach my third MusicLink student, an outstanding eighth grader who has studied with me for five years. MusicLink has made it possible for me to emulate the generosity of service I witnessed in my parents and teachers, as I grew up in a small town in central Kansas. And MusicLink has injected life into my piano studio by broadening the cultural experience and raising the standard of excellence among all my students. It is thrilling to know how many students throughout the nation have been reached through the vision of this program." (16 years, 3 students)


Sally Ritchie, WI "Some of the most vivid memories from my childhood are those of wanting to take piano lessons, but there was no money available for such luxuries. My mother taught me to read notes, and I started band when I was in 4th grade but that was my only formal music instruction all through my elementary and high school years. I began taking formal piano lessons in college and a whole new world opened up for me! I knew immediately what I wanted to do with my life and I was determined that if I could ever help a potential student that was in that same situation, I would find a way to do it.


I have been teaching piano students since 1968. I first heard about MusicLink 15 years ago when I had the good fortune of meeting Sue Wege at a music conference in Minnesota. MusicLink has been very good for my students. They have gotten music and discounts from the organization along with opportunities for scholarships and awards. Had I not taken on these children I would have missed working with some of my very best students!


Many of my former MusicLink students are still actively involved in music. Not all of them have become concert pianists but then again, if our students can play the piano well and enjoy that for the rest of their lives, we have given them something very special. The MusicLink foundation is a very worthy organization and I often recommend it to other piano teachers. They are very supportive and always there to help when needed.


Kudos to Joanne, Sue, and the rest of the organization!" (17 years, 22 students).


Noelle Tinturin, CA has been teaching piano since 1967, and has had many award winning students at the Tinturin Music Studio in Camarillo, California. She is an adjudicator for the Music Teachers Association of California's Certificate of Merit program. Her first MusicLink student, after 10 years of study, was awarded the MusicLink Senior Award of Excellence, for outstanding achievement in musical training through the MusicLink program. Noelle's students consistently win Honors at their annual evaluations. (15 years, 2 students)


Sue Wege, NCTM, MN "It's been a pleasure to serve as a MusicLink teacher over the last 15 years and to know that by doing what I love, I can impact the life of a child in a very profound way. When I see my MusicLink students improve their skills and take pride in their new musical accomplishments, it gives me a good feeling to know that I've helped them grow in that way. Many thanks to Joanne for her vision in creating this worthwhile program." (15 years, 12 students)


MusicLink Teachers of Distinction
10-14 years

MusicLink Teachers of Distinction are those that are actively teaching now and have taught through MusicLInk for 10 to 14 years. We recognize the service of the 28 teachers in this category and show the total number of years and students taught.


Gabriella Ryan, VA
(12 years, 6 students)


Leonetta Chaves-Bibby, KS
(10 yrs, 11 students)


John & Helen Dupaquier, LA
(11 yrs, 38 students)


Barbara Gholz, VA
(13 yrs, 3 students)


Dominca Gerszewski, MN
(10 yrs, 11 students)


Sharon Girard, CT
(11 yrs, 5 students)


Sherlon Orth, MT
(10 yrs, 6 students)


Cora Lee Khambatta, VA
(12 yrs, 6 students)


Kathy Miller, PA
(12 yrs, 4 students)


Betsy Murray, MN
(10 yrs, 5 students)


Patti Nyien, IL
(11 yrs, 4 students)


Michelle Gordon, MA
(11 yrs, 4 students)


Melody Bruffey, MN
10 yrs, 7 students)


Denise Williams, UT
(11 yrs, 13 students)


No Photo:

  Lani Bortfield, MA
(10 yrs, 6 students)

Linda Butler, WA
(10 yrs, 12 students)

  Ruth Richard, OR
(10 yrs, 8 students)

Jon Rudolph, ND
(10 yrs, 9 students)

  Nettie West, NY
(11 yrs, 8 students)

MusicLink Teachers of Distinction
previously recognized in an eLink

Ruth Borash, MN


Solveig Englund, MN

Marjorie Johnson, ND


Sue Krebsbach, MN

Brandy Pancoast, WA


Linda Jean Smith, MN

Verna Wagner, WA


Marcia Wilke, OR

MusicLink Hall of Fame Teachers

Teachers reach the MusicLink Hall of Fame when they have taught for five to nine years. We are honored to recognize 74 teachers in this category - with our thanks for their dedication to teaching deserving students through MusicLink.


Denise Adkins, VA  Diane Alveshere, MN
Susan Andrews, GA  Tami Baird, UT
Larry Baldwin, OK  Sheila Barrows, VA
Anne Beamer, VA  Joyce Berg, MO
Nancy Breth, VA  Tanya Brooks, FL
Gail Buchanan, OR  Linda Butler, OR
Jaette Carpenter, MN  Lisa Chodorowski, IL
Sonja Clive-Orban, MN  Asenath Dobratz, WI
Penni Eads, UT  Dorothy Fahlman, OR
Anna Jeanne Flesner, MN  Heather Forbes, WA
Ellie Fregni, MN  Maria Grant, MN
Tarra Guerra, FL  Susan Hailey, TN
Mary Hale, MN  David Holmes, MN
Lydia Holsten, MN  Mika K. Inouye, CO
Laura Jauregui Wynter, OR Linda Judiesch, IA
Linda Dale Kennedy, AR  Priscilla Keogh, ND
Melody Kucks, VA  Kris Latcham, MN
Lucinda M. Lear, IA  Marjorie Lee, VA
Doortje LeGrand, VA  Mary Jo Leier, MN
Beverly Madsen, MN  Margaret Maxwell, MN
Rochelle Mazze, MN  Deborah Meier, IL
Elena Miraztchiyska, AZ  Karen Rae Mord, MN
Christina Morton, VA  Lois Muelich, MN
Sara (Sally) Nelsen, MN  Cindy Nelson-Quesada, MN
Nancy Ostromencki, AZ  Barbara Parker, OR
Janice Kapp Perry, UT  Rennae Peterson, MN
Ellen Pickell, WA  Brenda Ruedebusch, SD
Deborah Ruth, SC  Ruth Sadilek, OR
Katharine Schelp, OK  Christopher Sharp, MD
Kathi Sittner, UT  Gina Skule, WI
Karen Stiles, MN  Ilene Tyler, WA
Mary Swenson, MN  Marcia Vahl, MN
Nancy Van Kampen, MN  Anastasia Verdoljak, MN
Phyllis Vickers , VA  Jean Vilkelis, NY
Pamela Weest-Carrasco, IA Beth Winterfeldt, MN
Michele Wooten, CO  LeeAnna Xanthos-McQueen, VA
Martha Yasuda, GA  Judy Zylstra, IL