In Memory

Helen Marie Burnette, age 77, died on April 7, 2017, in High Point.  Marie, who was the daughter of the late Herbert H. Burnette and Helen Esta Short Burnette, was born on February 9, 1940, in Draper (now Eden).  She was a graduate of Morehead High School.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. at Emerywood Baptist Church, with visitation in the Gathering Area following the service.  Rev. Dorothy Bowen Klass and Rev. Meg Lacy will officiate.  The committal service will be at 2:30 p.m. at Ridge-View Memorial Gardens in Eden, next to her parents.

Marie was a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (formerly the Woman’s College) where she earned a B.M. in Piano, a B.A. in Organ and Master of Music in Organ.  She was an independent music teacher in High Point, and taught piano and organ for more than 50 years.  Even from her childhood, she knew she wanted to be a piano teacher.  She would bring students home from Junior High to teach them piano.  She was certified by the NC Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association.

She was president of the NCMTA, the first independent music teacher to have that position.  She served as national secretary of MTNA and was the national chair of the Independent Music Teachers Forum of MTNA and secretary-treasurer of the Southern Division of MTNA.  Marie was honored in 2004 as an MTNA Foundation Fellow.  In 2008 she was selected as the NCMTA Teacher of the Year; she was the first recipient of this award.  In 2009 she was selected as the MTNA National Teacher of the Year.  Mayor Becky Smothers declared a resolution recognizing Marie for the national honor.  She is listed in several editions of Who’s Who.  Included are the International Who’s Who in Music, Who’s Who in America, and Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century.

Marie was a founding member of the High Point Piano Teachers Assoc. in 1972.  She held every office in the organization several times.  She was honored in 1997 for her 25 years of service to HPPTA.  Marie performed the premiere performance of Robert Vandall’s “High Point Toccata”, which the group commissioned for its 25th anniversary.  Margaret Goldston dedicated a composition, “Danza de la Senorita”, to Marie in 1994.

Marie planned special “theme recitals” for her students each year.  Themes included a play about Mozart, weather, ensembles, animals, cats, food, sports and travel.  She presented programs about theme recitals to music teacher groups with a related article published in Keyboard Companion.  Articles were also published in the American Music Teacher and Music Educators Journal.

She had served as organist and/or choir director at Asheboro Street Baptist Church (now Friendly Avenue Baptist Church) in Greensboro, First Baptist Church in Kernersville, Green Street Baptist Church in High Point, and First Church of Christ Scientist in High Point.  Marie retired after 16 years as music associate/organist at Emerywood Baptist Church, where she was a member and also sang in the Sanctuary Choir.

Marie was on the boards of the High Point Community Chorus, Music for a Great Space, NC Organ Festival, the Musical Arts Guild of UNCG, secretary of the Friends of the High Point Library, vice-president of Piedmont Artists, and secretary of the Musical Art Club of High Point.  She was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, music honorary society; Mu Phi Epsilon, international music fraternity; American Guild of Organists, Harriet Elliott Society of UNCG, NC Zoo Society, Citizens for International Understanding and the High Point Literary League.

Her interests included reading, attending concerts and travel.  She traveled to all 50 states and 47 foreign countries.  Highlights of her travel included a safari to Kenya, with a hot-air balloon ride, a choir trip to Europe, homestays in Japan and Indonesia, dog-sledding in Alaska, and riding a camel in Egypt and an elephant in Thailand.

Survivors include her aunt, Mrs. Augusta Phelps of Lynchburg, VA; and 20 cousins.  Also surviving are her namesake, Amanda Marie Benson of Cary, and her mother Myra Benson; as well as her goddaughter, Elizabeth Calvert of Salisbury, and her mother Grey Calvert Ward.  Myra and Grey were Marie’s college friends.  Other survivors include the Emerywood Birthday Club, the High Point Piano Teachers and her special friends, Dorothy O’Connor, Dorothy Bowen Klass and Diane Higgins, and her dear feline companion, Callie.  Appreciation is expressed to her caregivers, Rhonda Mock and Michele Aldrich.

Memorial contributions may be sent to UNCG, Office of University Advancement, for the Marie Burnette Piano Scholarship, PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170.

Gregory Campbell McCallum, 51, of Durham, N.C., died Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Born on May 3, 1964, Gregory was the son of Martel B. and Ophelia McLean McCallum of Rowland, NC.   He is survived by his brothers, Al McCallum and wife Christy of Woodruff, SC, and Stuart McCallum and wife Kay of Rowland, NC, his nephew, Justin Reaves of Fort Mill, SC. , and his partner, Dr. Jesus Gonzalez of Winston Salem, NC.   He was preceded in death by his sister, Beverly Reaves.


Gregory was a concert pianist and teacher who has performed across North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia in some of the world's most prestigious concert halls including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago, New York's Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London.   He received music degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park, the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, Germany.   Some of his teachers included Grace Watson, Michael Zenge, Arne Torger, Nelita True, Maria Curcio Diamand, and Ronald and Carlyle Hodges.     Gregory’s complete biography may be viewed at


Memorial services were held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, 2016, at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 14, 2016, at Ashpole Presbyterian Church, 192 Ashpole Church, Rowland, NC 28383.   In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to his churches or to the Alzheimers Foundation 1305 Navaho Dr #101, Raleigh, NC 27609.


Diane Blanchard, NCTM, has been elected as the
MTNA Southern Division Director-Elect for 2016-2018.

Her term will begin at the end of the MTNA National Conference on April 6, 2016. She will automatically become the Southern Division Director for the term 2018-2020. Diane would like to thank her friends and colleagues for their support during the election. She is honored to represent NCMTA and the Southern Division. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve at this level for an organization that has been such a huge part of her professional career and personal life.

She always says, “All my best friends are music teachers!”

May Journal Additional Reports

Membership News

Tonya Kirk, Vice-President (Membership)


Current Membership Report (as of March 20, 2015)

Total Members: 531


Teaching Status:

            Church Music                                     1

            College/University Faculty                  89

            Commercial Studio                             1

            Independent                                                    400

            Other                                                               25

            Public School                                      1

            Retired                                                            2

            Student                                                            11

            None listed                                                      1

Certified Teachers (NCTM): 96


Dues Information

The following types of membership are available:


Membership Type     National Dues            State Dues                 Total

Individual                                 $70                              $30                  $100

Student                                    $16                              $6                    $22

Patron                                     $75                                *

Senior (70+ years of age)       $52.50                           *                                            

Retired                                                $35                                *

*Information not available at time of publication.


Local Associations

Cape Fear Music Teachers Association

Chapel Hill Music Teachers Association

Charlotte Music Teachers Association

Durham Music Teachers Association

Greensboro Music Teachers Association

Raleigh Piano Teachers Association



Dr. Karen Beres, NCTM, Piano Section Chair


We all look forward to the turning of the seasons – the first signs of spring, the lazy days of summer, cool nights ushering in the beauty of fall, that first frost…  Finally, as we look upon the final stretch toward the end of the school year, the signs of spring appear to be more than a passing fancy… the trees are flowering, the grass is showing signs of needing to be mowed – and the 2015-16 Contest/Festival Repertoire List is here!  You can find copies of the list both in the May journal and on the NCMTA website.  My work with the volunteer committee was a joy once again, and I think we have some charming works that students and teachers will really enjoy.  Many thanks go to the valuable efforts of this year’s selection committee: Julie Gorka (Junior A), Sheila Dacus (Junior B), Chad Leatherman (Senior A), and Greg McCallum (Senior B), who made my job as easy as it can be, and to Allen Herther, whose expertise and hospitality were greatly appreciated by everyone once again.


Thanks to Dr. Bradley Martin, Western Carolina University, and Dr. Barry Salwen, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, for presenting the Junior and Senior lists at this year’s fall workshops.  Locations and time for the 2015-16 Contest/Festival Repertoire List Workshops are as follows:


Saturday, September 12, 2015 (Raleigh – Ruggero Piano)

Saturday, September 19, 2015 (Charlotte – Queens University)

            Junior music (Bradley Martin) mornings, 9:00-12:00

            Senior music (Barry Salwen) afternoons, 1:00-5:00


Many thanks to the leadership of Vice-Chair Brad Hunnicutt, who handled the arrangements for the workshops.


As we anticipate the first frost of the fall in October, we also look forward to gathering together at our NCMTA State Conference.  Details for this year’s conference, at Meredith College in Raleigh, NC from October 15-18, 2015, are being ably shaped by President-Elect Kerry Carlin and Local Conference Chair Kent Lyman.  I am excited to welcome our conference artist, Dr. Stephen Beus, for a Friday evening piano recital, followed on Saturday by a workshop and piano masterclass. 


“Mesmerizing… explosive… intelligent… he belongs on the world stage” (Salt Lake Tribune).  In the space of four months, American pianist Stephen Beus won first prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, first place in the Vendome Prize Intermational Competition (Lisbon) and was awarded the Max I. Allen Fellowship of the American Pianists Association (Indianapolis).  Currently on the piano faculty at the University of Oklahoma, Stephen brings his wealth of knowledge and depth of musicality to share with us.  I have no doubt that we will all be inspired by his musical offerings!


So, enjoy your spring and summer, and I’ll look forward to joining you all at our fall repertoire list workshops and at the state conference in October!


Voice Section News


The Voice Section of NCMTA would like to invite all members to attend the 2015 NCMTA State Conference at Meredith College.  Many enriching and valuable professional development sessions geared toward teaching voice will be offered.  Most notably composers, conductors, teachers and husband & wife duo Sally Albrecht and Jay Althouse will present two not-to-be-missed sessions!

Vocal Performance Hour

Mark your calendars now and register online.

Date:   May 31, 2015

Time:   2pm to 3pm

Location: Studio of Wendy Martelli; Apex, NC 

Deadline to Register:  May 15

 More Performance Hours:

Nov 15, 2015 (location TBD)

Mar 6, 2016 (location TBD)

May 22, 2016 (location TBD)





Composition/Theory Section News


Young Composers' Contest

  Please mail your entries to the following address:

    Pamela Mullins

    909 Evian Lane

    Matthews, NC 28105

    Entry deadline is September 12, 2015

   Winners will perform in a recital at the state convention, October 16-18, 2015, exact date/time to be decided.


MTNA Composition Competition

   Please review rules for the competition at 

   The application will be available August, 2015.

50-Year Members Honored at the 2012 NCMTA State Conference

hyllis Garriss, violin, viola

Ruth Sinclair, NCTM, piano

Isabel Samfield, voice, piano, violin

Dr. Paul Topper, violin

Marie Burnette, NCTM, piano

(Unable to attend conference: Nell Middleton, NCTM)