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On Sunday afternoon, February 28, 1954, a small group of music teachers met on the campus of the University of Mississippi to discuss plans for organizing a Mississippi Division of the Music Teachers National Association. The vote was unanimous in favor of the establishment of the new association.

In February of 1955, Dr. Mark Hoffman of the University of Mississippi presided over the first organizational meeting of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association in Jackson. The second meeting was held in Jackson on March 17, 1955, as one of the events of the Mississippi Music Educator's Association.

At that meeting, a report was given of the MTNA Convention in St. Louis, on February 13-16, 1955. Attention was called to the fact that a Southern Regional group was formed during the St. Louis Convention. The official founding date of MMTA is February 5, 1955. The founding date of the Southern Division, MTNA is February 16, 1955.

Historical Milestones

1955: The first state convention was held on Saturday, October 29, 1955, in the new air-conditioned music building at Mississippi Southern College, now the University of Southern Mississippi, with Dr. Hoffman presiding. Dues at that time were $4.00. Membership on October 31, 1955, numbered 61.

1956: The first student recital at an MMTA Convention was on Saturday, October 27, 1956, at Belhaven College.

1967: The first Pre-College Student Recital appeared on an MMTA Convention program.

1957: The first MMTA newsletter, the Mississippi Music Teacher, was published, with Roger Phelps of Mississippi Southern College (USM) as editor.

1968: The first Pre-College Student auditions were held in the spring of 1968, with Sandra Polanski as Chair. 37 teachers entered 149 students at three centers - Hattiesburg, Jackson, and Columbus.

1970: The first student from MMTA to enter the MTNA High School Divisional competition was Linda Pate (Inmon) of Columbus. The date was 1970 and the place was Spartanburg, SC.

1976: Sigfred Matson, Professor Emeritus, Mississippi University for Woman, became the MTNA Southern Division President. In 1985 he became President of MTNA after serving that organization for two terms as secretary and president-elect.

1962: Certification was first discussed at the MMTA Convention.

1969: The first two-day MMTA Convention was held. The first three-day convention was held in 1977.

1978: The first edition of the Pre-College Syllabus was printed.

1979: The first Teacher of the Year award was given to Joseph Huck.

1979: The first State Special Recognition Recital for Pre-College students was held with 187 students performing.

1972: The first grant to MMTA from the Mississippi Arts Commission was received.

1992: The first MMTA Outstanding Student Achievement Award for pre-college students was presented by Carol Schutzmann on May 9, 1992, at the State Special Recognition Recital, held at Jackson State University. Students receiving this first-time award were Alice Chen (Jackson), Cherie Chester (Biloxi), Ellen Price (Hattiesburg) and Anu Subramony (Jackson).

1986: The First Edition of the MMTA Officer's Handbook was published.

1997: MMTA was incorporated on August 23, 1997. In 1998 MMTA received 501(c)(3) status through the Internal Revenue Service.

1998: MMTA Past President and MTNA Southern Division Past President Pat Tuley was chosen for MTNA Board of Directors and became MTNA National Certification Commission Chair in 2002

2000: Pat Tuley is honored as Mississippi's first MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2004: MMTA leads Southern Division in percentage of membership holding National Certification (NCTM).
2004: MMTA celebrates its 50th anniversary at the 2004 convention, held in Raymond at Hinds Community College. Membership as of January 24, 2003, 251 members

2005: MMTA goes online with its first official web site - www.msmusicteachers.org
2005: MMTA Pre-College Syllabus placed on the MMTA web site for the first time.
2005: MMTA Collegiate Competition applications submitted online for the first time.
2005: MMTA Pre-College Syllabus Revisions approved and implemented in the fall for the following spring.

2006: Annette Joe is honored as Mississippi's second MTNA Foundation Fellow.
2006: MMTA Constitution updated, approved and placed on the web in October. VP for Pre-College activities divided into two positions.
2006: MMTA Collegiate Competitions split from fall Conference and moved to spring 2007.
2006: Janice Mesrobian is awarded the MTNA Piano Technicians Guild Foundation Grant.
2006: Pat Tuley is honored with the MTNA Distinguished Service Award.

2007: Carol Schutzmann is honored as Mississippi's third MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2008: Sharon Lebsack is honored as Mississippi's fourth MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2010: Donna Banks is honored as Mississippi's fifth MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2012: Harold Thompson is honored as Mississippi's sixth MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2015: Ellen Gunn is honored as Mississippi's seventh MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2016: Janet Gray is honored as Mississippi's eighth MTNA Foundation Fellow.

2017: Sandra Polanski is honored as Mississippi's ninth MTNA Foundation Fellow.