MTNA Foundation Fellow

The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Fellow program offers a meaningful method for honoring deserving individuals while supporting the efforts of the MTNA Foundation Fund through a donation to the Foundation Fund in an individual’s name. Anyone can nominate and fund an MTNA Fellow.   Each year, the ISMTA board nominates one fellow, and raises funds to fund that fellow.  

To contribute to the MTNA Foundation Fund and help fund the ISMTA fellow, click the button below, check the box that reads “Foundation Fellow (enter name below),” and enter this year’s fellow as the Fellow name.

For more information about the MTNA Foundation Fund, visit

2023 Foundation Fellow:
Amy Jo Sawyer

The following people have been designated MTNA Foundation Fellows in recognition of their extraordinary service to ISMTA:


Cathy Albergo


Craig Sale


Janice Razaq
Christopher Goldston


Lynette Zelis


Ludmila Lazar


Bruce Berr
Patricia Nyien


Lynd Corley


Helen Grosshans


Emi Murata
Marlene S. Chatain
Rita Brown
Linda K. Barker


Frances I. Onley
Phyllis A. Hill


Brenda L. Conroy


Mary Beth Molenaar


Elvina Truman Pearce
Kenneth O. Drake


Karen Rogers


Frances H. Larimer


William Ronald YaDeau


Mary Veverka


Anna McGrosso
James Lyke

Amy Jo Sawyer joined MTNA in 1978 and became a Nationally Certified Teacher Member in 1989. Sawyer, who received an MA in Jazz Performance and BA in Piano Performance and Composition, is past President, Certification Chair, AIM Chair for the ISMTA Gateway Arch East chapter. She was Chapter “Member of the Year” 2000, 2014 and 2019, received the ISMTA Composer Commissioning Award in 2014. She was voted ISMTA Teacher of the Year in 2019. She served five years on the ISMTA Board as the Composer Commissioning Program Chair. The Salt Creek Chapter (Chicago) commissioned her to write piano music for “Eight Hands” for their Glorious Grands concert in 2017, for which she composed a three movement “Sweet Salt Creek Suite”.  She composed charts for eighteen-piece Jazz Bands that were performed by the Brigham Young University “Syntheses” Band, and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Concert Jazz Band. Her piano students have participated in the AIM program finishing level twelve with high honors. Several students have won competitions in Ragtime Contests in St. Louis. One compositions student won 2nd place and tied for 3rd place in consecutive years in the Hal Leonard Composer competition.  Eighteen of her original piano compositions are approved for the AIM Repertoire Program. 

Amy Jo served as President (two terms) for the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International, and is currently serving on a committee to develop a Syllabus program for the accordion.  She composed eighteen songs for the Syllabus.  Sawyer is accordionist with the St. Louis Symphony and performed “Italian Love Songs” accompanying Luciano Pavarotti when he performed in St. Louis.  She also performed with the St. Louis Symphony orchestra as accordionist supporting the movies “Ratatouille”, “The God Father” and “Lord of the Rings”.  Her original Accordion Orchestra, solos and duets have been performed internationally. She has performed in accordion orchestra and as soloist in many European countries, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.  Her accordion orchestra composition, Tango, “Recuerdos” (Memories), was performed at the World Accordion Festival in Lithuania in 2018. Another, “Juntos” (Together) Tango, was performed in Castelfidardo, Italy in 2012. Sawyer has produced two Accordion CD’s: “According To Amy” (Jazz) and “Classically Amy” (Classical). In July, 2019, she was inducted into the Accordionists & Teachers Guild, International Accordion Hall of Fame. She has served as organist and music chair of her church, and maintains a studio teaching piano, accordion, jazz, theory and composition.