South Carolina Music Teachers Association’s 55th Annual Conference

Coker College will host the South Carolina Music Teachers Association’s 55th annual conference, where an exceptional group of performers and educators will share their talents through recitals and masterclasses.

The SCMTA conference will bring South Carolina’s music teachers, both pre-college and collegiate, to Coker’s campus, as well as dozens of competitors from across the state to compete for the privilege of representing South Carolina at the Southern Region Conference.

The SCMTA conference will feature three prominent educators: Boris Berman, a distinguished pianist from Yale University, who will perform and teach an advanced masterclass; Jennifer Snow, a piano instructor with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, who will teach an intermediate masterclass; and Michelle Sisler, a specialist in educational technology who is also the founder of Keys to Imagination, a company specializing in developing creative and effective teaching materials.

“This is an exciting time for Coker to host this event on our campus,” said Ryan Smith, Assistant Professor of Music at Coker College. “Since Coker last hosted this event in 2007, our instruments, students, and facilities have all improved. We look forward to showing the state’s music educators the opportunities that Coker offers their students.”

The conference and competitors will benefit from the new pianos acquired in Coker College’s All-Steinway Initiative. In 2012, Coker began an All-Steinway Initiative, a commitment to use Steinway-designed instruments in classrooms, practice studios and in performance spaces campus-wide. Less than one percent of colleges and universities worldwide are designated as All-Steinway Institutions, and Coker is one of only three colleges in South Carolina with the distinction.

A recital highlighting Coker’s music faculty and Chamber Singers will be held Thursday, November 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the college’s Watson Theater in the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center. This recital is free and open to the public. Boris Berman’s recital is Friday, November 6, at 8:00 p.m., also at the Watson Theater, which will be followed by a reception sponsored by the Hartsville-Coker Concert Association. This recital is also open to the public. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for students, or free with a valid Coker I.D.

The South Carolina Music Teachers Association is composed of over 300 independent and collegiate music teachers. SCMTA members are members of the Music Teachers National Association, and many are also members of SCMTA Local Associations.

For more information about the South Carolina Music Teachers Association annual conference, please visit For more information about the upcoming conference at Coker, please contact Laura Hoxworth at