A Tribute to Gary Ingle

by Jennifer Snow

Published in Piano Magazine, Summer 2024 Issue

Leadership is a term that is frequently used. A quick google search reveals a range of characteristics, terminology, and definitions of success. The truth of effective leadership lies in the person—an individual who impacts a profession, motivates and inspires, builds community, navigates change, directs through crisis, builds connections, and creates new paths and resources for the future. In our field, Dr. Gary Ingle has exemplified inspired leadership for over twenty-eight years at the helm of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). This summer, Dr. Ingle will complete his tenure as CEO and Executive Director of MTNA. Gary, as he is known to most of us, has been a long standing friend and partner with the Center. Because of his expert leadership, we have benefited for decades from our rewarding collaboration with MTNA. Our founders, Frances Clark and Louise Goss, were passionate members of MTNA and worked with Gary to support piano teachers across the country. Our continued close relationship with Gary and MTNA has been one of the most important relationships for the Center and our shared, purposeful work.

As a leader in the profession, Dr. Gary Ingle has dedicated himself to advancing music education globally. The list of boards and associations he has served is broadly international and extensive. In his MTNA role, he worked tirelessly to advocate for the profession and actively built new networks. His vision propelled MTNA and the profession at large to be more broadly engaged. The long list of MTNA initiatives and programs developed under Gary’s leadership speaks to his creativity, collaborative approach, and service to all. As the largest and most influential organization in our field, MTNA leads and supports teachers across the country, as well as non-profit organizations like the Frances Clark Center and the larger music education industry.

We are all very grateful to Gary for his stewardship in recent years through the pandemic. Through his tenacious leadership, the profession remained resilient and relevant. We weathered the difficult times together as a community because MTNA continued to lead and inspire.

In addition to MTNA program advancement, Gary also led new opportunities through the creation of grants, scholarships, partnerships, and awards. Through tireless advocacy, Gary raised awareness and funds to support the future of the profession and elevate the contributions of many. For us at the Frances Clark Center, The MTNA Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award was established through a bequest to MTNA from Frances Clark. Throughout Gary’s leadership, the Center has worked closely with MTNA to recognize innovative new contributions to the field of piano education.

The steadfast vision for MTNA, passionate advocacy for music educators, tireless dedication, service to the community, and genuine care for all of us, make Dr. Gary Ingle one of the most transformative leaders in our history. His commitment to emerging professionals is unparalleled. Many of us built, and continue to build, our careers with opportunities provided through MTNA. Throughout my own career development, I have always upheld Gary as a kind and effective leader that one aspires to emulate. Gary’s expert leadership fervently supported the membership and the board, allowing new ideas to advance and flourish.

On behalf of the Frances Clark Center Board of Trustees, Staff, and Center community, present and past, we congratulate our friend and colleague Dr. Gary Ingle on his outstanding and impactful leadership. We look forward to his next stages and know that he will continue to contribute to the field in transformative ways that benefit music educators and amplify the power of music.

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