Sally Sansbury named NCTM Teacher of the Year

April 17 was the day that our “Best In The Nation” local affiliate of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) was to have held our Spring Conference. Instead, we were at home.

At this spring meeting each year, we announce the Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year for our district. Our local winner then represents us when the  Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) selects its state winner later in the year.

The 2020 Central-East Nationally Certified Music Teacher of the Year is Sally Liew Sansbury, NCTM.  Sally started teaching at a young age and is now recognized as a Master Teacher, with a home studio in Northwest Columbus. She became nationally certified by MTNA in 2004. Area piano teachers seek Sally’s help with their own playing and teaching, and with their advanced students. Sally has earned three Diplomas from Trinity College, London; a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance and Music Education from Ohio Wesleyan University; and Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance and Piano Pedagogy from the Ohio State University School of Music.

Sally has been very actively involved in OMTA and MTNA for over 20 years. She served four years Co-Chair of the Graves Competition, five years as chair of Buckeye Auditions, four years as Publicity Chairman, two years as Co-Chair of Summer Music Scholarships, and is currently Vice President of Student Competitions. She is a leader in the field of music teaching, giving freely of her time to MTNA. In her acceptance of this award, Ms. Sansbury says. “It was divine providence that brought me to Ohio Wesleyan University, because one day I happened to see this plaque on the walls of Sanborn Hall and instinctively knew it was something significant –

A Landmark of American Music
Site of the Founding of
Music Teachers
National Association

Monnett Hall, 1876
By Theodore Presser
100th Anniversary

Going through graduate school at OSU, I worked with fabulous teachers and made life-long musician friends.  Then I got involved with CEOMTA and realized what a vibrant organization it was.  I learned tremendously from all the conferences and workshops I’ve attended over the years, worked alongside music colleagues and made friends along the way.  All of this have helped mold me into the person I am today.  I am so thankful that someone like Theodore Presser had the foresight to start a music department at OWU and then to establish the first music organization in America.  The fact that CEOMTA is recognized as the Best District of the Year in 2020 perhaps reflect its roots in the founding place of MTNA. “ 

Sally Sansbury is an active performer in the Central Ohio Community. She is a collaborative pianist with Simply Classique and the Trois Femmes de Musique chamber music trio, and accompanist for vocalists, instrumentalists, and choral groups. She is also active in Columbus Piano Guild, Women in Music, Worthington Music Club and Ohio Federation of Music Clubs.

Congratulations to Sally Sansbury, NCTM.  We salute you as our Nationally Certified Teacher of the Year and thank you for being such a fine role model for our profession.

Janice Cook, CEOMTA Certification Chairman

April, 2020

Sally’s acceptance speech can be found below.

Voting Closes April 20

A quick reminder to vote if you haven’t done so already!
In lieu of holding an Annual Membership meeting in person, voting for the 2020-2021 Proposed Budget and the 2020-2022 Executive Officers will take place online. Click on the links to vote for each. Voting closes April 20.

For the Proposed Budget:

For the Executive Officers:

OSU Presents Pianist Andrew Focks


Pianist Andrew Focks

Friday, March 27  •  Master class 2:30 p.m.  /  Guest recital 8 p.m.

Hughes Hall Auditorium


  • Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004 – J.S. Bach / arr. Busoni
  • Piano Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 “Appassionata” – Beethoven
  • Danse Macabre, Op. 40/S. 555 – Saint-Saëns / arr. Liszt
  • Vallée d’Obermann from Années de Pèlerinage I (Suisse) – Liszt

A frequent master class clinician, Dr. Focks regularly sits on the juries of competitions and teaches at summer academies both in the United States and abroad. Additionally, he presents lectures at music conferences, including the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. He is the 2020 President-Elect of the Ohio Music Teachers Association, where he currently serves as a vice president, and is also President of the Northeast Ohio Music Teachers Association. He has served on multiple arts committees and as chair for state music conferences. His article “A Conversation with Robert Levin” was the featured cover story of Clavier Companion (July/August 2016). Focks is a member of the piano faculty at Cleveland State University and the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory & Continuing Education Division. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Rice University and Florida State University, his studies were further supplemented at academies throughout the world, including many summers at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. During his education he performed for several of today’s leading pianists including Andras Schiff and Richard Goode. His pre-college music education was nurtured and developed at the New England Conservatory of Music. His mentors have included Arnaldo Cohen, Ya-Fei Chuang, Jon Kimura Parker, Robert Levin and Daniel Shapiro.

Andrew Focks continues to garner worldwide acclaim for the breathtaking intensity and freedom of his performances, combining brilliant virtuosity with profound depth and introspection. Jon Kimura Parker states, “Andrew Focks is not only a superb pianist, but an engaging, articulate, and creative musician. He is just what we need in the music world today: a born communicator!”

An award-winning pianist, Andrew Focks has performed as a solo recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician in venues internationally throughout Hungary, Italy, Austria, Germany, England and China. Within the United States he has appeared in cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Tampa, Albuquerque, San Jose, Sarasota, Miami, Naples, among others. He has made successful solo debuts in concert halls around the world, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has been broadcasted on television and radio. His command of an unusually vast repertoire has led to collaborations with a myriad of artists, most recently including members of the Cleveland Orchestra and Grand Rapids Symphony.

Greatly in demand as a teacher, Andrew Focks’ students have performed in venues including Millennium Park (Chicago), Severance Hall (Cleveland), Carnegie Hall (New York), Hollywood Bowl (Los Angeles), Olympiahalle (Munich), Barclaycard Arena (Hamburg), The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), the White House and more. The students continue to be frequent scholarship recipients and competition prizewinners at the regional, national and international levels.