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About Us

The Gateway Arch East Chapter of ISMTA was formerly known as the Springfield South Area Group and was chartered in April of 1981. As of October of that year there were 18 members. In July of 1990 the name of the group was changed to Gateway Arch East (GAE).


Over the past 28 years, GAE membership has averaged approximately 30 members, and student participation in ISMTA's Achievement In Music (AIM) Examinations has averaged around 110 students per year.


For current membership and contact information see below:

  • Member of the Year Recipients 

  • Current Officers & Committees 

  • MTNA Certification

Member of the Year Recipients

One member from each Local Association in the state is recognized annually and presented an award at the ISMTA Convention banquet in the fall.  The purpose of this award is to recognize service to the Local Association and ISMTA, dedication to making music either through teaching, performing or both, and devotion to the cause of music in general.  The election takes place annually at the May meeting.  

1997-1998  Marian Chao

1998-1999  Frances Tonnies

1999-2000  Karen Rogers

2000-2001  Amy Jo Sawyer

2001-2002  LeAnn Halvorson

2002-2003  Deborah Meier

2003-2004  Karen Koch

2004-2005  Marshall Gurley

2005-2006  Heidi Shepherd

2006-2007  Darice Palmier

2007-2008  LeAnn Halvorson

2008-2009  Donna Guillaume

2009-2010  Deborah Meier and LeAnn Halvorson

2010-2011  Linda Perry

2011-2012  Susan Lipnick

2012-2013  Mary Anderson

2013-2014  Joan Witte

2014-2015  LeAnn Halvorson and Amy Jo Sawyer

2015-2016  Karen Koch

2016-2017  Joan Witte

2017-2018  Dr. Joseph Welch

2018-2019  Dr. Huei Li Chin

2019-2020  Amy Jo Sawyer

2020-2021  Gill Cerbin

2021-2022  Marshall Gurley

2022-2023  Deborah Meier

2023-2024  Dr. Joseph Welch

Dr. Joseph Welch

2023-2024 Member of the Year

ISMTA 2023 Teacher of the Year

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Current Officers and Committees

Elected Officers 2023 - 2024

Gill Cerbin


Joan Witte

Vice President/Programs

Dr. Joseph Welch


Deborah Meier

Committee and Chairpersons


Gill Cerbin

MTNA Certification

Gill Cerbin

Yearbook Editor

Deborah Meier

AIM Theory Scheduler

LeAnn Halvorson

AIM Performance Scheduler

Joan Witte

AIM Site Coordinator for SWIC

Gill Cerbin

AIM Site Coordinator for SIUE

Dr. Huei Li Chin


Dr. Joseph Welch


Dr. Joseph Welch

Website Editor

Seth Metcalfe

AIM Repertoire Checkers

Deborah Meier, Ruth Stith, Mary Anderson, Dr. Huei Li Chin

AIM Exam Printing, Collating, and Binder Preparation

LeAnn Halvorson

Certification Chair

Gill Cerbin

MTNA Certification

As members of the Music Teacher's National Association (MTNA), GAEMTA members have the opportunity to become a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM). This "Certification" is similar to a professional license to teach music, in that it demonstrates to peers and students that the NCTM has met certain professional standards regarding not just knowledge of music and some performance ability, but also the ability to teach.

Going through the Certification process makes sense for teachers who wish to:


  • Gain confidence in knowledge of music history, music theory, and in teaching music

  • Have been teaching for a long time and want to challenge themselves or desire to refresh their knowledge and teaching of music

  • Live in or may be moving to an area where students and their families look for Certification as a teacher qualification

  • Need a good reason to justify a lesson fee increase

  • Have time to complete the process


For further information about the Certification process, please see the MTNA Certification website, or contact Gill Cerbin, the current State Certification Chair.

Contact Gill Cerbin:

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