Central Oklahoma Music Teachers Association
This association was founded in 1931, under the name of Accredited Private Music Teachers Association of Oklahoma City. Its founder was Dr. Frederic Libke. After having established the Fine Arts College in three institutions-Howard Payne College, Oklahoma Baptist University, and Oklahoma City University-Dr. Libke retired from his college administration duties in 1929 and began a 41-year career as a private piano teacher. He realized the need for an organization that would protect and lift the standards of independent music teachers. For this purpose, the Accredited Private Music Teachers Association of Oklahoma City came into existence. The association included approximately twelve charter members. Early meeting places included local music stores-Jenkins, Larsen’s, Woodmansee-Abbott, and the downtown YMCA.
In 1956, the annual Festival began, under the leadership of Mrs. Herbert Bailey and Loraine Golsan. The annual Solo and Ensemble Festival has expanded to a two-day event, including not only piano solos, but also duets, duos, concertos, flute, voice and string entries. This event is still being held every May.
The Community Project began in 1984, under the chairmanship of Jan Culver, with a Monster Concert multi-keyboard recital, and later a Play-A-Thon, to benefit cystic fibrosis. Other recent activities of COMTA have included the Latino Festival, the Cristofori Recital Series for adult students, the Student Honors Recital, and holiday performances in shopping malls and senior residences.
In 1999, COMTA membership voted to join the Oklahoma Communities Foundation in order to promote student enrichment programs. These have included the Latino Project, the Morales Scholarship, the Clay Culver Memorial Scholarship, the Fox Family Travel Grants, and other grants and scholarships.
In 2009 COMTA began the Clay Culver Memorial Kamp Keyboard. The first Kamp Keyboard was held in June of 2009 at the Catch A Glimpse Retreat Center in Cashion. In 2011 Kamp Keyboard was moved to Spring Creek Baptist Church, where it continues to meet currently. Kamp Keyboard offers students a week-long day camp experience. The classes offered to students include: music theory, music history, leadsheet reading and improvisation. the camp offeres performance opportunities though daily master classes, Clavinova ensembles, handbell ensembles, stomp routines and a class in mindfulness. There are also more traiditonal camp activies including fishing, canoeing, archery, swimming and more.
In 2010 the December Clavinova Festival began. This event is sponsored by Larsen Music and Yamaha. Any teacher who enrolles a minimum of six students in the event is provided with a Clavinova in their studio, so that they can teach the student's how to use this advanced electronic keyboard. Through the December solo event many other Clavinova events have developed. There is also a Ensemble event attached to the December Festial and a new event the Clavinova Ensemble Adventures that occurs in August and September.
The association has undergone two name changes: Accredited Music Teachers Association of Central Oklahoma (1985) and Central Oklahoma Music Teachers Association (1992).