2019 Conference Guest Artist:

Irene Peery-Fox

Irene Peery-Fox received her doctoral degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where she studied with Leon Fleisher. Before her doctoral work, she earned bachelor of music and master of science degrees from Juilliard, studying with Irwin Freudlich, Jeaneanne Dowis, and Ilona Kabos. She has also earned an ARCT degree from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto and a performing arts degree from the University of Alberta, Edmonton.

Irene has won numerous piano contests; twice she won the International CBC Talent Festival Contest. She also won the Alaska Music Trails Concert Tour. She has received four Ford Foundation Grants, four Canada Council grants, an INCO grant, and five full-time Juilliard scholarships for piano study. Her many concerto appearances include performances with orchestras in Montreal, Toronto, Salt Lake City, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Victoria, Calgary, Provo, and Lethbridge. She has performed solo recitals in Canada, the United States (including Carnegie), and Europe, as well as chamber recitals at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She has also performed on radio and television on the NBC, CBC, and BBC networks.

Irene was formerly a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, Preparatory Division. Currently, she serves on the Brigham Young University piano faculty. Her students have been frequent prize winners in international, national, state, and local competitions. She is listed in the Canadian Dictionary of Music and Musicians and in the Outstanding Young Women of America.

Click here to read more about Irene Peery-Fox.



John Zhao is sixteen years old and is a student of Dr. Irene Peery-Fox. Mr. Zhao has been a frequent prize winner in International, National and State competitions. He recently won two first International prizes in  the American Proteges Competition, in both the Concerto and Piano and Solo competitions. As a result, John just recently performed in Carnegie Hall on June 9. In September of 2018 John won the annual Salute to Youth Competition in Salt Lake City and performed Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 with the Utah Symphony in Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City. The performance was broadcast over 89.1 FM radio. John was first prize winner of the Utah Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition which afforded him the opportunity to perform in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. Mr. Zhao won second prize in the International Keyboard Odyssiad Competition and Festival and third prize in the Los Angeles International Piano Competition. John was selected as an “Official Competitor” in the Gina Bachauer Junior International Piano Competition and finalist in the 15th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany.

In addition to competitions John has participated in numerous festivals. He was a young artist performer in the 35th Piano Texas Festival, joining with the Van Cliburn Piano Competition in 2017. In addition, John participated in the National Chopin Training Camp sponsored by the US National Chopin Foundation in 2018. He attended the Oxford Music International Academy sponsored by the Canadian Department of Culture and French Ministere De La Culture, and participated in the Southeastern Piano Festival. John made his first orchestral debut at the age of ten yeas old and has continued to perform in many prestigious festivals and competitions ever since. In addition to his Tchaikovsky performance with the Utah Symphony Mr. Zhao has performed Chopin’s Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brilliant with the American West Symphony, which was broadcast on University Utah Cable TV. He also has given other performances with the Salt Lake Symphony and the American Fork Symphony in Utah, plus a performance in Italy with the Napolinova Orchestra. This performance was broadcast on One Talent TV Classic music channel. As a representative of the Gina Bachauer Junior competitors John Zhao was interviewed and performed on KSL News and performed on the Utah Arts Festival Central Stages, in addition to being invited to perform for commercials. He has performed over twenty school concerts for the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition Foundation since 2015. Other solo performances include: in Libby Gardner Hall at the University of Utah, for the TWO Pianist Return Show on the stage of the Rose Wagner Hall, at the opening ceremony for the Utah Chamber Music Community and several Carnegie Hall performances.

John is a straight A, International Baccalaureate student at Hillcrest High School, where he is senior officer of the National Honor Society and president of the Chemistry Club. He is a volunteer pianist at the Utah Senior Living Community, and for both the Music Therapy at Primary Children’s Hospital and the Intermountain Hospitals in Utah. He is the son of Wayne Zhao and Sunni Li in Salt Lake City.


Times and locations of all events are subject to change. This information is the most accurate at this time.


8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. – BOD meeting 
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – REGISTRATION (Wheelock Student Center Rasmussen Rotunda)
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. PRE-CONFERENCE BONUS EVENT

(Wheelock Student Center – Rasmussen Rotunda)

“Meet and greet” with finger foods served while the following is scheduled:

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Musical interlude

6:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Mary Kaye Owen presents Making Friends in Spite of Our Lonely Profession

6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Musical interlude

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. IMTF Resource Roundtable lead by RoseMarie Tamburri


8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • REGISTRATION (Kilworth Chapel Main Floor Lobby)
  • VENDORS, DISPLAYS, and SCHOLARSHIP RAFFLE (Kilworth Chapel Lower Floor)
8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Coffee service (Kilworth Chapel Lower Floor Lobby)
9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. – Opening Meeting (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

  • HONORS RECITAL #1 (Music Building, Schneebeck Hall)
  • RoseMarie Tamburri Mind Your Own Business – IMTF panel discussion (Music Building, Room L1)
  • Joann Richardson and Wyatt Smith Through Bach’s Ears: A Lecture-Recital of Bach’s Musical Soundscape (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (Meeting and Showcase start at noon)

  • LUNCH (Wheelock Student Center, The Diner)
  • MLP MEETING: Karen Scholten (Wheelock Student Center Room 201)
  • EXHIBITOR SHOWCASE: The RCM Certificate Program: A Pathway for Success! with Sheila Vail (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary) 
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Vicente Della Tonia, Jr Five-Finger Patterns and Famous Composers: Fresh Ideas for Solo and Duet Piano Works (Music Building, Room L1)
  • Jeff Pettijohn Spinning Out Ideas: An Effortless Approach to Teaching Composition (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
  • 2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • HONORS RECITAL #2  (Music Building, Schneebeck Hall)
  • Mariya Lincoln Market Your Studio Like You Mean It! (Music Building, Room L6)
3:30 – 4:00 Afternoon Coffee – sponsored by Seattle Chapter (Kilworth Chapel, Lower Floor Lobby)
4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Judith Schoepflin “I Just LOVE My Minuet”  (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Janice Smith The Art of the Interview: How to Reveal Priceless Insights with New Students and Parents  (Room L1, Music Building)
5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Meetings

  • DISTRICT VP MEETING – Kathy Mortensen (Wheelock Student Center, Room 202)
  • VISITING ARTISTS MEETING – Greg Presley (Wheelock Student Center, Room 201)
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • AWARDS BANQUET (Wheelock Student Center, Upper Marshall Hall)
8:00 p.m.

  • GUEST ARTIST RECITAL – John Zhao, student of Irene Peery-Fox (Music Building, Schneebeck Hall)
  • Reception sponsored by Kitsap County Chapter, Lake Washington Chapter, and Puyallup Valley Chapter


8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • REGISTRATION (Kilworth Chapel, Main Floor Lobby)
8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Coffee service (Kilworth Chapel, Lower Floor Lobby)
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

  • Diana Walker Practice: How practice works (the brain science), Practice strategies; Winning the mental practice game (Music Building, Room L1)
  • Thomas Lee Evoking, Suggesting, and Murmuring at the Piano: Franz Liszt and the Seeds of Impressionism (Music Building, L6)
10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

  • HONORS RECITAL #3 (Schneebeck Hall, Music Building)
  • Bruce Stark Music of Bruce Stark: Tonal aspects and diverse influences to create fresh repertory (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Angelo Rondello Sound Business Practices for Private Studios (Music Building, Room L6)
NOON TO 7:00 P.M.

  • VENDORS, DISPLAYS, and SCHOLARSHIP RAFFLE (Kilworth Chapel Lower Floor)

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

  • CERTIFICATION presentation – Rose Freeman (Wheelock Student Center, Room 201)
  • EXHIBITOR SHOWCASE: Cynthia Harp (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

  • Lark Powers Playing With Blocks: How Keyboard Harmony Exercises Can Make Learning Repertoire Easier (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary) 
  • Rebecca Cook Flute techniques to help your piano teaching (Music Building, Room L6)
2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • Garrett Snedeker Can Music Be “Masculine” or “Feminine”? Including Gendered Themes in Music Lessons (2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.) (Music Building, Room L1)
  • Students from WSUGenre and Culture: Teaching Twenty-First-Century Cultural Concepts through Blending Classical and Popular Genres (3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.) (Music Building, Room L1)
  • Joann Richardson and Wyatt Smith Dancing Fingers: An Introduction to Historical Keyboard Fingering Practices (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Reception sponsored by the Tri-City Chapter (Lobby of Schneebeck Hall in the Music Building)
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • MASTERCLASS – with Irene Peery-Fox (Music Building, Schneebeck Hall)
  • Kristine Richman Intermediate Flute Repertoire (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Davis Hill Fun and Finney Games for the Intermediate Piano Student (Music Building, Room L6)
5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

  • Young Professionals get togetherMark Stevens Avenues to Academia: Making Yourself Marketable for a Career in Higher Education (Wheelock Student Center, Room 202)
  • Mary Kaye Owen Making Friends in Spite of Our Lonely Profession (Wheelock Student Center, Room 201) 
  • MAP CHAIR MEETING – Stephanie White (Music Building, Room L1)
6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • DINNER ON YOUR OWN (Dinner at The Diner in the Wheelock Center is included for conference “residents (those attendees staying in the Thomas Hall dorms). For conference “commuters” (those staying off-campus), you may purchase dinner at The Diner (or have dinner off-campus).
8:00 p.m.

  • WASHINGTON WINNERS RECITAL (Music Building, Schneebeck Hall)
  • Reception sponsored by the Mount Rainier Chapter and the Yakima-Ellensburg Chapter


8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

  • REGISTRATION (Kilworth Main Floor Lobby)
  • Coffee service (Kilworth Lower Level Lobby)
8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

  • CLOSING SESSION (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

  • Irene Peery-Fox presentation (Kilworth Chapel Sanctuary)
  • Kira Theine Music History: Why We (Should) Teach It  (Music Building, Room L6)
11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

  • HONORS RECITAL #4 (Schneebeck Hall, Music Building)
  • Yelena Balabanova and Andrew Tan Five Essential Principles to Prevent Musicians’ Injuries (Music Building, Room L1)