Manitoba Registered Music Teachers' Association
Manitoba Registered Music Teachers' Association (MRMTA). Founded in 1919 as the Winnipeg Music Teachers' Association by some 80 teachers brought together by Eva Clare and Mrs R.D. Fletcher, then the president of the Women's Musical Club of Winnipeg. Rhys Thomas was elected the first president. Among the association's aims was the introduction of an optional credit for music study in high school - whether the study was taken at the school or, as more often was the case, privately. In 1920, the provincial Department of Education adopted the plan, prompting the association to prepare a syllabus and establish an examining board. About 125 candidates were examined the first year.
In 1921 the association took the name Manitoba Provincial Music Teachers' Association, with representation in 16 cities throughout the province. A founding member-body (1935) of the CFMTA, it changed its own name to the MRMTA in 1939 and had branches in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Portage la Prairie. It was responsible for the institution of licentiate (LMM) and associate (AMM) diplomas at the University of Manitoba in 1935. The MRMTA has held workshops and masterclasses with musicians such as Arthur Creighton, Jean Coulthard, and R. Murray Schafer to encourage its members in systematic preparation for the profession of teaching. In 1948 the Winnipeg branch established a scholarship contest to assist talented performers and to provide them with the opportunity to play in public. The first winners (1949) were the pianist Sydney Young McInnis and the soprano Sara Boroditsky Udow. The association circulated a magazine, Sharps & Flats, 1960-70 to its members.
In 1981, the MRMTA organized a "Pre-diploma Group" to provide guidance to candidates working towards the completion of their teacher's diploma. The association has sponsored workhsops, meetings, concerts and an annual pianothon/musicthon. In addition, the MRMTA holds a variety of student competitions including the Phyllis and Dorothy Holtby Scholarships, the Grace Rich-Bastin Piano/Instrumental Award, and the Grace Rich-Bastin Memorial Award. An annual Music Scholarship Series Competition is held at the senior, junior and intermediate levels.