Freya Wardlaw-Bailey 2022-2024
Freya Wardlaw-Bailey is a life-long Alaskan. She has taught piano since 1999 and maintains a full studio of all ages and levels. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and education from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2003), and a master’s in piano accompanying from the University of Oregon (2007). Freya’s professional experience includes accompanying voice and instrumental students, performing with choirs and the singing group Bel Canto, and teaching music theory at UAA. She is also the pianist and organist at St. John United Methodist Church. After ten years as secretary, she became president of AKTA in 2018. Freya lives in Anchorage with her husband, James, and their three young children: Melody, Felix, and Tallis.
Margaret Turner 2022-2024
Vice President & Historian
I hold a BA from University of California, Davis and a teaching credential from San Jose State University. I have taken all the Suzuki courses required for teaching all levels of Suzuki piano and four courses of Suzuki flute teacher training. I have taught junior high school and as a Suzuki Piano Teacher at Alaska Pacific University. I helped start the Southcentral Alaska Suzuki Institute and was director for several years. I have performed with the Anchorage Symphony and Opera. I currently play with the Civic Orchestra and Flutissimo. I have maintained a private studio in Anchorage for over 30 years
Dean Epperson 2022-2024
Treasurer & Membership Chair
I have been an Alaskan resident since 1954 when my family moved from Los Angeles, California to homestead on the Kenai Peninsula. After receiving a BM in piano performance at UAF and a Masters in Music in piano at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland, I returned to Anchorage and started my private piano studio and also become an Adjunct Professor at UAA. I have taught various classes at the UAA Music Department and currently I am teaching piano master class, functional piano and private piano. I still have a private studio in my home and enjoy working with the intermediate and advanced piano students. I was one of the founding members of the Alaska Music Teachers Association (AMTA) and continue to serve as the Anchorage Keyboard Teachers Association (AKTA) as their treasurer.
Gretchen Thomas 2022-2024
Secretary & Hospitality
Gretchen is a life long Alaskan, growing up in the valley under the amazing view of Pioneer Peak.
She received her B.M Ed (k-12) from UAF. She taught Music Theory for 10 years at Southcentral’s Alaska Suzuki Institute, has been teaching private piano and saxophone lessons for 25 + years in her home based studio, and recently added General Music Classes for a Eagle River based homeschool group. She is Immediate Past President of AKTA, having served for 10+ years. She enjoys the daily interaction with her students, which fill her up with laughter and love.
Cindy Epperson 2021-2023
Cynthia Epperson has taught private piano in Anchorage since 1986. A nationally certified teacher with the Music Teachers National Association, Ms. Epperson is actively involved in the local, state, and national levels of MTNA and is President of the Alaska Music Teachers Association. She is much sought after as a skilled instrumental and vocal accompanist. In addition to her work as a musician and teacher, she is a registered nurse with extensive experience in the rehabilitation of repetitive motion injuries and is frequently consulted by local insurance companies and physicians. Pianists, piano teachers, and other instrumentalists also consult her when they or their students experience pain and other symptoms of the upper extremities.
Mark Weathers 2021-2023
Mark Weathers, a lifelong Alaskan, is a highly respected piano teacher based in Soldotna on the Central Kenai Peninsula. With his association with the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), Mark brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role as State Festival Chair for Alaska with the NFMC. He previously served as State President for NFMC from 2019 to 2021.
Mark's passion for music started as a young child while living in the Philippines, where he was exposed to both western and eastern music. He has since cultivated an appreciation for both genres and has incorporated this understanding into his teaching style.
Apart from his teaching commitments, Mark also accompanies children's choirs and musicals in the Kenai/Soldotna area. With his expertise, he has helped many students reach their full potential and fostered a love for music in the local community.
Autumn Laemmrich 2021-2023
Autumn Laemmrich received her BM in piano performance from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point in 2011. She started teaching piano in Wisconsin in 2008 and in 2011 moved to Alaska and continued her teaching in the Anchorage area. After traveling to homes for lessons for over 10 years, she now has an active in-home studio in South Anchorage.