Otterbein Music Faculty Member Honored by MTNA as a Foundation Fellow 

Posted May 30, 2023

Suzanne Newcomb, Department of Music piano accompanist, has had a prestigious music education fellowship established in her name for her decades-long impact on the lives of fellow music teachers in central Ohio. 

The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) formally recognized Newcomb as a Foundation Fellow on March 27, 2023, at the MTNA Gala, during their National Conference held in Reno, NV. Founded in 1876, MTNA is a nationwide organization for the support, growth, and empowerment of music-teaching professionals. MTNA supports music education by offering music teaching conferences, professional development opportunities and music performances for both professional and student musicians. 

A fellowship fund of more than $1,500 has been established with MTNA in Newcomb’s name. The fellowship is funded by donations from Newcomb’s peers as well as past and present students. 

Newcomb’s career as a professional pianist and teacher spans almost 40 years. She has been a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) through MTNA for 25 years. She teaches piano at Otterbein and at her home studio in Upper Arlington.  

In addition to teaching, Newcomb maintains an active performance schedule. She can be seen performing orchestral and solo piano in local orchestras including the Columbus Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, New Albany Symphony Orchestra, Westerville Symphony, and Worthington Chamber Orchestra.  Her chamber group, Camarata Trio, has performed the complete Beethoven Trio cycle in recital. 

She is a 1979 graduate of Upper Arlington High School.  She received a Bachelor of Music degree in 1983 from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music degree in 1985 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in 1990 from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, studying with Leon Fleisher. 

In 1998, Newcomb joined the Central East District of the Ohio Music Teachers Association (CEOMTA), a 501(c)(3) affiliate of MTNA. Since then, she has been dedicated to her district, serving as its president for two terms, past-president, OhioMTA/Graves Competition chairman, Summer Music Study Scholarships chairman, and webmaster, and is currently their Independent Music Teachers Forum chairman. At the state level, she has served as president, vice president of student affairs, vice president of affiliated associations, and the 2015 State Conference Committee chair.  

Newcomb credits the Ohio Music Teachers Association for giving her a deep sense of connection with the piano teaching community members who share her commitment to continuing education. Through their certification program and teacher events, teachers are constantly learning and expanding their knowledge to be the best teachers possible. Her colleagues are an inspiration to her. She has benefitted from being part of a strong teaching community through exchanging ideas at meetings and by watching many years of lessons as her own three children learned from Janice Cook and Rachel Mills. Teachers in the district 
have a deep respect and admiration for each other. 

When asked if she had any advice for music teachers, Newcomb said, “Get involved!  Get certified! Stay connected by coming to meetings and attending conferences.”