We are proud to have had the participation of the following piano teachers.

The inaugural recipients of the Tholen Fellowship at the 2015 PPI Summer Festival at Lewis & Clark College.  Standing from left to right: Rita Warton, Helen Jones, Mary Venard, Marsha Hall, Pat Daly  Seated from left to right: Jessica Treon, Kristen Thompson, Mary Lee Scoville, Michele Alspach, Tiffany Jefferson

The inaugural recipients of the Tholen Fellowship at the 2015 PPI Summer Festival at Lewis & Clark College.

Standing from left to right: Rita Warton, Helen Jones, Mary Venard, Marsha Hall, Pat Daly

Seated from left to right: Jessica Treon, Kristen Thompson, Mary Lee Scoville, Michele Alspach, Tiffany Jefferson


Pat Daly

Phoenix, OR

Pat grew up in the culturally rich environment of Washington DC and while there was privileged to hear performances by Vladimir Horowitz, Artur Rubinstein, Mistislav Rostropovich, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and many other musical greats.  The son of a music teacher, he started playing piano at age 6 and eventually majored in music at the University of Maryland and later earned a Masters Degree in Performance from Wichita State University studying with Robert Roux.  After college, Pat started a career in public radio, purveying classical music to the masses in central Kansas.  He moved to southern Oregon in 1986 with his young family to take a position as music director at Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland.  While at Southern Oregon University, he was also an adjunct professor of music history and was the pre-concert lecturer for the Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra for 13 years.  Since 2006 he has been a full-time piano teacher and accompanist in the Rogue Valley.

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Marsha Hall

Jacksonville, OR

Marsha Hall has lived in Jacksonville, Oregon for seven years and enjoys the green of Oregon after spending 19 years in Nevada. She keeps busy (and happy) teaching piano in her home studio, accompanying choirs, soloists, and recitals, and playing piano duo music.  She also plays organ and cello, and fills any remaining time with quilting and church volunteer work. Marsha and her husband, John, are the parents of four children and two grandchildren.  


Helen Jones

Bend, OR

Helen received a Bachelor of Music degree from University of Arizona in Tucson where she studied with Russell Sherman. Between 1990 and 2011, Helen was actively involved with the Arizona State Music Teachers Association, where held the positions of state president, conference chair, and state high school auditions chair. She was also involved with the Tucson Music Teachers Association between 1990 and 2011, where she chaired a piano ensemble event that involved 500 students performing on 12 grand pianos. Helen also led a commissioning project with composer Robert Vandall to write a duet for the Ensemble’s 60th anniversary. Helen moved to Bend in 2011 to be near family. She is an active member of the Central Oregon District OMTA, and is the current secretary and publicity chair for the district. Helen is an active teach, pianist and accompanist in Bend.

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Mary Lee Scoville

Waldport, OR

A native Oregonian, Mary Lee Scoville received her Bachelors degree from Oregon State University, and after teaching Public School Mathematics and private piano/guitar for several years, resumed her music studies at the University of Oregon where she was a Ruth Lorraine-Close Scholarship recipient for threes years while earning a Masters and Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Music Theory and Composition. She taught Music at the University of Pacific and Stanislaus State in California and was also the Director of Music at the Cathedral of Annunciation and Diocesan Director of Music Ministries for the Stockton Diocese. Moving to the Oregon Coast, she became active with the local OMTA chapter, primarily teaching Studio Music Lessons in Piano and Classical Guitar. She is the director/founder of the Central Coast Chorale, helped establish the current Music Curriculum at the Oregon Coast Community College and is now an on-site Music instructor at the South beach Campus. She plays organ at St Lukes’ & St. Stephens Episcopal Churches, co-directs the Choirs at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newport, performs regularly with the OMTA Spotlight Concerts, and has worked with Porthole Players on several local productions.


Jessica Treon

Seal Rock, OR

Jessie moved from New Mexico to Oregon in 1996 and lives in Seal Rock.  She has a Bachelor of Music in Piano Pedagogy and forty years of teaching experience.  In addition to private piano she teaches preschool music using her own program which she developed in 1986.  She performs on two pianos with Mary Lee Scoville and is an experienced collaborator.  When away from the piano she gardens and takes walks on the beach with her three dachshunds.


Kristen Thompson

South Beach, OR

Since the age of 4, when her parents bought her a small keyboard, three piano lesson books, and Hooked on Phonics, Kristen Thompson has had a lifelong passion for music, art, education, and creative learning.  A native of Newport, Oregon, Kristen now has a private studio in South Beach where she shares her joy of learning by teaching piano, art, and mathematics.  She is currently pursuing her Associates of Science Business Transfer Degree at Oregon Coast Community College, with a focus in mathematics and piano. Kristen currently studies with Dr. Mary Lee Scoville.


Mary Venard

Jacksonville, OR

“I have 36 years experience teaching and studying piano including eight years study with Annie Sherter, technique study with Barbara Lister-Sink, and Suzuki certification. Oregon students now follow the achievements of students in Illinois and California, where I taught, adjudicated, coordinated statewide contests, and received Illinois Statewide Certification.  I have been a member of MTNA since 1982. ‘Passing the torch’ is the most gratifying aspect of my career. With the generous assistance of a Nellie Tholen Fellowship, I hope to nurture another generation of young musicians here in Oregon.”

From Portland Piano International: We were deeply saddened to hear of Mary’s passing on June 11, 2018. We offer our condolences to Mary’s family as well as her many students. Her obituary is here.

Rita Wharton

Neotsu, OR

New Zealand born and educated, I attended Auckland University for 3 years before my husband, baby and I emigrated to the USA.  I moved to the Oregon coast in 1988 and shortly thereafter joined the Lincoln County OMTA.  Since that time, I have taught privately 150 students in piano and voice, organized 2-4 student recitals yearly, attended our annual workshops, participated in Ensemble, Bach and Ribbon Festivals.  I was treasurer for 10 years and am presently president.  I perform twice yearly with the other teachers in our "Spotlight Concerts" - fundraisers for our scholarship fund.

Additional Tholen Fellows:  

Michele Alspach

Ashland, OR

Tiffany Jefferson

Toledo, OR