Weber State Music Professor Receives National Award for Teaching

OGDEN, Utah – After evaluating finalists from all 50 states, the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) selected WSU director of keyboard studies and Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor Yu-Jane Yang as the organization’s Teacher of the Year for 2020. 

This is the first time the prestigious national teaching award has been awarded to a teacher from Utah in its 20-year history. Yang was recognized for her passion for teaching and dedication to student success.

The award recognizes an individual teacher who has made a difference in their students’ lives, has contributed to the advancement of music in their community and is an example of a professional music educator each year. MTNA has over 22,000 members across the U.S., primarily university music professors and independent studio teachers.

“I am extremely humbled by this totally unexpected national honor,” Yang says. “I would like to attribute this prestigious award to all of my inspirational former teachers and mentors, to my remarkable and diligent WSU students and to President Mortensen and the administration, as well as many generous music donors of WSU, from whom I have continuously received their incredible support.”

Yang’s students at WSU have also received high honors from MTNA’s local chapter, the Utah Music Teachers Association (UMTA). Four of Yang’s students received top awards at the 2020 State Collegiate Piano Concerto Competition, which is recognized as one of the most competitive events for collegiate piano students in Utah. Min-Shan “Susan” Tsa earned first-place state honors, Ting-Yu “Cindy” Lu received third place and Shu-Han Shen and Miranda Hoggan were each awarded honorable mention.

Laurisa Cope, UMTA president commented, “Yu-Jane is the most dedicated, unselfish teacher, mentor and friend I know. Thank you for all you have shared with the teachers and students of Utah.”

UMTA honored Yang at a virtual reception on Nov. 7. Although the MTNA Award Ceremony is postponed until March 2021, Yang’s award and praise are posted virtually at

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Cassie Smith, Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities marketing and public relations manager
801-450-7189 •


Cassie Smith, Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities marketing and public relations manager
801-450-7189 •