The Southwestern Region of the
American Music Therapy Association
Red River Valley                                                                Summer 2017
A publication of the Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association  

SWAMTA President-Elect, Christine Neugebauer, discusses her transition to President of SWAMTA for the next term and her goals of encouraging transparency between the membership and board, as well as increasing active engagement amongst the membership in the region. 

Past Presidents' Reports

Outgoing SWAMTA President Antoinette Neff discusses the successful regional conference and thanks the board and membership for their roles in promoting progress within the MT field.

Read more from
Antoinette Neff ...

Past President ChihChen Sophia Lee discusses her six year commitment to the office of President of SWAMTA and discusses the Mary Rudenberg Lifetime Achievement Award.

Read more from
ChihChen Sophia Lee ... 

Continuing Education

Get an overview on attendance at the continuing education sessions offered at the 2017 regional conference.

Student Affairs Advisory Committee Reports

Michelle Kennemer discusses her work over 14 years with the Student Affairs Advisory Committee, her recent acceptance of the Harmony Award, and shares photos of SWAMTAS presidents of the past.

Marcus Hughes will be stepping in to take on the role heading up the Student Affairs Committee, and he shares his excitement to take on the position with his report to the SWAMTA membership.

The RRV presents
A Music Therapy Biography

ChihChen Sophia Lee familiarizes the membership with music therapy advocate Jacqueline Schmidt Peters.

Ask Eva

"Ask Eva" is a new column in the Red River Valley aimed at answering student and new professional music therapist’s questions about professional and personal aspects of this field.

In this edition, readers get feedback on choosing an internship site, starting a private practice, and negotiating a raise. 

An Interview with Kamica King

Karen Sholander continues the Red River Valley's interview series by introducing a conversation with Kamica King.

From the Secretary:

Thank you for the opportunity to serve again as your secretary. This upcoming summer we will be completing a list of motions as well as formal minutes from our board and business meetings from regional conference. These will be made available to membership on the SWAMTA website ( Please feel free to contact me if there are any questions before that time. I can be reached at, and 

Esther Craven, MT-BC
SWAMTA Secretary

Regional Updates

Find out the latest news in several areas of the Southwest region, from celebrations of those retiring and moving from the region, to social outings and mini conferences, and social media pages.

Diane Powell recaps the 2017 regional conference and announces the city hosting the 2018 conference: Lubbock, TX!

A Note from the outgoing SWAMTAS President 

I’ve been honored to serve the students as the regional SWAMTAS president for the past year.

The SWAMTAS executive board and I created a regional project to improve student interaction between the seven schools in our region, hosted the second annual student social at conference, gave out three scholarships amounting to $1,000, and held two productive business meetings.

As one of my last actions as outgoing President I would like to welcome our new President Kevin Bock.

Thanks to the SWAMTA region and BOD; the students wouldn’t be able to do what they do without the support of music therapy professionals!

Siobhan Kelley

A Farewell from RRV Co-Editor Jessica Leza

The Red River Valley has been edited and published by Karen Sholander and Jessica Leza for the past two years.  In that time we have moved the newsletter to a new format online in the hopes of reaching more of the membership and helping to create a resource for future Music Therapists. We have introduced new features, such as an interview series and an advice column for students and new professionals, as we strive to make the RRV relevant to the careers and lives of Music Therapists and MT students in the region.

Life often brings unexpected opportunities and this week my family was offered an opportunity too good to turn down. I will be moving out of the region in the coming months.

Karen Sholander will be staying on to continue assisting with publication of the RRV, but SWAMTA is seeking a new co-editor. Responsibilities may include collecting reports and information from the relevant parties and publishing these materials online using Wild Apricot.  Jessica will be available during the summer to assist a new co-editor in publishing via Wild Apricot.

If you would like to serve the region by assisting with the RRV please contact your RRV editors, SWAMTA web admin Christina Stock, or another member of the board.

Many Thanks,
Jessica Leza, MA, MT-BC

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