Reinhardt College Artist-in-Residence Celebrates 50 years of Membership in the Music Teachers National Association
The "South's Harpsichordist" of the '60s, owner and enthusiast of historic musical instruments, professor and book editor are just some of the many roles that Dr. George Lucktenberg, Reinhardt College's artist-in-residence, has played in his life. This past November, Lucktenberg added another role to his list when he was honored at the Georgia Music Teachers National Association for 50 years of membership in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).
"I joined MTNA in 1957, and in 2007, I was 50 years strong and counting in the MTNA -- longevity certainly has its rewards," says Lucktenberg.
His Career in MTNA
His career in the MTNA began in 1957 when he returned from Vienna, Austria, following a year on a Fulbright Scholarship. He joined the Tennessee Music Teachers Association while teaching at the University of Chattanooga. Upon taking a professorship in 1960 at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C., Lucktenberg inquired about joining a state affiliate of the MTNA but was told that one did not exist in South Carolina.
After much traveling and speaking with leading music teachers and department heads, he gained enough support to hold an organizing convention to present his findings, as well as the Constitution and Bylaws that he developed. His strong determination led to the successful creation of the South Carolina Music Teachers Association. He was immediately voted-in as the first president.
"At the organizing convention, I held the gavel while we went through the constitution and bylaws," Lucktenberg explains. "The meeting ended with my announcement of success in the adoption of the organization's policies, as well as encouragement to elect officers. I then thought my job there was done and walked off the stage. Five minutes later I was elected president."
Lucktenberg held the office of president until 1963, putting through the organization's polices and functions and helping it grow from an initial 40 members to more than 100.
From 1964-1972, he held two vice presidencies and the presidency of the southern division of MTNA. His current local MTNA affiliation is with the Cherokee Music Teachers Association. Since moving to Georgia in 1990, Lucktenberg has held teaching positions at Clayton State College and University, and he currently has positions at Reinhardt College and Georgia State University. Over the years, he has traveled extensively giving concerts and lectures, many of which featured historic keyboards from his impressive collection. For many summers, he taught at Interlochen, a prestigious arts camp in Interlochen, Mich.
Why He Came to Reinhardt College
Retirement holds little allure for Lucktenberg. "In 1995 I got be 65 years old, and everyone told me I should retire," reveals Lucktenberg. "So I did, and it only lasted an hour and a half. The late Judye MacMillian [professor of music] and Susan Naylor [associate professor of music], both Reinhardt College music professors, and Dr. Floyd Falany, who was Reinhardt's president at that time, rescued me so I didn't have to quit. Because in my line of work, unless something happens -- you break a hand or go senile -- you don't have to quit. So, I still fancy myself as being useful."
Lucktenberg is certainly useful. He will be playing and talking about "The Experimental Piano Music of Henry Cowell" on Sunday, February 3, 2008, at 3 p.m. in the Falany Performing Arts Center (FPAC) at Reinhardt College. On Sunday, February 12, 2008 at 8 p.m. in the FPAC, he will be joined by Naylor on piano, Nan Maddox on cello and Nancy Schechter on violin in a concert of music by composers from Eastern Europe. The concert is presented as part of the College's Celebration of a "Year of Eastern Europe and Russia." Both concerts are free for the public, and tickets are not required for admission.