MHTP’s Board of Directors is responsible for all governance of MHTP, including both short- and long-term guidance of the organization.  MHTP is the only therapeutic music training program governed by a Board of Directors.  This is a working Board comprised of volunteers who put in many hours in service to MHTP.  Most Directors have at least one major MHTP project for which they are responsible and serve on one or more active committees.  Directors have a wide diversity of education, experience, and interests that collectively and synergistically combine to create a powerful and highly-skilled group of individuals who deeply love MHTP and are dedicated to its highest good.

Karen Peterson, CMP, BA – MHTP President, is employed part-time at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, outside New York City. She plays therapeutic harp music at the bedside for patients in all areas of the hospital, including ICU, CCU, oncology, pulmonary, cardiac, renal/transplant, and hospice. Karen has a BA in Scientific and Technical Communication from Bowling Green State University, where she also studied pedal harp. She plays the double-strung harp for her patients.

Kris Snyder, CMP, BA – MHTP Vice President, is a fourth generation harper with over 45 years of musical experience, including more than 28 years with the harp.  She owns five harps, including her great-grandmother’s Clark harp.  As a CMP since 1999, she works at a progressive care community and with a local hospice.  Kris has been a teacher for MHTP since 2009, served as MHTP’s Secretary for many years, and is the Advisor Administrator.  She also has a private harp teaching studio in Glenville, Pennsylvania, is the director for The Muses, and has multiple recordings.

Karen Stowe, CMP, RN, VAHT-P – MHTP Secretary, began her studies in harp at the age of 24, after receiving her licensure as an RN.  She became a Certified Music Practitioner in 2005. She has been employed by Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center since 2005, and has provided hundreds of hours of live therapeutic playing at the bedside and in the medical departments at DePaul as well in various memory-care and assisted living facilities throughout the Coastal Virginia area. She partners with Tidewater Arts Outreach, whose mission is to share the joy and healing power of quality arts experiences with people who have limited access to the arts due to health, economic or social circumstances. In addition, she regularly plays for weddings, parties, church services, and community events. She became certified as a Vibroacoustic Harp Practitioner in 2014, and has provided over 300 therapeutic sessions.

Angela Brown, CMP, BS – MHTP Treasurer, having grown up in the deserts of the Southwest, now makes her home in the White Mountains of northern New Hampshire. A CMP since 2014, Angela brings 40 years of piano/keyboard experience and 15+ years of non-profit experience to her role on the Board of Directors for MHTP. Even though her degree is in Family Science (BYU ‘90), her job experiences have been in the world of healthcare, and she currently works from home for Hamilton Dermatology in Alpharetta, GA, as a pre-cert specialist. Now that her two children are grown and in college, Angela finds time to share therapeutic music weekly at a local nursing home, teach piano lessons and provide accompanist services, serve on the school board and on the board of Music in the Great North Woods and the Randolph Foundation. Recently recruited to be her church’s music director, she is brushing up on her organ skills and repertoire, though doubts she’ll ever learn to play the pedals. As a governor-appointed councilor on the NH State Council for the Arts, she spends many hours attending and supporting local arts events. On summer evenings you can find her relaxing on the deck, enjoying the sunset, and attempting to learn to play the ukulele. In winter, she is out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Debby Hix, CMP, PhD, is a CMP since 2000, and has since then been employed continually by hospitals and hospices in Blacksburg, Virginia to provide therapeutic harp music for a variety of patients.  She plays often for healing and memorial services, as well as festive occasions, and gives presentations on MHTP and her experiences with healing harp music.  Debby was MHTP’s Curriculum Reviewer for 10 years, during which time the curriculum was completely updated and standardized across all modules.  Debby is retired as a Senior Research Scientist from the Computer Science faculty at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, and continues to study the growing scientific body of literature on the effects of therapeutic music.

Dawn D. Collins, CMP, MA, was certified by MHTP in May 1997. She is a vocalist and acoustic guitarist, and additionally plays Native American style flute, mountain dulcimer, harp, ukulele, and a variety of percussion instruments. Dawn has been an advisor for MHTP since the inception of the mentor/advisor program, and volunteered in difference capacities for past MHTP conferences. Dawn’s education background includes a B.S. in Business Administration, Masters in Expressive Arts Therapy, a Masters in Worship Studies/Ethnomusicology, certification as an interfaith chaplain, among other certifications in healing arts-based programs. At present, Dawn is an independent contractor serving as a CMP at Whittier Nursing Home, Ghent, NY, as well as serving the Columbia County ARC as a therapeutic musician and expressive arts program provider for private special needs clients.

Martha Lewis, CMP, MA, MTS, left the corporate world after many years to pursue her passion for the healing arts.  After completing an MA in Expressive Arts Therapy & Counseling and an MTS in Spirituality and the Arts, she co-founded the Music for Healing and Transition Program, Inc. with Laurie Riley in 1994. Martha was the first President and Executive Director of MHTP and remained active as an MHTP Board Director until 2002.  She was an instructor for MHTP from 1995-2017.  Now semi-retired, she is once again serving on MHTP’s Board of Directors. Over the years she has taught and facilitated expressive therapy workshops throughout the country and served in various ministries for Episcopal churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

Former directors and/or executive directors:

  • Rachel Allen
  • Angi Bemiss
  • Stella Benson
  • Kathleen Bingaman
  • Randolph Case
  • Faye Clerget
  • Allen Dec
  • Margo Drohan
  • Melinda Gardiner
  • Sue Hoadley
  • Glenn Huels
  • Peggy Jaegly
  • Susan Krysiak
  • Barbara W. Lepke-Sims
  • Martha Lewis
  • Carol Joy Loeb
  • Nick Magerl
  • Mona Peck
  • Ruthann Ritchie
  • Cynthia Snodgrass
  • Donna Snead
  • Carol J. Spears
  • Cheryl Zabel