July 14, 2010
OBU alumna Melody (Lee) Stroth, who graduated in 1978 with a degree in piano performance, recently was named the Kansas Music Teacher Association's Teacher of the Year. She also received the 2010 Missouri Federation of Music Club's Church Musician of the Year award.
Stroth graduated from OBU with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude. During her time on Bison Hill, she studied with Charlotte Martin. She received the Marion Elbert Patterson Piano Award, the Bisonette Glee Club Gold Award, was a member of the American Guild of Organists and Sigma Alpha Iota, and was elected to Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.
Stroth earned a master's degree in piano performance from the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music in 1981. She operates a private music studio in Overland Park, Kan., with 50-60 students covering a wide range of ages and abilities.
In 2004, one of Stroth's students won the National Federation of Music Clubs Stillman-Kelley Award, receiving $1,000 for future study. Since then, many of her students have received Kansas Music Teacher Association (KMTA) state honors and have frequently been chosen for master class presentations.
In 2005, Stroth received the first National Federation of Music Clubs's Ouida Keck award, given to a teacher who demonstrates superior teaching in the private studio and wishes to further enhance their teaching skills.
Originally from Pauls Valley, Okla., Stroth has been a church musician since 7th grade. She continues to play as a co-organist/pianist at Prairie Baptist Church in Shawnee Mission, Kan., where she has served for 21 years.
She serves as the national chairperson for the NFMC Angie Greer Music in Poetry award and as president of the UMKC Conservatory Alumni Board of Directors. She is also a member of Federated Teachers of Music and Fine Art of Greater Kansas City.