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About the Lister-Sink Foundation

Established in 2011, the Lister-Sink Foundation, Inc. is a not-for-profit public charity dedicated to giving financial support to pianists and organists for prevention of, or rehabilitation from, playing-related injuries, and to maximize their musical artistry through the development of well-coordinated, injury-preventive piano technique and organ technique.

Board of Trustees – Lister-Sink Foundation

Timothy Durkovic, President is an active soloist and chamber musician, collaborating regularly with some of world’s finest instrumentalists and vocalists including Lynn Harrell, Martin Chalifour, Helen Callus, Movses Pogossian, Timothy Landauer, Richard O’Neil, Jonathan Mack, the Calder Quartet, the Miró Quartet, and the Casal Quartet among others. He is the Grand Prize Winner of the 1996 Los Angels Liszt Competition as well as a winner of the Beverly Hills Auditions, the Carmel Music Society Competition, the 2001 San Diego Duo Piano Competition and the 2001 IBLA Grand Prize Duo Award (Sicily, Italy) with his duo partner Chie Nagatani, as well as the recipient of the prestigious Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award from the USC Thornton School of Music. He has served as the Director of Keyboard Studies at Long Beach City College as well as on the faculties of the Orange County High School of the Arts, the University of La Verne, and the USC Thornton School of Music. He also performs regularly as part of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra. His playing has been described as having great “sensitivity to colors” (Salt Lake City Tribune) and “effortless, with the music always in the forefront, and an overall effect…of music making that is too rarely heard.” (Frederick Swann). His CD recording “Gargoyles,” available on iTunes, received rave reviews as being “an incisive and exciting performance” from Lowell Lieberman, the title track’s composer himself. He has also performed and arranged music for advertising campaigns for clients such as Christina Aguilera and Dignity Health. Born and raised in Guatemala, Mr. Durkovic studied at the National Conservatory of Guatemala, the Juilliard School, Salem College and the USC Thornton School of Music. Tim is also a luxury property broker-associate with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Please visit his website for more information at  

Barbara Lister-Sink, Executive Director is an internationally acclaimed pianist who has performed throughout Europe and North America with many of the world’s most distinguished musicians. A graduate of Smith College and recipient of the Prix d’Excellence from Utrecht Conservatory, she is currently Director of the School of Music and Artist-in-Residence at Salem College, Winston-Salem, NC. As an acknowledged world leader in teaching injury-preventive technique, she has been featured at numerous national and international music conferences, in over 18 states as Music Teachers National Association conference artist and/or clinician, and was featured pedagogue for the 2010 Piano Texas/Cliburn Institute International Piano Academy. Her DVD Freeing the Caged Bird – Developing Well-Coordinated, Injury-Preventive Piano Technique won the 2002 MTNA-Frances Clark Keyboard Pedagogy Award and was praised as “A monumental work!” by pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy. Formerly keyboardist for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, she has taught on the Artist Faculty of the Eastman School of Music, at Duke University and Brevard Music Center. Currently, Lister-Sink is in the Doctoral Cohort Program at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York pursuing research in neuroscience and piano pedagogy. She directs America’s first Professional Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique at Salem College.

Kanda Haight, Vice President & Secretary began her journey with the piano at the age of 10. She attended Injury Preventive Keyboard Technique intensive workshop in 2002 following debilitating repetitive strain injuries to both arms. In 2006 she came to Salem College to retrain in the IPKT Certificate program at Salem College. In the midst of retraining in 2008 she had a bad fall that resulted in a traumatic left wrist injury requiring extensive reconstructive surgeries. Both injuries, occurring several years apart, took her away from the piano for many years. Her medical team believed that she may never be able to play piano again after the wrist injury. By God’s grace, a fabulous hand surgeon and a very patient and determined medical team, she has been able to return to playing piano and teaching after nearly three years of intensive therapy and gradual retraining. Ms. Haight is currently a graduate student at Salem College and is nearing completion of a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy with an Emphasis in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique — the fulfillment of a 25 year dream.

Ms. Haight holds a B.A. in Music Performance/Piano, 2001, a B.M. in Music Education, 2009, Professional Certification in teaching The Lister Sink Method in 2010, and a M.M. in Music Education from the University of Florida in 2016. She has taught piano and instrumental lessons privately for nearly 25 years and has worked as a K-12 Music teacher in public schools for 16 years. Additionally, she has worked as both an assistant and an instructor in the Intensive Training Workshops for several years. Ms. Haight has performed solo recitals in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina and won first and third prizes in state (Ohio) and national (University of Texas, Denton) Fine Arts Keyboard Competitions in 1992. In 2007, she was honored to enjoy a rare and treasured opportunity to accompany a local children’s chorus on piano for a three-hour concert in the East Room of the White House. Ms. Haight serves on the Executive Board of Directors for The Lister-Sink Foundation.

David Holter, Treasurer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music composition from Middlebury College. In 2013, he completed the Certificate Program in Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique with Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink at Salem College, and earned the Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy in December 2018. He has served as an assistant instructor in numerous Intensive Technique Training workshops and as staff assistant for the Lister-Sink Institute. He has also studied with Jane Rose and Keiko Sekino. Currently, he plays for Winston-Salem Friends Meeting and teaches privately. Most recently, he created Sight Reading Spark, a step-by-step training program that develops students’ feel of the keyboard for sight reading.

Pat Graham Crowe, IT is an organist, pianist, sopranist-countertenor, and baritone. A native of Davidson, North Carolina, USA, Mr. Crowe is an active musician, pedagogue, audio engineer, digital marketing strategist, and consultant throughout North Carolina, the United States, and abroad. Currently, Mr. Crowe holds the position of organist at First Presbyterian Church of Belmont, NC, and is founding Vice President of the Ernest M. Skinner® Foundation. In 2017, Mr. Crowe was the recipient of the Master of Music Degree in Organ Performance (Church Music Emphasis) at the Mercer University Townsend School of Music. At Mercer, Pat studied under a full tuition assistantship, while serving as a graduate assistant to the departments of organ and music theory. Mr. Crowe’s primary musical studies have been under the tutelage of Jacqueline Yost (piano/organ), Jack Mitchener (organ), Timothy Olsen (organ, harpsichord), Joan Jacobowsky (voice), and Barbara Lister-Sink (piano).

Pat has over a decade of experience in the field of technology, specializing in the areas of audio / visual engineering, web marketing, graphic design, and consulting. As Director of Technology for the Lister-Sink Institute, Mr. Crowe is currently working with Dr. Barbara Lister-Sink on the development of a new web app, and experiments with affordable biomedical technology, designed to help injured keyboardists, and enhance the musical artistry of pianists and organists through well-coordinated, injury-preventive keyboard technique. When Mr. Crowe is not preoccupied by his musical endeavors, he enjoys cooking, attending live music (operatic, choral, solo keyboard, orchestral, ensemble, jazz), museums and historic architectural tours, studies of history and psychology, and volunteer work.

Mary Ellen Bliss is a graduate of Smith College and Rutgers Law School. Her legal career began in New York City: five years prosecuting fraud in the New York State Medicaid program, followed by ten years representing major not-for-profit health care facilities in New York during a time of significant changes in patient rights and in the way hospitals and nursing homes are paid. She is also an amateur violinist and violist, and has always loved playing chamber music. It was through chamber music that she met her pianist husband, Enoch Gordis. After they moved to the Washington DC area, she worked for AARP as a legal analyst and advocate on a range of health care issues important to older persons. Since retiring in 2001, she has been studying violin seriously and has also learned enough clarinet to start playing the lovely chamber music literature for that instrument as well.

Jessie Coulter attended Salem College from 2003 to 2007 where she majored in piano performance and international relations. She attended the William and Mary School of Law from 2007 to 2010. She now practices law as a legislative attorney in Austin, Texas. Jessie works for a state agency that provides bill and amendment drafting services to the Texas legislature. When the legislature is not in session and she has more free time, she teaches piano on the side and plays with a band called the Chicon Street Orchestra. She volunteers with several Austin not-for-profits and is an active member in her church. 

Kirk M. Rich

Barbara Acker-Mills

Tanya Gille is a retired professor of piano and director of the School of Music at The University of Alabama. Previously, she was an associate dean of the College of Music and an active member of the piano faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she coordinated the piano pedagogy program and supervised the teaching of graduate piano students. Her degrees include a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music, plus a Bachelor of Music with High Distinction and Master of Music with Highest Distinction from Indiana University where she studied with Jorge Bolet. Additional work was with Ellen Mack at the Peabody Institute.

A frequent performer of contemporary music, Dr. Gille has played most of the chamber music of Pulitzer-Prize winner George Crumb teaching seminars with the composer in this country and abroad. She has recorded for Albany Records and performed on European and American radio broadcasts. Critics have described her as a “pianist of uncommon taste and compelling musicianship” with “unerring rhythmic sense,” “masterful technique,” etc. Her piano/percussion ensemble has been engaged by the Prague Spring International Music Festival, the European Month of Culture, Festival Ljubljana, and other venues in the U.S. She has received numerous grants including awards from the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions.

Dr. Gille has been an active clinician, adjudicator, and convention artist at many MTNA events (Music Teachers National Association) around the country and was chosen Teacher of the Year by the Fort Worth Music Teachers Association during her tenure at Texas Wesleyan University. Her interest in the study of well-coordinated piano technique has led to her work over many years with John Bloomfield (assistant to Edna Golandsky and the late Dorothy Taubman) and with Barbara Lister-Sink.