MTNA Convention Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Worries

The U.S.-based Music Teachers National Association has cancelled its 2020 MTNA Convention, which was supposed to take place from March 21-25 in Chicago. Like many other large events around North America in recent days, it's cancelled because of fears of the spread of COVID-19 (aka coronavirus).

"The MTNA leadership has been closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Based on the latest guidance from public health officials and our concerns for the safety and health of our attendees, it has become clear today that having the 2020 MTNA National Conference in Chicago on March 21–25 is impossible and that cancellation is the right thing to do," the association's statement reads. "We regret that the cancellation had to be made with such short notice, but given the rapidly evolving circumstances surrounding the virus, we wanted to be certain a responsible decision was made. We thank our professional community for your understanding, especially those who wanted the conference to be held."

The MTNA also says that in response to this unique situation, it has adjusted its published refund policy for this conference and will refund registration fees in full for all attendees as well as exhibit booth fees.

"We are currently working through this process and appreciate your patience during this time. We will alert all attendees through email and website FAQs as further information becomes available," it says.

For those you had flights and hotels booked, the MTNA advises: "Looking ahead, we urge attendees to expedite cancellation of travel arrangements and hotel reservations. Most airlines are waiving cancellation fees right now. If you made your hotel reservation with the Chicago Marriott, you should cancel it as soon as possible. Reservations cancelled less than three (3) days prior to your arrival date are subject to a fee equal to one-night’s room rate plus applicable taxes."

Lastly, the association says, "We know that great things happen when the music teaching profession comes together and connects at MTNA. Our conferences are a valuable and treasured event for our community. We are working on means to provide online opportunities to foster communication, teacher education and professional development offerings in lieu of an in-person conference in 2020. We will send you an update as soon as possible."

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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