Myrtle David, Founder and Executive Director, DeBose Foundation

DeBose National Piano Competition

The DeBose Fine Arts Festival - Competition

The MTNA Achievement Award, MTNA’s highest honor, is bestowed upon individuals and entities who have made significant and lasting contributions to the music teaching profession. The 2021 MTNA Achievement Award recipient is Myrtle David, Southern University professor emeritus of music, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music, cum laude, from Dillard University and a Master of Music degree and doctoral study at Boston University and Boston Conservatory of Music, studying with Leon Tumarkin and Bela Boszormenyi-Nagy. Prior to joining Southern University, she was at Grambling State. Cultivating music talent, drive, and creative initiative, piano studies began with support and encouragement from parents Jesse D. David, Jr. and Naomi S. David.

Myrtle has guided the DeBose Fine Arts Series & Competition as executive director from its initial position as a departmental program of the Southern University Music Department, to its current position as a major arts festival in Louisiana. Established as a commemoration to the life and career of Professor Tourgee DeBose, chair of the piano department at Southern University, it was established in 1974.

The mission of the DeBose Fine Arts Series & Competition is to provide community collaboration through arts enrichment and achievement experiences in the literary, visual and performing arts. Annual programming is implemented through independent artist and educational partnerships with many Baton Rouge-area schools, multidisciplinary collaboration, and community arts agencies. Provisions include professional and non-professional performance and exhibition opportunities through competitive and non-competitive events; honors recognitions; intergenerational programs; cultural mentoring and artist residencies. The multi-disciplinary programming has featured: artists-in-residence/recitals and master class; jazz and blues piano; music marketing; music technology; collaborative piano (duet & duo); and chamber music, to name just a few topics. For more information visit