Fifty Distinguished Music Educators Honored at Yale School of Music
Fifty outstanding music educators from across the nation will converge on the Yale campus on June 9 for a three-day symposium celebrating their individual achievements and looking toward new horizons in music education.
Coinciding with the opening of the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, the symposium will provide an opportunity for professionals who are tops in their field to “talk shop” and to catch up on new technologies and innovations for making music part of the classroom experience.
Among the highlights of the symposium will be a ceremony and banquet honoring this year’s 50 Distinguished Music Educators, an address by PBS education correspondent John Merrow, and a live demonstration of distance learning software — connecting with students of a previously recognized Distinguished Teacher from Rhode Island. Guests will receive copies of the software to take back to their schools.
Participants at the Symposium will also attend the Festival’s Opening Night festivities on the New Haven Green on June 11 featuring Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble. Earlier on Saturday the honorees will hear a lecture by Yo-Yo Ma, making the case that art and music provide the route for global cross-cultural exchanges, just as the Silk Road functioned as the major trade route between East and West in the ancient world.
Held every two years at the Yale School of Music and supported by the Yale College Class of 1957, the Symposium is part of a comprehensive “Music in Schools Initiative” dedicated to improving the quality of arts education in American public schools.
The Yale Distinguished Music Educator Awards honor 50 teachers nominated by their local school boards for their individual accomplishments and valuable contributions to music education. This year’s class of exceptional teachers and school music directors come from 30 different states. They teach vocal as well as instrumental music in a variety of genres and musical traditions and work at the elementary, middle school, or high school levels. The selected educators travel to New Haven, all expenses paid, and are joined at the symposium by music teachers from the New Haven Public Schools.
Among this year’s Distinguished Educators are:
- Duane Foster, singer and Alvin Ailey trained dancer, who traded his successful career as a performer-including a stint with NY City Opera and a lead role in the Broadway musical “Ragtime” — for a vocation teaching voice, drama and dance to high school students in his native St. Louis, MO;
- Jami Lupold, who created a program bringing musicians, astronauts and scientists from 23 countries to her school to share their careers, cultures, and folk music and whose students perform via video conference to such sites as the Aquarius underwater habitat to Mount Everest and even to the International Space Station;
- Tom Elliott, a Curtis Institute graduate and highly demanded professional trombonist and high school orchestra director who developed an innovative program with a cartoon character to introduce young children to classical music and who will take a sabbatical to immerse himself in the famed Venezuelan program El Sistema;
- Edward Henderson, a classical cellist and guitarist, who deferred a doctoral program in musicology to teach music in a department of juvenile justice in South Carolina.
To view the complete list of honorees and their bios, click here.
In addition to hosting the biannual Symposium through the Initiative, the School of Music runs a variety of programs in New Haven public schools and beyond to integrate music into the classroom curriculum and enhance musical opportunities for public school students.