Recipient and finalists to receive cash honorariums

A total of 25 music teachers from 25 cities across 17 states have been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. In total, more than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in their schools. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical Grammy Award) on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, during Grammy Week.

Read more: Semifinalists Announced for 2015 Music Ed Grammy Award

Christopher Hogwood, the English conductor, harpsichordist, writer, musicologist, and founder of the Academy of Ancient Music, died on Wednesday, September 24, following an illness that lasted for several months.

Throughout his prolific career, Hogwood worked with many leading symphony orchestras and opera houses throughout the world. Once described as "the von Karajan of early music," he was universally acknowledged as one of the most influential exponents of the historically informed early-music movement. He was dedicated to the discovery and recreation of the composer’s intentions, both in notation and performance.

Read more: Christopher Hogwood, 1941-2014

The violinist returns to the Washington D.C. Metro to raise awareness for music ed 

In a notorious stunt back in 2007, acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell played his $3 million Stradavarius in a Washington D.C. Metro station wearing a baseball cap as a part of a sociological experiment organized by the Washington Post. On Tuesday, September 30, Bell is returning to the D.C. Metro, this time with some fanfare and plenty of advance notice for passengers.

A YouTube clip of the first D.C. Metro event:

Read more: Joshua Bell to Busk Again

Calling it the “Glee Effect,” The Harris Poll®, a Nielsen Company, has released new findings that show the majority of Americans believe music education prepares students for future careers and problem-solving. And the numbers responding favorably about music education have risen significantly since the original 2007 Harris Poll on music education, commissioned by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), then known as MENC.

Read more: Study Indicates Americans Believe Music Ed Preps Students for Careers

For the 17th consecutive year, SBO is gathering names for its annual Directors Who Make a Difference report. Do you know an outstanding K-12 music educator who is making a big impact in his or her school and community? Perhaps a longtime director or instructor who deserves a little bit of extra recognition for dedication to the craft of music making and inspiration for generations of students? Maybe your mentor, or a colleague who inspires you? SBO wants to hear about these outstanding educators. Share their story here


The CMA Foundation’s donation to Education Through Music will benefit music education programs in NYC public schools

Sarah Trahern, CMA CEO; Darius Rucker; Peter Pauliks, Education Through Music director of programs; Katherine Damkohler, Education Through Music executive director; performing artists Little Big Town.The CMA Foundation has donated $125,000 to benefit music education programs for New York City’s public school students through a partnership with Education Through Music, a nonprofit provider of music education to New York City schools. 

The presentation of the grant was made Wednesday, September 4 during a press conference at the Best Buy Theater in New York to announce the final nominees for the 48th annual CMA Awards.

Read more: CMA Foundation Donates $125K to Music Ed

Jay Rees returns home to direct the athletic bands for his alma mater


The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami has appointed Jay C. Rees as the new director of Athletic Bands. Rees previously served as director of Athletic Bands at The University of Arizona in Tucson. Jay Rees will lead the Frost Band of the Hour, the marching and pep bands of the University of Miami, at UM sporting events such as nationally televised Miami Hurricanes football and basketball games – as well as expand the band’s reach and reputation throughout the region.

Rees takes over a band program with an 86-year history that includes performing at national bowl games and international competitions and events. He is charged by the Frost School’s Dean Shelton G. Berg to achieve prominence in three distinctive areas:

Read more: Frost School of Music Hires New Director of Athletic Bands

Research shows that two years of musical training in community music programs improves auditory brain function

A new Northwestern University study funded by the NAMM Foundation provides the first direct evidence that a community music program for at-risk youth has a biological effect on children’s developing nervous systems. Two years of music lessons improved the precision with which the children’s brains distinguished similar speech sounds, a neural process that is linked to language and reading skills.

“This research demonstrates that community music programs can literally ‘remodel’ children’s brains in a way that improves sound processing, which could lead to better learning and language skills,” said study lead author Nina Kraus, the Hugh Knowles professor of communication sciences in the School of Communication and of neurobiology and physiology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.

Read more: Music Study Enhances Brain Function In At-Risk Children

Some of the world’s best all-age drum and bugle corps headed to Rochester, New York, over Labor Day weekend for the 50th anniversary edition of the Drum Corps Associates (DCA) World Championships.

After two years away in Annapolis, Maryland, DCA mades its return to its familiar home at Sahlen’s Stadium, as more than 20 corps from across the country square offed in several events scheduled Aug. 29-31.

Read more: DCI Celebrates 50th Anniversary

James P. Stephens joins Music for All as director of Advocacy and Educational Resources

Music for All has added a new professional, James P. Stephens, to its Indianapolis staff, as director of Advocacy and Educational Resources. Stephens joins Music for All having most recently served as a music educator for one of the nation’s most respected scholastic music programs, at Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma.

Music for All combines regional and national music-event programming with awareness and advocacy efforts aimed at expanding access to music in schools and communities, including Indianapolis.

The director of Advocacy and Educational Resources is a new position created to meet key organizational objectives and initiatives.

Read more: Music for All Adds Staff

Directors who make a Difference

For over 20 years, School Band & Orchestra Magazine has been honoring amazing music educators from all 50 states. That's more than 1000 educators recognized for their outstanding contributions to music education programs!

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO? Tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

Click here to nominate a director 

On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

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