Music & Arts Announces Semi-finalists for 2016 ‘Music Educator of the Year’

Mike Lawson • News • November 15, 2016

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Earlier this year, leading school music retailer, Music & Arts, opened nominations for its annual Music Educator of the Year award. Applications poured in from across the country, but after an extensive review, only 25 nominees were selected as semi-finalists for the 2016 honor.

Photo: Gordon Snyder from Kannapolis, N.C. received the 2015 Music Educator of the Year award.

“The applications we reviewed included recommendation letters from educators’ colleagues, mentors, and peers, but what really warmed our hearts were the letters from their students. Reading each students letter filled with appreciation and gratitude and stories of how music has impacted their lives quickly confirmed why it’s important to recognize music educators,” said Renier Fee, director of marketing, Music & Arts.

The 2016 Music Educator of the Year semi-finalists are:

Alexander Scott, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Catonsville, MD
Amy Delorge, Biddeford MS, Biddeford, ME
Andrew Hordichok, Taft HS, Gleneden Beach, OR
Angela Stefanini, Charlotte Prepatory School,Charlotte, NC
Braeden Kershner, Black Tie Music Academy, Summerville, SC
Brian Querry, Burrell School District, North Apollo, PA
Christine Cumberledge, Central Junior HS, Hurst, TX
Dan Trahey, BSO Orch Kids, Baltimore, MD
Dana Lamb, Flat Rock MS, Fayetteville, GA
Daniel Zeigner, Faith Lutheran HS, Las Vegas, NV
David Puckett, Indian Springs MS, Keller, TX
Diane Bacon, Mary Munford ES, Richmond, VA
Dorothy Riepenhoff, St. Peter and Paul School, Wellston, OH
Dustin O’Neil, Wedgewood MS, Columbus, OH
Edward Downs, Camden Academy Charter, Camden, NJ
Erin Stroup, Lower Moreland Township School District, Huntingdon, PA
George Hattendorf, Mountain Ridge HS, Glendale, AZ
Gloria Ramirez, Langham Creek HS, Houston, TX
Jeff Phillips, Hendersonville HS, Hendersonville, TN
Joseph Pompili, Cosgrove MS, Spencerport, NY
Joseph Santanello, Strayer MS, Quakertown, PA
Lucy Pascasio, Kennemer MS, Fort Worth, TX
Luis Piccinelli, Coral Springs MS, Coral Springs, FL
Melinda Wharton, Auburn Riverside HS, Auburn, WA
Steve Stevens, Union Academy, Charlotte, NC

Three finalists will be chosen from the list of 25 semi-finalists. The winner will be announced at the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference in Chicago on December 15. The prize includes $1,000 to help support the winner’s music program. There will be a second and third place award package.

For more information and to learn more about the semi-finalists, visit

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