April 13, 2017

Musicians to honor local music educators'

On Thursday, April 20, the RPO musicians will honor local music teachers at the 29th annual Music Educators' Awards Night at Kodak Hall. Founded in 1988, the Awards program works to strengthen the relationship between area music educators and the musicians of the RPO.

"Music educators deserve to be commended as often as possible for deeply enriching others’ lives," said Maura McCune Corvington, a member of the RPO horn section and chair of the 2017 Awards committee.“I would not have pursued and succeeded in music without stellar classroom and private music instruction."

Administrators, educators, parents and students submit nominations that are then reviewed by a committee comprised of community educators and RPO musicians. Five outstanding local music educators' were chosen. Educators like Al Heary, who has taught vocal and general music at DeWitt Elementary School in Webster for 30 years.

"It’s rewarding to see former students in other performances or continuing in music knowing their first music experiences started in our school." said Heary. "I enjoy working with my students and creating musical experiences that will hopefully 'plant the seed' for them to continue enjoying music throughout life, whether that means singing, playing an instrument, performing on the stage, or by attending concerts and shows."

The educators will be honored prior to intermission at next Thursday's RPO concert featuring performances of Slatkin's Kinah and Mahler 5. Tickets start at $23 and are available at rpo.org or by calling 454-2100.

2017 Music Educator Award Winners

Award: Instrumental Music - Band (K-12)
Jeanne Coonan of Spry Middle School in Webster

Award: Classroom Music Specialist (General Music K-12)
Al Heary of DeWitt Elementary School in Webster

Award: Instrumental Music - Band (K-12)
M. David Shemancik of Sutherland High School in Pittsford

Award: Special Award
Beverly Smoker, Professor and Department Chair at Nazareth College

Award: Choral Director (K-12)
Douglas Steves of Oliver Middle School in Brockport

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