2016 Music Educator of the Year Award

2016 Music Educator of the Year Award

In 2015, Music & Arts launched its first ever Music Educator of the Year Award as a way to recognize three music educators across the country for their outstanding achievement in music education. From kindergarten teachers to college professors and everyone in between, anyone who has been teaching music full-time in the United States for at least five years is eligible for the award. This year, we’re proud to announce that we’ve received over 2,000 nominations, a 30 percent increase from 2015. Whether you nominated your favorite teacher or are a nominee yourself, here’s everything you need to know about Music & Arts’ Music Educator of the Year Award.

When is the Winner Announced?

As long as your application was submitted by October 13th, you’re in the running to become 2016’s Music Educator of the Year. On November 1st, we’ll officially announce the top 25 applicants, and on December 15th, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners of this competition will be announced. The announcement will take place at the Music & Arts reception at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago during the 70th Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference. If you’re heading to this year’s Midwest Clinic, take some time to learn about Chicago history before you do.

Want to attend the Music & Arts reception? All educators are invited! Head to our RSVP page to sign up.

Want to attend but can’t quite afford it?  Check out The Best Ways to Raise Funds for an Important Ensemble Trip– many can be repurposed to raise funds for all types of professional expenditures.

Which States & Teachers Received the Most Nominations?

If you’re curious about which teachers received more than one nomination, each of the teachers on this list received at least two:

  • Edward Downs from Camden Academy Charter High in New Jersey
  • Roy Hansen from Frost Jr. High School in Illinois
  • T.S. Krishnamurthy from Lewisville, Texas
  • Heidi Ross from Millbrook High School in North Carolina
  • Nancy Petrucelli from Auten Road Intermediate School in New Jersey
  • Nick Pignataro from Pennsylvania

The five states with the most nominations were Texas (114), Maryland (75), North Carolina (67), Virginia (55), and New Jersey (47). If you’re curious about how many nominations other states received, here’s a breakdown. Note: some submissions didn’t include states in their application, hence the disparity between total nominations and nominations per state.

State # of Nominations
Texas 114
Maryland 75
North Carolina 67
Virginia 55
New Jersey 47
Georgia 31
Illinois 27
Pennsylvania 27
Florida 18
California 17
Colorado 17
Connecticut 17
New Hampshire 17
New York 17
Ohio 17
South Carolina 17
Tennessee 17
Arizona 12
Massachusetts 11
Maine 11
Montana 8
Nevada 6
Delaware 5
Washington 5
Utah 2
Louisiana 1

How is the Winner Chosen?

2016’s Music Educator of the Year will be selected by having the highest scores in the following categories:

  • Ingenuity in their academic program and design
  • Excellence in band performance
  • Creativity in program growth
  • Leadership influence and impact in their respective communities.


With an awards benefits package that includes commercial account credits with Music & Arts, a VIP experience at the annual Music & Arts Midwest reception, and announcements of the award across Music & Arts’ social media platforms, it only makes sense to nominate your favorite teacher. Nominations are closed for 2016, but check back next year for information about the application procedure.

Curious about who won last year? Check out our exclusive Q&A with last year’s Music Educator of the Year, Gordon Snyder.

For a list of other events Music & Arts attends, head on over to our tradeshow event schedule. We make appearances across the country, and we’d love to meet you in person!

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