As the school year winds to a close with commencement ceremonies and awards, it’s time to say thanks to music educators as well. While so many across the country deserve applause, I want to personally recognize a few I know are right in my own back yard here in North Carolina:
The much-loved Dr. Eileen McErlain frequents our Winston-Salem store and has earned a reputation for requesting obscure folk songs, often requiring some degree of research. She is also quite the joker and really brightens our day while she’s with us. Under her direction, the Arts Based Elementary School choir The Zoomers (grades 1-5) earned a superior rating for the third consecutive year. This achievement earned the group the Gold Festival Cup during the National Federation of Music Clubs’ Junior Music Festival held at Wake Forest University.
Ms. Judith Booth, orchestra director at Northeast Middle School and Albemarle Road Middle School in Charlotte, was recently named the recipient of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2010 Maxine Swalin Outstanding Music Educator Award. A strong runner-up, and recipient of the Jackson Parkhurst Award, is Ms. Dena Byers at Hillandale Elementary School in Durham. Each year teachers are nominated by their colleagues through letters of recommendation. For more information about the awards, visit the North Carolina Symphony’s website: http://www.ncsymphony.org/education/education.cfm?ssid=4&sid=3
Finally and certainly not least, Servant, the choir at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, entered and won the Harris Teeter Sing My Jingle contest. The group performed for and were selected as the winners by 300+ executives. Harris Teeter, a prominent food store chain with locations as far north as Washington D.C. and throughout the southeastern states, presented the school with $15,000. The commercial aired during the season finales of Glee and American Idol. The students shared credit with the choir’s directors Mr. Joseph Hilliard, Ms. Pamela Wheeler, and Mr. Keven Spargo.
Way to go! You’ve made us all in North Carolina proud! If you know a teacher that deserves a round of applause, let us know and we’ll share them here.