2011 Lowell Mason Fellows
Weston Noble Weston Noble is a highly accomplished and honored American conductor and music educator. Having served as conductor of the Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) Nordic Choir from 1948 to 2005 and the Luther Concert Band from 1948 to 1973, Weston Noble has spent a lifetime nurturing musicians. Mr. Noble is a charter member of the American Choral Directors Association, the North Center division of which honored him in 1994 by establishing the Weston H. Noble Award for Lifetime Achievement. Because of his outstanding lifetime contribution to choral music, Mr. Noble received the Robert Lawson Shaw Award given by the ACDA. He was awarded the Midwest Clinic Medal of Honor, given by the International Convention of Band and Orchestra Directors. The National Federation of State High School Associations recognized him as the Outstanding Music Educator in the United States. Holding honorary doctorates from Augustana College, St. Olaf College, Westminster Choir College, Carthage College and Wartburg College, Mr. Noble has received acclaim for conducting over 900 All-State bands, orchestras, choirs and festivals across four continents. In 1999, he was awarded the St. Olav’s Medal from King Harald V of Norway for his contributions to Norwegian-American relations. Weston Noble has impacted thousands of students in festivals and clinics throughout the country, but he has also impacted the teaching of countless music educators through his conference presentations at ACDA and his relationships with teachers throughout the U.S. His approach has been shared with thousands of colleagues who have looked to him for both inspiration and practical assistance in improving their own teaching.
Daniel Steele Dr. Daniel Steele is Professor of Music Education and graduate coordinator for the School of Music at Central Michigan University. On the faculty at Central Michigan since 1983, he specializes in preschool, elementary and middle school music methods. Dr. Steele has served as the Michigan Music Education Association president, and as higher education, collegiate and general music representatives. Recipient of the 2007 MMEA Music Educator of the Year award, he has represented music education in various capacities with the Michigan Department of Education During his MMEA presidency, Dr. Steele became involved in the Michigan Youth Arts Festival. After becoming president of that organization, he led it through difficult times to its current position as a growing arts alliance that advocates for arts education for all students in Michigan. Dan now serves as board chair. As if those activities and his “day job” weren’t enough, Dr. Steele is also current President of the board of Very Special Arts – Michigan. Dan Steele has been published in the Bulletin of Historical Research in Music Education, The Michigan Music Educator, and recently published the second edition of an elementary methods textbook and accompanying DVD entitled Music Is Fundamental: Fundamentals and Methods for Elementary Music. He has presented sessions at the Michigan Music Conference, the Michigan Music Education in-service conference, and summer workshops at Michigan State University. Dr. Steele received the B.M.E. from Wheaton College, the M.M. from the University of Kansas, and the D.M.Ed from the University of Cincinnati.
Joseph R. Sugar Those who met Joe Sugar always remembered him. Whether dressed in his signature derby hat and long mink coat, full Arab garb at a multicultural festival or simply in his “casual” shirt and tie, you instinctively knew Joe was one to be reckoned with. Joe fought fiercely for music education throughout his career. With a small group of Long Island colleagues, the idea to have a day that would honor music in our schools was born. From that grew the week and now the month-long celebration. Yes, Joe planted one of the original seeds for Music in Our Schools Month. And now the annual music education advocacy day in Albany, is called “Joe Sugar Day.” Dr. Steven Schopp, executive director of NYSSMA says, “Joe was devoted to music education in a way that few others ever are. To say he was a mover and a shaker would be an understatement. He was president of the Nassau County MEA, the New York State School Music Association, and the Eastern Division of MENC, now NAfME. In each case he moved the association forward, particularly in the area of music education advocacy and for ‘the kids’ as he called them.” Joe worked with his beloved kids, teaching at C.W. Post, Long Island University until shortly before his passing. Mr. Sugar earned a bachelor’s degree from the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University, a master’s from Teachers College, and professional certificates from Teachers College and Hofstra University. He served in the U.S. Air Force, stationed in Colorado Springs, playing in the Air Force Band in 1950 and the Military Air Transport Band in 1951. He was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and continued to play in big bands throughout his life. From writing a book on baton-twirling to his work to ensure that certified music teachers deliver instruction at the elementary level in all New York public schools, Joe Sugar left an indelible imprint on thousands of music educators and students over his lengthy and storied career.