2014 Lowell Mason Fellows

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2014 Lowell Mason Fellows

Judy Bowers headshot

Dr. Judy Bowers, Professor of Choral Music Education at Florida State University,  started her teaching career in 1971 after earning her bachelor’s degree at Texas Tech University. She taught for 8 years in Texas public schools, while completing her Master’s degree and certification as a school guidance counselor.  After 3 years teaching in Alaska , she returned to Texas to teach and serve as a High School Guidance Counselor in the Early School District.

Upon completion of her PhD in Music Education from LSU, Judy was hired by Florida State University.

Dr. Clifford Madsen, Coordinator of Music Education at Florida State , reports that upon her arrival at the university, Dr. Bowers immediately revitalized the Capital Children’s Choir, took over the Women’s Glee organization, establishing their Adopt-A Choir program, and developed a highly effective choral conducting laboratory for undergraduate choral music majors.  She is known for her mentoring of countless teachers and future teachers across the nation, and she served as advisor for FSU chapters of NAfME and ACDA.

Working with music teachers and the principal, Judy created the award winning Field Based Teaching project at Raa Middle School, now completing its 14th year.  FSU music education faculty and Raa Middle School teachers built a before-school program offering classes in steel pans, jazz band, strings, and class piano in hopes of generating enough student enrollment to qualify for funding for additional music teachers on the school faculty.  FSU students teach middle school students two mornings before school, and conclude each semester with a full concert.

Dr. Bowers developed a Summer Masters of Choral Music Education program for teachers not able to leave their jobs during the school year, from which 114 students from 20 states and 2 foreign countries have earned their graduate degrees since its inception in 1998.

Dr. Bowers has vast experience presenting hundreds of workshops across the nation and abroad, conducting countless All-State and Honor Choirs, national and international choirs, and leading choral festivals.  

Dr. Madsen continues, “Judy’s vita demonstrates the highest level of service to our profession. 

She has been the epitome of effective music instruction for years and her impact on the quality of music education has been tremendous.”


Raessler photo

Dr. Kenneth R. Raessler retired as Director of the School of Music at Texas Christian University (TCU).in 2001. He was formerly Director of Music Education in the Williamsport Area School District, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  The Williamsport Music Education Program achieved national prominence during his tenure, not only for excellence in performance but also for excellence and innovation in classroom music, and was awarded the MENC “Exemplary Program Award” in 1985.

Dr. Raessler holds a Bachelors Degree from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, where he was named a Distinguished Alumni by the University and the School of Music in 2003, a Master of Music Education Degree from Temple University, and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.  He has taught in the public schools of East Stroudsburg and Hatboro-Horsham, Pennsylvania, as well as Belvidere, New Jersey.  He also served for ten years as the Director of Music Education and Chairman of the Department of Music at Gettysburg College.

A frequent guest speaker, lecturer, consultant and clinician, Dr. Raessler served as state president of the Texas Association of Music Schools (TAMS) and College Chair and Vice President of the Texas Music Educators Association from 1998-2000.  He presented invited papers at conferences of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and served as a clinician at the 2004 Music Educators National Conference and the 2003 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic as well as over 45 state and regional music conferences.  He has presented Keynote Speeches for the California Music Educators Conference (CMEA), the Connecticut Music Educators Association, the Oregon

Music Educators Association, the Florida Music Educators Conference (FMEA), the Nebraska Music Educators Conference (NMEA), the New York State School Music Association Summer Conference (NYSSMA), the South Carolina Music Educators Conference (SCMEA), the Alberta, Canada Music Educators Conference (Music Alberta), the Maine Music Educators Conference (MMEA), the Pennsylvania Music Educators Conference (PMEA), the North Dakota Music Educators Conference (NDMEA), the Alabama Music Educators Conference (AMEA), the Oregon Music Educators Conference (OMEA), the Vermont Music Educators Association (VMEA), the Rhode Island Music Educators (RIMEA) and the Georgia Music Educators Conference (GMEA).   He served as Consulting Editor of the Yamaha Corporation publication NEW WAYS and has presented weeklong summer seminars on music administration at such universities as the Eastman School of Music, The Hartt School of Music, Duquesne University, Villanova University, Texas Christian University, Vandercook College and West Chester University. 

Dr. Raessler was interviewed in the March 1997 Instrumentalist magazine, and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Phi Mu Alpha Foundation.  He has appeared in numerous “Who’s Who Publications, including the 2004, 2005, and 2006 editions of “Who’s Who in America,” and has received several Hall of Fame designations. 

The author of over 70 articles, Dr. Raessler’ s recent book, Aspiring to Excel, (GIA Publications) is now in its second printing. He has also contributed several chapters to the popular book by James Jordan entitled The Musicians Walk  (GIA Publications) as well as a recently released book by Jordan and Michele Holt entitled  The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing and Teaching..


Lowell Mason Dr Natalie Ozeas

Dr. Natalie Ozeas has had a long, illustrious career as a musician, teacher, and music teacher educator.  After earning her B.F.A. in clarinet and in music education at Carnegie Mellon University, she began teaching music in Pennsylvania schools and continued for over 20 years. 

Joining the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University as a music teacher educator in 1989, Dr. Ozeas soon realized the special need for resources and training in local urban school districts.  In her work training student teachers, she was a pioneer in the development of contemporary curriculum in urban public schools. As chair of the Urban Music Leadership Conference, Dr. Ozeas has spotlighted the struggles and successes of urban school systems with practitioners in the field.  This project has placed 775 keyboards, 28 sets of World Drums, and two sets of steel drums in 40 public schools in Pittsburgh and Wilkinsburg.  The project maintains all the instruments and provides training for the teachers who use them.  Seeking and receiving grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, PMEA and the Grable Foundation, Dr. Ozeas has been able to provide quality music education programs and resources for students and teachers in underserved areas for the last 20 years.

Currently Professor of Music Education and Director of Graduate Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, she has trained countless student teachers toward certification. 

Dr. Ozeas has held leadership positions including:

  • President, Eastern Division of MENC
  • President, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association,
  • National President, Dalcroze Society of America
  • National President, Urban Music Leadership Conference,  and
  • President of the Board of the Three Rivers Young People’s Orchestras

Dr. Ozeas has presented at ISME conferences around the world, at numerous national NAfME conferences, and in 2011 was named to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Hall of Fame.  



Rich Wells photo

Richard Wells has been a music educator for the past 40 years.  He retired in 2010 from the position of Director of Music and Performing Arts for the Simsbury, CT Public Schools.   As a teacher he taught in an urban school at all levels and areas of music including elementary, middle school and high school band and orchestra, elementary general music and chorus, and a talented and gifted program for music.   As an administrator he directed the theater, dance and music programs in the Simsbury Public Schools

National Coalition for Common Arts Standards – Richard is currently the Co-Chair of the Music Writing Team for the National Coalition for Common Arts Standards, the group that recently released the next generation of voluntary standards for arts education.

Common Arts Assessment Initiative – Richard is the leader for the music component of the Common Arts Assessment Project, a program originally developed in Connecticut, but now including other states in the New England area.  This project provides teachers with the capacity to develop, pilot and score standards based on statewide assessments with student work.  Tasks have been competed at the 2nd, 5th and 8th grade levels in the areas of creating and performing and are posted along with student work on the http:\\beta.ctcurriculum.org website. Additional tasks are currently being developed at the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th grade levels providing a sequence of benchmarked grade level assessments from grade 2 through 8.   Our next focus will be the development of high school tasks.

Presenter – Richard is an experienced presenter and has lead many state curriculum and assessment projects.  These have included multiple grants to develop curriculum and assessments based on the National Standards.  He has also been a frequent presenter at state, regional and national conventions and institutes sponsored by NAfME (National Association for Music Education), the International Schools (AREO) and for numerous school districts and state organizations.

Inter-district Diversity Grants – Richard has also developed and implemented a number of inter-district grants that have been designed to reduce racial, ethnic and economic isolation in Connecticut.  These grants have used Music Composition, Steel Pan and Ballroom Dance  to effectively bring students from diverse background together through the arts.

Associations and Leadership – Richard has served as the President of the Connecticut Arts Administrator’s Association, and President of the National Council of Supervisors of Music Education, and on the editorial board of the MEJ.  He has been  a member of the Connecticut Music Educators Association, Connecticut Alliance for Arts Education, the New England Arts Assessment Network, SCASS Arts Group, and President of Phi Beta Mu, an honorary band director’s association.