Announcing the 25 Selected Semifinalists

The Recording Academy™ and GRAMMY Museum® have announced the 25 semifinalists for the 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator Award™. More than 2,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states; semifinalists were selected from 25 cities across 17 states. NAfME is delighted to announce that 19* of the 25 GRAMMY semifinalists are active members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). NAfME congratulates each of these inspiring, dedicated, and noteworthy music educators.

GRAMMY Music Educator Award

The GRAMMY Music Educator Award was first introduced to highlight the meaningful work done daily by thousands of music educators across the United States, from kindergarten to college, from public to private schools. Teachers honored with this award have made clear contributions to music education, and have committed to the cause of preserving and maintaining music education in schools. The award is a partnership and joint presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum.

Here are this year’s semifinalists. NAfME members are highlighted in bold.

Tammy Yi Chapman University Orange California
Amanda Hanzlik E.O. Smith High School Storrs Connecticut
Ernesta Chicklowski Roosevelt Elementary Tampa Florida
Ashleigh McDaniel Spatz Rising Starr Middle School Fayetteville Georgia
Drew Cowell Belleville East High School Belleville Illinois
Trevor Nicholas Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School Chicago Illinois
Jeremy Bartunek Greenbriar School Northbrook Illinois
Kevin Schoenbach Oswego High School Oswego Illinois
Bethany Robinson Noblesville High School Noblesville Indiana
Meg Byrne Pleasant Valley High School Bettendorf Iowa
Danni Schmitt Roland Park Elementary/Middle School Baltimore Maryland
Michael Coelho Ipswich Middle and High School Ipswich Massachusetts
Michael Lapomardo Shrewsbury High School Shrewsbury Massachusetts
Kevin McDonald Wellesley High School Wellesley Massachusetts
Matthew Shephard Meridian Early College High School Sanford Michigan
Marci DeAmbrose Lincoln Southwest High School Lincoln Nebraska
Antoine Dolberry P.S. 103x Hector Fontanez Bronx New York
Alice Tsui New Bridges Elementary Brooklyn New York
Dawn Amthor Wallkill Senior High School Wallkill New York
Coty Raven Morris Portland State University Portland Oregon
William Bennett Cane Bay High School Summerville South Carolina
J.D. Frizzell Briarcrest Christian School Eads Tennessee
Jasmine Fripp KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School Nashville Tennessee
Vicki Nichols Grandview Elementary Grandview Texas
Annie Ray Annandale High School Annandale Virginia

* This number reflects those whose memberships were current at the time of this announcement and is subject to change. Updated December 13, 2023.

The 2024 GRAMMY Music Educator, selected out of the ten finalists, will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school’s music program, and be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2024. The nine additional finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium with matching school grants. Fifteen semifinalists will also receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants. Read a list of the quarterfinalists featuring NAfME members.

The Music Educator Award program, including honorariums, is made possible by the generosity and support of the Chuck Lorre Family Foundation. Outreach for this program has been assisted by the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association.

Eight of the previous ten GRAMMY Music Educator honorees, Kent KnappenbergerJared CassedyPhillip RiggsKeith HancockMelissa SalgueroJeffery Redding, Mickey Smith Jr., and Director of Choral Music at DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Texas, Pamela Dawson—the 2023 GRAMMY Music Educator Award recipient—are NAfME members. The 2021 GRAMMY Music Educator Award recipient is Jeffrey Murdock, associate professor of music at the University of Arkansas, and the 2022 GRAMMY Music Educator Award recipient is Stephen Cox, band director at Eastland High School in Eastland, Texas.

More information about the GRAMMY Music Educator Award is available hereNominations for the 2025 Music Educator Award are open for both teachers, students, and the public to nominate a music educator who inspires them. Nominations are due March 15, 2024, and applications are due March 31, 2024. Best wishes to the semifinalists for the 2024 award!

April 2024 Teaching Music

Published Date

October 16, 2023


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October 16, 2023. © National Association for Music Education (

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