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Edward F. Protzman of Mason, Ohio, Named Recipient of the
2019 George N. Parks Award from the
National Association for Music Education and Music for All
RESTON, VA (October 23, 2019)—The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) announced that Edward F. Protzman, Director of Bands at William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, is the recipient of the 2019 George N. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education. Mr. Protzman will receive the award during the Opening Ceremony at the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis taking place November 14–16, 2019.
“The George N. Parks Award honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks showed his students every day,” said Michael J. Blakeslee, executive director and CEO of NAfME. “The recipient must have a collaborative spirit, dedication to knowing the students as people, perseverance and enthusiasm, and an ability to instill qualities in students beyond the musical. With his dedication to all of his students and teachers, Ed Protzman is certainly deserving of this year’s honor.”
“It is a great honor to be awarded the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education Award,” said Ed Protzman. “To be recognized for the leadership and music education ideals that guided George N. Parks in his life and teaching is humbling. I hope that in sharing these qualities with students, families, and colleagues I have made a positive impact on their lives.
“To be recognized for the leadership and music education ideals that guided George N. Parks in his life and teaching is humbling. I hope that in sharing these qualities with students, families, and colleagues I have made a positive impact on their lives.”
“I encourage fellow music educators to live their music education careers as a life-changing journey,” Protzman continued. “As you take this journey, mentor, and be mentored, help students become the best versions of themselves, build friendships, create and share great music. Do not be afraid to create your own path and disturb the universe.”
At William Mason High School, Protzman coordinates the district’s band program and directs multiple concert bands, including the award-winning Mason High School Wind Symphony. Ensembles, under his direction, have consistently received top ratings in Ohio Music Education Association, Kansas Music Educators Association, and Pennsylvania Music Educators Association large and small group festivals. His ensembles have been selected by audition to perform and present clinics at state conferences in Ohio, Kansas, and Pennsylvania. In 2019 the William Mason High School Wind Symphony performed as a featured ensemble at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival and was the Foundation for Music Education National Wind Band Honors Project Commended Winner. As a clinician and adjudicator, Mr. Protzman has worked with groups across the United States and Canada. He has served as the conductor for the Doylestown Symphonic Winds, Pennsylvania Youth Wind Ensemble, and The University of Cincinnati Community Band.
Mr. Protzman believes that all things in music and life can be accomplished through personal commitment, firm determination, and strong support system.
“In his first position at Wilson Area High School, Ed stepped into a situation where he replaced a beloved band director who had taught two generations of students in that city,” shared Willis M. Rapp, professor emeritus at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where Protzman attended school as an undergraduate before completing his music education certification at Moravian College. “Over his seven-year tenure, Ed demonstrated a collaborative work ethic and persevered through the first years of change; always embracing the values of the community and his students, while slowly shaping the program into his model of excellence.”
“In his current position as Director of Bands at William Mason High School,” continued Rapp, “Ed continues to know his students first as individuals, embracing their accomplishments both in and out of music, while instilling the highest levels of respect, cooperation and collaboration amongst the lives he touches. . . . As a testament to Ed’s concern about all students, I noted that the fifth concert band at William Mason is comprised largely of special needs students. When I asked Ed how he manages this ensemble, his reply was that one of his strategies involves having students in the Wind Symphony (top ensemble) mentor a younger student, and at times sit in alongside to provide an example of how their instrument should sound. Clearly, Ed cares about his students as individuals first and uses music as the vehicle to inspire their development.”
Developed by NAfME and Music for All, the award is named for George N. Parks (1953–2010), director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until his death. Considered a national authority on drum majoring, he led the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy®, a summer workshop program for high school drum majors. View past recipients here.
National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members teaching millions of students nationwide, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.