Former MENC Executive Director Receives American Eagle Award

Former MENC Executive Director John J. Mahlmann, Kenny Rogers, Suzanne Vega, and Anne Johns Ruckert comprised the all-star roster of renowned music personalities receiving the National Music Council’s 2010 American Eagle Awards. The awards were presented at a gala luncheon ceremony on May 25, at the Hard Rock Café Times Square in New York City.

The American Eagle Award is presented each year in celebration of an individual’s or an organization’s contribution to the musical culture of the United States. The 29th anniversary American Eagle Awards also recognized the achievement of the newly opened Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, AZ.

Dr. David Sanders, director of the National Music Council, said the recipients were honored “not just for the great gifts they have given generations of music lovers throughout the world with their creative output… but also for their dedication in encouraging young musicians – and potential musicians – through their great support and commitment to music education and mentorship.”

Mahlmann was honored for his “invaluable work toward making music an integral part of every American child’s education,” said Sanders.

MENC’s Executive Director Michael A. Butera and Sr. Deputy Executive Director Mike Blakeslee attended the awards ceremony.

Past American Eagle Award recipients include Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Van Cliburn, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Elliott Carter, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Leonard Slatkin, Stephen Sondheim, Sesame Street, and VH1 Save the Music Foundation.

The National Music Council is celebrating its 68th Anniversary as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and problems. It was founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our life and culture. The Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity.

Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable.
Video courtesy of Mike Blakeslee.

–Elizabeth Lasko, June 4, 2010. © MENC: The National Association for Music Education