Press Release: MENC Announces Recipients of 2009 Teaching Music Awards

MENC: The National Association for Music Education Announces Recipients of 2009 Teaching Music Awards

Distinguished Individuals Recognized for Exemplary Service to Music Education

RESTON, VA (June 17, 2009) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the recipients of the inaugural Teaching Music Awards. The MENC National Executive Board instituted this annual awards program to honor teachers who are exemplars of the best efforts in the field of music education, and who have made significant and lasting contribution to music education.

The 2009 awardees, who will be formally recognized in a June 22 ceremony during MENC’s 2009 Music Education Week in Washington, DC, are:

  • The Jupiter Band Instruments Award for Excellence in Teaching Concert Band
    Daniel Abrahams, Omaha Bryan Senior High School, Omaha, NE
  • The GAMA Award for Excellence in Teaching Guitar
    Romana Hartmetz, Harmony Intermediate School, Purcellville, VA
  • The Walt Disney Company Award for Excellence in Teaching Jazz
    Fred Irby, Howard University, Washington, DC
  • The Etymotic Research Award for Excellence in Teaching Marching Band
    Amanda Drinkwater, Marcus High School, Flower Mound, TX
  • The BMI Award for Excellence in Teaching Music Creation
    James Barnes, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
  • The D’Addario Award for Excellence in Teaching Orchestral Strings
    Dorothy Straub, Retired, Bridgeport, CT
  • The Evans Drumheads Award for Excellence in Teaching Percussion
    William Jastrow, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, IL

Members of the MENC leadership nominated the recipients, who received trips to Washington, DC, to accept their awards. Each recipient also received a cash prize to support his or her ongoing work in the profession, courtesy of the award sponsor, along with an original award created by Miami-based artist and Grammy and Emmy Award-winning producer William Edwards.

“On behalf of the MENC National Executive Board, I congratulate the recipients of the 2009 Teaching Music Awards,” said Barbara L. Geer, president of MENC. “As the first recipients of this annual honor, you are setting the standard of excellence for future awardees. MENC and your fellow music educators are grateful for your outstanding service and dedication to our profession. Your contributions will be felt for generations to come.”

For more information, call MENC at 1-800-336-3768 or visit

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. More than 75,000 members include active, retired, and preservice educators representing all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education. MENC is located at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA.