Press Release: MENC Announces the 2008 Lowell Mason Fellows

MENC: The National Association for Music Education Announces the 2008 Lowell Mason Fellows

Distinguished Individuals are Recipients of Prestigious Honor Named for Founder of American Music Education

RESTON, VA (May 1, 2009) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the individuals designated Lowell Mason Fellows for 2008. Lowell Mason (1792-1872) is credited with introducing music instruction to American public schools and establishing teacher training in music education. This honor, presented in his name, recognizes outstanding music educators or advocates. The 2008 Fellows, who will be formally recognized in a June 18 ceremony during MENC’s 2009 Music Education Week in Washington, DC, are:

  • Dan Acheson, Executive Director, Drum Corps International. Designated by Irwin Kornfeld, CEO, InTune Partners, LLC
  • Tom Batiuk, Pulitzer Prize-nominated, nationally syndicated cartoonist. Designated by John Mahlmann, Executive Director, MENC
  • Joel Biggs, President and CEO, the American Musical Salute/Fame Events. Designated by select school music educators nationwide
  • Larry Blocher, Director of the School of Music, Troy University. Designated by Frank Tracz, Director of Bands, Kansas State University; Jay Gilbert, Doane College; Richard Miles, Morehead State University; Victor Markovich, Wichita State University; Carla Gallahan, Troy University; and the Troy University Bands
  • Sandra Dackow, Music Director, Hershey Symphony Orchestra; Past President, Conductors Guild; award-winning ASCAP arranger. Designated by Michael Blakeslee, Senior Deputy Executive Director, MENC
  • Nancy Ditmer, Director of Bands and Professor of Music Education, The College of Wooster; Past President, MENC North Central Division and Ohio Music Education Association. Designated by MENC North Central Division
  • Samuel Hope, Executive Director, National Office for Arts Accreditation. Designated by John Mahlmann, Executive Director, MENC
  • Michael George, past Executive Director, Wisconsin School Music Association and Wisconsin Music Educators Association; Director of Academic Excellence, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Designated by Jon Gilliland, President, Wisconsin Music Educators Association, and Robert Kase, former Executive Director, Wisconsin Music Educators Association
  • Henry Juszkiewicz, Chairman and CEO, Gibson Guitar Corp. Designated by Nina Miller, Executive Director, Gibson Foundation
  • Barbara Payne McLain, past President, Hawaii Music Educators Association; past President, MENC Western Division; Associate Professor of Music Education, University of Hawaii-Manoa. Designated by MENC Western Division

Lowell Mason Fellows are individuals who have furthered MENC: The National Association for Music Education’s mission of music education for all. Music educators, music education advocates, political leaders, and key decision makers are eligible for designation. The names of the Fellows are permanently displayed at the National Center for Music Education in Reston, VA (home of MENC).

“Through the centuries, people have been selected for various kinds of designations on many different standards of judgment. The honor of being designated a Lowell Mason Fellow is one of the highest awards MENC can bestow on individuals who have made significant contributions to music education in our nation,” said Barbara L. Geer, president of MENC. “Their dedication and accomplishments in music have benefited thousands of students across our country, which makes them outstanding in their particular work. For that reason, we salute them this year.”

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

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, marked its centennial in 2007 as the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 142,000 members and supporters include 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.