Press Release: MENC Announces the 2009 Lowell Mason Fellows

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

RESTON, VA (May 25, 2010) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the individuals designated Lowell Mason Fellows for 2009. 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 2009 Fellows, who will be formally recognized in a June 27 ceremony during MENC’s 2010 Music Education Week in Washington, DC, are:

  • Michael Bates, Senior Manager, Institutional Solutions Group, Yamaha Corporation of America
    Designated by Michael Blakeslee, Senior Deputy Executive Director, MENC
  • Jere W. Fridy, music educator and director of numerous school, military, and community bands throughout his 50 year career
    Designated by school, military, and community bands in the Mid-Atlantic region
  • Douglas W. Herbert, Special Assistant to the Assistant Deputy Secretary of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Dept. of Education
    Designated by Michael Blakeslee, Senior Deputy Executive Director, MENC
  • Fred Irby, III, Professor of Music, Director of Howard University Jazz Ensemble
    Designated by Willie Hill, MENC Past President (2002-2004)
  • Randolph F. Kummer, former Executive Director of Illinois Music Education Association, music educator and music department chair at Lincoln-Way High School for 30 years
    Designated by Richard G. Murphy, former President of IMEA, and selected Illinois music educators

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.”

Read more about the 2009 Lowell Mason Fellows.

For more information call 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. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC’s mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. 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.

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