Press Release: Music Students' Creativity Shines in Essay Contest

“Music! Just Imagine…” Contest Inspires Eloquent Words from Young Music Students

World’s Largest Concert® to Feature Essays from Contest Sponsored by MENC: The National Association for Music Education

RESTON, VA (January 28, 2010) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the ten top winners in the 2010 “Music! Just Imagine…” Essay Contest. The essay contest challenged K-6 music students to write about the ways they were inspired by music starting with the phrase “I imagine…”

The essays were judged by a panel of MENC members. Of the more than 200 entries, ten were chosen as the top winners. A selection of the winners’ essays will be featured in the 2010 World’s Largest Concert®, a sing-along event sponsored by MENC. The 2010 World’s Largest Concert will take place on Thursday, March 11 in schools and communities throughout the nation and around the world.

MENC president Barbara Geer said, “I chose ‘Music! Just Imagine…’ as MENC’s national theme because imagination is often regarded as the deeply creative faculty which perceives the basic resemblances between ideas. Music also opens countless doors for creativity, and the possibilities for using that creativity are endless. These essays have helped students reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will help them to discover the range and variety of what they are capable of feeling.

“It is my hope that as MENC begins a season of change we will continue to be the leading advocate for music as an essential part of a quality, comprehensive education through imagination and creativity,” added Geer. “My thanks to everyone who participated in this contest—I feel that all of you are winners!”

For more information on the World’s Largest Concert and to read the “Music! Just Imagine…” Essay Contest top winners’ essays, visit The essay contest finalists and winners are listed below.

Top 10 Winners in 2010 “Music..Just Imagine!” Essay Contest (in order by state)

Teacher: Gabrielle Haston
Student: Britney Blevins
Dade Middle School, Trenton, Georgia

Teacher: Beverly Baar
Student: Devon Jackson
Providence St. Mel School, Chicago, Illinois

Teacher: Janna Comeau
Student: Haley Mallett
Salemwood Middle School, Malden, Massachusetts

Teacher: Katherine Appleton
Student: Calahan Taylor
Ridge View Elementary School, Warrensburg, Missouri

Teacher: Christina Luthke
Student: Joy Garrett
Dr. Joyanne D. Miller School, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey

Teacher: Nicole Parton
Student: Samantha Hill
Middle School of Pacolet, Pacolet, South Carolina

Teacher: Paulette Hatalosky
Student: Kate Sullivan
Overbrook School, Nashville, Tennessee

Teacher: Barbara Paisley
Student: Alexandra Kovach
Hill Country Montessori School, Boerne, Texas

Teacher: Irene Light
Student: Klara Vertes
Sunrise Valley Elementary School, Reston, Virginia

Teacher: Conni Ironmonger-Mann
Student: Gaelan Verry
Yorktown Middle School, Yorktown, Virginia

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.