On June 29, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) presented the Stand for Music Award to country artist Sarah Darling.
In presenting the award, NAfME President Nancy E. Ditmer said:
“Sarah just finished a day with us on Capitol Hill, doing the good work of convincing our elected leaders that a strong country depends on strong schools and, especially, strong music programs. This is how we orchestrate success for our young people.”
Ditmer said “Sarah herself was first encouraged to sing by her preschool teacher, Sherry Vanderploeg – a teacher who strongly supported music for young children as a writer and reviewer for the Iowa Early Learning Standards.”
In middle school, Darling sang in chorus and show choir, and started her public career as a 14-year-old with a performance at the Iowa State Fair. Called by The New York Times, a ‘sophisticated songwriter,’ “Darling is both a performer and a creator – representing the broad musical efforts called for in our support of a standards-based education,” Ditmer said.
The same New York Times review noted that she has a “crisp, powerful voice.” Ditmer said, “She’s used that powerful voice on the behalf of all our nation’s performers who believe that every child deserves the benefits that come from a full, balanced education that includes music. So I’m delighted to present this Stand for Music Award to Sarah Darling.”
Darling said she was honored to receive the award, and that she was pleased to have the opportunity to speak with elected officials on NAfME’s 2013 Hill Day on June 28. “Music is my life, and I understand how important music education is for young people. I appreciated having the opportunity to share that message.”
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Roz Fehr, NAfME Managing Editor for News, June 30, 2013. © National Association for Music Education