What’s a Rock Band Doing With a Music Teachers Group?

San Fermin Named Prestigious Stand for Music Award Winner


RESTON, VA (January 30, 2015)—The eight-piece, Brooklyn-based band San Fermin exemplifies excellence in music study, collaboration, and performance. Founded by talented composer and bandleader Ellis Ludwig-Leone, San Fermin’s members are all students of their craft, with established educational backgrounds in music spanning from Yale to the University of Michigan. The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is pleased to name San Fermin as the 2015 Stand for Music Award recipient.

rock band
San Fermin (Photo: Denny Renshaw)

San Fermin’s indie/baroque style melds together classical music, pop, and rock, featuring ethereal vocals. Along with composer/songwriter Ellis Ludwig-Leone, San Fermin includes John Brandon (trumpet), Stephen Chen (saxophone), Rebekah Durham (violin/vocals), Michael Hanf (drums), Charlene Kaye (lead vocals), Tyler McDiarmid (guitar), and Allen Tate (lead vocals). Their first self-titled album released in September 2013. Their sophomore album, “Jackrabbit,” will be issued on April 21, 2015.


The Stand for Music Award is bestowed upon artists who:

  • demonstrate excellence in their craft of music;
  • exemplify the qualities that music education and training create in those who practice it, such as: innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and other 21st century skills described in the broader mindedTM campaign;
  • speak to music’s power in the lives of students as they prepare to be our nation’s next leaders and innovators; and
  • support music teachers and the schools and communities that support them.

NAfME’s Stand for Music Award is its most prestigious music education advocacy honor. Bestowed only upon select, appropriate recipients through the course of NAfME’s 100+ year history, the award recognizes personal commitment to the promotion of the music education cause, both through engagement with policymakers and outreach to potential music education supporters.

On June 25, NAfME will lead the single largest gathering of music education advocates to Capitol Hill. The event also will feature advocacy training, a special Collegiate Advocacy Summit, and an award ceremony, including the presentation of the Stand for Music Award to San Fermin.

The ensemble band San Fermin perfectly demonstrates the power of collaborative music study and performance. NAfME welcomes their voices to the current national conversation on the importance of ensuring access to classroom music education programs, for all young people.

San Fermin Interview from NAfME on Vimeo.


National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 140,000 members, the organization is the voice of music education in the United States.

Follow NAfME on Twitter (twitter.com/nafme) and on Facebook (facebook.com/nafme).
For additional information, contact Catherina Hurlburt at catherinah@nafme.org or 703-860-4000, ext. 242.