[ symposium ]
2007 Symposium on Music in Schools
The first Symposium on Music in Schools took place May 30 – June 1, 2007 at the Yale School of Music. Titled “Music: A Child’s Birthright”, the Symposium offered a variety of curricular workshops for music educators, a panel discussion on diverse visions for the future of music education, and a performance by pianist Emanuel Ax. Many members of the Yale College Class of 1957 attended, both to celebrate their 50th class reunion and to participate in the launch of the Music in Schools Initiative.
The awards dinner featured a performance by choral students from Co-Op Arts & Humanities High School (New Haven) and an inspiring keynote address by Roberta Guaspari, founder of Opus 118 Harlem School of Music. The final panel discussion included Ms. Guaspari, as well as Clifford Madsen, Director of the Center for Music Research at Florida State University; Joseph W. Polisi, President of The Juilliard School; and Wang Cizhao, President of the Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing.
2007 Yale Distinguished Music Educators
The first class of Distinguished Music Educators represented 18 states and Washington, DC.
Please click the “+” buttons below for more information about each teacher.
Chandler Unified School District
Guilford Public Schools
New Haven Public Schools
Greenwich Public Schools
Marana Unified School District
Greenwich Public Schools – Called a “musician of rare sensitivity” with a “haunting” and “beautiful” sound by the press both here and abroad, cellist Constance E. Barrett has devoted her professional life to teaching strings to people of all ages. She most recently taught full time in the Greenwich, Connecticut Public Schools, retiring after fifteen years. Prior to that, Dr. Barrett taught at Hackley School in Tarrytown, NY, where she served as the Director of the Residential Music Program, the recital series, and as Interim Director of the Music Institute. She was previously on the faculties at Moravian Academy, Lafayette College, Kenyon College, and Capital University. As an educator, Dr. Barrett found a kindred community in the Suzuki Association in the Americas and Shinichi Suzuki’s belief that all children are musical and capable of becoming violinists, regardless of cognitive abilities.
A Yamaha Certified String Educator, Constance has presented professional staff development activities for VH1-Save the Music Foundation, the American String Teacher Association National Conference, the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference, local and state-wide Music Educator National Conference events, has been on the cello faculty of Chamber Music Connection Italia, and has appeared on national network television as well as arranging music for the children’s music ensembles and appearing in the 2006 Terry George film, Reservation Road. A prolific writer, she has published articles in American String Teacher, The Bridge, and American Suzuki Journal. She has also contributed curriculum writing to From the Top and served as an online orchestra mentor for MENC. Locally, she performs with the Ridgefield, CT Symphony Orchestra and the improvisational ensemble Music for the Planet.
Constance holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in cello performance and a Master of Arts in string pedagogy from the Ohio State University, a Master of Music in cello performance and literature from the University of Notre Dame, and the Bachelor of Music in cello performance from Baldwin-Wallace College. In addition, she has Certificates of Studies from the Conservatoire Americain in Fontainebleau, France, in cello and chamber music. She received the Distinguished Music Educator award from the Yale University School of Music at the 2007 Music Education symposium.
Newport Public Schools – Alan Bernstein is presently Supervisor of the Arts for the Newport Public Schools, supervising a staff of 6 music teachers and 6 art teachers. Responsibilities include k-12 curriculum development, staff mentoring and professional development, development of budgets and providing arts activities and programming for the district.Teaching responsibilities include directing the following ensembles: Thompson Middle School Orchestra, Rogers H.S. Orchestra and Rogers H.S. Jazz Ensemble.
As a professional musician Alan performs orchestral, jazz and pop at various venues throughout New England. My alternative strings composition “Bling” is scheduled to be published this fall by Tempo Press.
Easton, Redding & Region 9 Public School Districts
Johnstown City Schools
Charleston County School District
Lee County Public Schools
Guilford Public Schools – Carol M. Fonicello teaches instrumental music in the Guilford Public School system and has taught grades 5-12 for twenty-seven years. Currently she is the director of the Baldwin Middle School Fifth and Sixth Grade Bands. Mrs. Fonicello earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree and Bachelor of Music Performance degree from the University of Rhode Island. She earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree from Wesleyan University and a Sixth Year Diploma of Advanced Studies in Administration-Supervision from Southern CT State University.
One of Mrs. Fonicello’s most significant contributions to the community of Guilford has been expanding and improving the band program at Baldwin Middle School where the enrollment has grown significantly. The band enrollment now ranges from 270 students to as high as 350 students. She has developed a sound curriculum for teaching large groups (100+ students in the classroom) of fifth and sixth grade students who begin learning an instrument each year. Her approach develops and reinforces essential basic skills and builds upon those skills with rigor and high expectations. She encourages her students to take an active role in their own learning. Mrs. Fonicello constantly devises and implements alternative assessment strategies for her students to reach their fullest potential.
Mrs. Fonicello is thankful for the support of the Guilford School system and the Guilford community for providing the resources required to manage such a large band program. Teaching music has always been and will always be her life’s goal!
Baltimore City Public Schools
Burr and Burton Academy
Burr and Burton Academy – Neil Freebern has received both his Bachelor’s and Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst graduating as a Lebow Scholar. He has been the director of instrumental music for Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington, Vermont, the Moffat County School System in Craig, Colorado, the Central Berkshire Regional School system in Dalton, Massachusetts, and is currently working at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont. In addition to his public school teaching, he served as the Trumpet Professor at Keene State College, a Departmental Assistant for the University of Massachusetts Music Department, and was the conductor of the UMass Youth Wind Ensemble for a total of five years.
Mr. Freebern has served as a guest conductor and clinician for several district music festivals in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. He has been the conductor of: the Central Vermont Jr. District Band, Western Massachusetts Jr. District Band, Quabbin Valley High School Honor Band, the Monadnok High School Honor Band, and the Umass Honor Band, Central Vermont Senior District Wind Ensemble, and the Central and Northeastern Massachusetts Jr. District Bands. In addition, Mr. Freebern has been the founder and conductor of the Berkshire High School Honor Band Festival, and has spent six years as the conductor of the United States Youth Wind Ensemble, on a concert tour of Europe during the summer months.
In 1997 he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching from Wahconah Regional High School, and in 1999 the Western District Music Educators Association awarded Mr. Freebern the Teacher Excellence award. In 1999 his Music Department was awarded the Naras Foundation’s Grammy Award for outstanding curriculum and his Wahconah Symphonic Band earned a gold medal at the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductors Association Festival. Mr. Freebern is the proud recipient of the Yale Distinguished Educator award and in 2010 was awarded the Rowland Endowed Chair awarded for excellence in education at Burr and Burton Academy.
Mr. Freebern is now the founding director of the Media and Performing Arts Department at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, Vermont, charged with the continued growth of a viable and progressive program in arts education. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Mr. Freebern is a freelance jazz pianist, arranger and trumpet performer throughout New England.
Guilford Public Schools
Davis Joint Unified School District – Karen Gardias received a Bachelor in Music Education from Baldwin-Wallace University, a Masters in Education from Maryville University, and a Doctorate of Education in Music from University of the Pacific. Karen began her teaching career as a high school Orchestra Director in Raleigh, North Carolina and then St. Louis, Missouri. She is beginning her 20th year as a Choir Director at Davis High School. In addition to her role as Department Chair, she teaches AP Music Theory. Her choirs have performed throughout Europe, Australia, and throughout the U.S. They have won the Prague International Choral Competition, the Llangollen Eisteddod International Competition and performed with Josh Groban.
Karen received the News 10 Teacher of the Month Award for Northern California; two Striving for Excellence Awards for Yolo County, Who’s Who of America’s Teachers and has been a BTSA Mentor Teacher. Her school music program has been recognized as a Grammy Foundation Signature School.
Wilton School District
Reed Union School District
District of Columbia Public Schools
New York City Department of Education
Papillion-La Vista School District
Austin Independent School District
Springfield Public Schools – Julie Jaron, B.M.E., M.M.E., C.A.G.S., composer, musician, educator and children’s book author/illustrator is currently the Director of Visual and Performing Arts for the Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Massachusetts. For over twenty-two years Ms. Jaron has dedicated herself to a full spectrum of music and arts integration projects that enhance the academic achievements of students Pre-K – 12, support the professional development of educators, and advocate for community enrichment. Ms Jaron has organized, directed and accompanied award winning choirs which performed a broad range of choral literature, has received numerous professional educator awards herself, and has been the founder of arts advocacy groups such as the Thomas Stone High School Choral Boosters. As general music teacher for Indian Orchard Elementary School she directed a 100 voice children’s choir. Among her many current duties as fine arts director, she provides professional support to arts teachers, advocates for and manages resources for arts programming, serves as an arts-focused liaison between the school district and the Springfield community, writes and implements grants highlighting multi- cultural arts integration and education, and presents workshops that enhance or develop arts curricula and assessment. Ms. Jaron regularly organizes district exhibitions of student art work and music performances. At the core of all her work is the desire to inspire and create arts education opportunities, and to empower educators to instill in children the love of learning both in and through the arts.
Frederick County Public Schools – Steve Jennings was born in Newport News, Virginia where he attended the area public schools, graduating from Menchville High School in 1975. He earned his Bachelors of Music Education 1980, his Master of Music Education in 1987, and his DMA in Music Education in 2004. He did post-graduate work in Special Education at George Mason University and taught special education in the Winchester/Frederick County area, in both private and public schools for ten years.
In 1993, Dr. Jennings became choral director and special education teacher for students with learning disabilities and emotional handicaps at the newly opened Sherando High School, in Frederick County, Virginia where he continues to teach today. Steve was the director of the Shenandoah Valley Chapter of the Sweet Adeline International Inc., in Winchester, and Choral Director at Woodstock Christian Church in Woodstock, Virginia, was adjunct professor of music at Lord Fairfax Community College from 1997 through 2000 and was a member of the chamber choir Musica Viva of Winchester, Virginia from 2001 through 2003. He is currently Director of music at Market Street United Methodist Church in Winchester, Virginia and also the lead singer in the 50s Jazz Band “Jump Alley.” Steve has been sought after as a choral adjudicator, coach, and guest conductor throughout the east cost. In 2007 the Sherando High School Choral Department under the direction of Dr. Jennings toured Italy singing in Rome at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. He is also the tennis coach for the men’s team at Sherando High School in Stephens City, Virginia. Also in 2007 Dr. Jennings was awarded the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award at Yale University.
Dr. Jennings is a member of the Virginia Music Educators Association and for the last four years has been one of the registrars for the VMEA conference in November. He is also a member of the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Directors Association. Dr. Jennings is married to his college sweetheart and has two daughters, ages 20 and 10.
Hanover School District – Becky Luce is teaching at the Bernice A. Ray School in Hanover, NH, a K-5 school with approximately 500 students. Becky teaches general music to grades 1-4, leads a weekly sing-along with grades K-2 and their families and directs three choruses (3rd grade, 4th grade and 5th grade).
Becky is also the co-founder and director of two community-based choruses: a children’s chorus is for singers in grades K-3 and a Youth Chorus, for treble singers in grades 4 and above. These groups give regular concerts throughout the year and have performed with the Boston-based children’s group “Sol y Canto” and with folksinger Judy Collins. She feels fortunate to have a career in which she can share her passion with children, and where children can share their joy of discovery with her!
Music in Schools Today (organization) – Meg Madden has served as Executive Director of Music in Schools Today since 1990. Since 1990, she has pioneered work in program development, assessment and active research. She appears frequently on both traditional and new media.
During 1991-92 Meg worked as Director of the San Francisco Arts Project, brokering community resources, awarding outstanding programs, and providing professional training for artists and teachers. From 1980-1988 she worked at San Francisco Ballet. As Community Relations Manager, she developed Dance in Schools, the Scholarship Program, and educational performances on the San Francisco Opera House stage. As manager of the Ballet Breakers, she offered performances on most of the main stages, smaller stages and many of the parking lots in the Bay Area. She also advocated at federal, state and local levels for increased visibility and funding for the arts.
Meg still consults on program design, assessment and management. She has developed action plans for eight Bay Area school districts and over sixty schools and designed education programs for many Bay Area arts organizations. Selected clients include American Indian Contemporary Arts, American Musical Theatre, Chevron, Chinese Merchants Association, Early Music Society, Grateful Dead Productions, Marin Arts Council, Philharmonia Baroque, San Francisco Education Fund, San Francisco Jazz Foundation, San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, the San Francisco Unified School District, San Francisco Civic Chorale, San Francisco School of the Arts and Stern Grove Festival.
In 1979, as Assistant to Dr. Frank Oppenheimer, the Founding Director of the Exploratorium, Madden helped coordinate the Coming to our Senses symposia headed by Dr. Oppenheimer and David Rockefeller. Meg serves on the Board of Music in Schools Today, the Advisory Committee of the Music in Education National Consortium and on the Education Committee of the San Francisco Symphony. She served for eight years as chair of the State/Local Advisory Task Force to the San Francisco Arts Commission, which developed an arts policy plan for the city. She served as Chair of the Yerba Buena Gardens Planning Committee and as President of Friends of The San Francisco Arts Commission. She has received numerous awards from State and local government.
She holds an MA in Arts Administration from Golden Gate University. She published a book on arts management with Dr. Richard LeBlond, Jr., has videos, multicultural curricula and many articles to her credit, and taught arts administration classes at Golden Gate University.
In her college days, she played ukelele with a girls’ band. In her spare time, Meg rides her speedy Arabian horse Concho at Point Reyes National Seashore, and is exploring ways to integrate cultural traditions, nature and spirituality into her daily life. She loves to garden and to cook.
Kittatinny Regional School District
Randolph Township Schools
Wayland Public Schools – Joseph Oneschuk Jr. is currently in his eleventh year as the Director of Bands at Wayland High School, MA. The Wayland band and jazz ensembles, ranked as part of a Grammy Signature School, have been awarded various festival medals and have recently received several grants to world premier compositions. Mr. Oneschuk holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and Performance with Honors from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, as well as a Master’s degree in Music Education and Performance with Honors from The Boston Conservatory. His past teaching/conducting posts have included the Shrewsbury Public Schools, Trumpet Methods Instructor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Assistant Conductor of the MIT Jazz Ensemble, Instrumental Instructor at the Boston Arts Academy, and Faculty Member at Camp Encore/Coda Music Camp.
Mr. Oneschuk has also served as Northeast Senior District Band Manager, All-State Band Manager and Eastern Junior District Jazz Band Manager. Most recently Mr. Oneschuk is serving his second term on the MMEA (Massachusetts Music Educators Association) Executive Board as the High School Representative. He has also served as clinician at the MMEA All-State Conference and Eastern Division Conference in Baltimore Maryland. and Collegiate MENC President. He is a current member of MENC, MMEA, MICCA, TI:ME, and the Boston Musician’s Union. He is an active freelance trumpeter in the Boston/Metrowest Area and has performed with the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra and Brass Ensembles, Springfield Symphony, The Boston Brass Ensemble and is a former principal trumpet of the Marlborough Symphony Orchestra. In 2007, Mr. Oneschuk was awarded the Yale University Distinguished Music Educator Award and attended an International Symposium on Music Education.
Mr. Oneschuk has a passion for guest conducting. He has conducted the MMEA Northeast District Junior High School Honor Band, the Quabbin Valley Senior High School Honor Band, and conducted an All American Honor Band on a European Tour. Also in 2009 Mr. Oneschuk and the Wayland High School Honors Jazz Ensemble flew to New Olreans to help rebuild with Habitat for Humanity, give a keynote performance at the National WWII Musuem, and participated in a jazz masterclass at Loyola University.
New Haven Public Schools – Ann Page is currently in her tenth year as band/choral director and general music teacher at Worthington Hooker School, here in New Haven. She says this about her experiences.
“I was lucky to aquire a position in a school with no existing instrumental or choral program. I have had the pleasure of building my programs from the ground up. Our band now constitutes almost 70% of the middle school population with approximately 110 of the 160 students participating. I also direct a 100+ student chorus, a 20 student select chorus, “The Arpeggios,” and a Jazz band.”
Garrett County Public Schools
Levine School of Music (organization) – Roselinda Rampp earned her B.M. in Music Education from George Mason University. She has taught piano and preschool music for ten years. Roselinda has received many awards including, Music Teachers National Association teaching grant and the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award for outstanding service to music education in public schools.
Virginia Beach City Public Schools – With both secondary and elementary music education experience, Patricia “Pat” Reiter currently teaches Pre-School through 5th Grade General Music at Fairfield Elementary School, Fairfield, Virginia. She presently serves as Facilitator for Rockbridge County Music Teachers Organization.
A church musician for 30 or more years, she has served as music director, organist, and pianist, directing and accompanying choral and handbell choirs. She has also done extensive accompanying and arranging for other small performing ensembles.
Pat holds a B. S. in Music Education from Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania, and a M.M.ED from Shenandoah Conservatory, Winchester, Virginia.
As a VMEA Presenter, she has led various sessions pertaining to handbell and chime curriculum as well as Yamaha’s Music In Education (MIE) System. In 2007, Pat was a recipient of Yale’s Distinguished Music Educator Award, presented by Yale School of Music.
Pat and her husband, Richard, reside in Lexington, Virginia, and have three children and 4 grandchildren.
Chappaqua Central School District
Chappaqua Central School District
Palisades School District
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools – Jonathan Sidden is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts and was a resident artist at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. He was a 2002 Mid-Atlantic Regional Finalist and a 2003 Southeastern Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In addition to his singing career, Joanthan has assisted in the preparation of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale’s performances of Israel in Egypt by Handel, The Creation by Haydn, and the 2002 Holiday Concert. He assisted Maestro James Allbritten with Piedmont Opera’s concert of Verdi’s Aida in October of 2004. Over the summer of 2004, Mr. Sidden revised the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System curriculum for High School chorus. He has served as NCMEA adjudicator for the NC Choral Festival and All-State Zone Rehearsal coordinator for the central portion of North Carolina. Jonathan was a 2007 Yale School of Music Distinguished Music Educator. In 2010, he spent the summer in Vienna as a National Endowment of the Humanities Scholar, studying Mozart’s German Operas. Jonathan is currently the Choral Director and International Baccalaureate Music Instructor at Parkland Magnet High School (his alma mater) and is the Music Director at Trinity Moravian Church.
Lewisville Independent School District
Amherst Central School District
Mount Greylock Regional School District
Buffalo Public Schools
Trumansburg Central School District
Merit School of Music (organization)
Pittsfield Public School District – Since arriving in the USA from the former Soviet Union in 1990, violinist Alla Zernitskaya has gained national recognition as both a highly esteemed and innovative pedagogue. In addition to receiving the 2007 Yale School of Music “Distinguished Music Educator Award,” the City of Pittsfield honored her in 1997 by calling her “Most Valuable Teacher.” Among other numerous awards and letters of recognition for her teaching achievements, highlights include acknowledgment from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 1993, Alla began working as string program instructor for the Pittsfield Public Schools. Over the years, the program redevelopment which she initiated and carried through has resulted in a nationally respected and rewarding program facet for the City of Pittsfield. As a part of her work with the public schools, she founded the Berkshire Fiddlers, a group that performed extensively for a number of years. Most notably, in 1998 the group performed for first lady Hillary Clinton and received personal acknowledgment from her during the administration’s ‘Save America’s Treasures tour’.
As part of the string program, Alla became Music Director of the Pittsfield High School Chamber Orchestra. Under her leadership, the PHS Chamber Orchestra has rapidly risen to exemplify the high level kids of all different backgrounds can achieve, when talent is combined with hard work, discipline, and dedication. In its short history, the orchestra has frequently collaborated with artists of international stature. Noted Opera conductor Joel Revzen, Baroque expert Kenneth Cooper, and violinist Irving Ludwig, have frequently come to work with and guest conduct the orchestra. In a lengthy combined residency program with the Boston-based, Hawthorne String Quartet, the PHS Chamber Orchestra gave the world-premiere performance of “Blind Allegory,” by the celebrated, dynamic young composer Nico Muhly.
Alla holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State Music College of Belorussia, a Master of Arts degree in Violin Performance and Master of Arts degree in Violin Education and Performance from the Belorussian State Conservatory, in the former Soviet Union. She also holds a teaching certificate from the University of Massachusetts. She has participated in international workshops in Scotland, Austria, England, and throughout the U.S., most recently in New York City with Daniel Barenboim and Kurt Masur.
Alla formerly was violin professor at the pre-college division of the Belorussian State Conservatory, and from 1990-98 at the Simon Rock College of Bard in Great Barrington, MA. She continues to be on faculty at the Berkshire Music School in Pittsfield. Her students have gone on to win numerous local and regional competitions and many can be found playing in such celebrated groups as the Empire State Youth Orchestra, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Philharmonic, and the Juilliard pre-college Symphony. Many of her students have gone on to schools such as Juilliard, the New England Conservatory, Boston University, Williams College, Harvard, Peabody Conservatory and Northwestern University.