Robin Hughes, retiring this year after an amazing teaching career, inspires every student to be their best, step up and show everyone who they are and who they can be. She never stops looking for opportunities for her singers to build and develop their musical and personal character. Robin has been a leader in the Minnesota choral community, serving on boards, creating events that connect community and choirs and raising funds for community groups that support teens. Amidst the COVIC-19 pandemic, Robin has not had the opportunity to close her final year with her favorite concerts, events, a choir trip to NYC and celebrating the end of the year with her seniors. So, she did what she always does…found a way to honor each senior individually. Taking 4 days to drive around town, Robin delivered robes for senior photos and visited more than 100 choir members at their homes, often singing with them one last time.
Mrs Dupuis puts her heart and soul chorus. She creates a safe , open , loving and musical space through choir . She constantly gives me life advice and guides me , and many others. Mrs Dupuis has touched my life and multiple other students/peoples life forever . Hartselle High School is forever blessed by her presence.
Amy Neal is my choir director at Forsyth Central high school. I’m nominating her because she has done incredible work not only to grow our program, but to support my individual endeavors in music. She is one of the people who has fostered my love for choral music since we met 3 years ago, and it’s an honor and a privilege to have her as my director.
Robin Hughes; Director of Choirs at Mankato East High School
Robin Hughes is always looking for new and exciting ways to give her students rewarding and memorable opportunities. In addition to traveling with her high school choirs every 2 years she connects them in collaboration with other choirs around the state of Minnesota including The Gustavus Choir in southern Minnesota to choirs in Duluth to the far north. Mrs. Hughes also helped bring together 4 area public, private and community high school choirs in an annual concert event that collects donations for a teen drop in shelter. She is the picture of passion and compassion!
Mr. Gress is a phenomenal choral director, teacher, and mentor. His kindness, patience and resolute faith allow him to brighten the lives of every student he had ever taught. Most students, entering the Church Farm School, had never sung in a choir before in their lives, but after one year, they would have developed a genuine appreciation for music-making, and would look forward to coming back next year. He believes in the potential within each of his students, and works tirelessly to cultivate that potential within us. For me, being in choir with Mr. Gress had been the definition of a life-changing experience. From not being able to match pitch in the beginning, I am now deeply passionate about choral music and intend to pursue music as a career, all thanks to Mr. Gress’s guidance and mentorship. We love you Mr. Gress! Thank you for all you have done for the CFS Choir and Singers. You are truly amazing.
Mr. Connell is the single most passionate teacher I’ve ever had the pleasure of having. Being a first year teacher, he has taken our music program by storm. We are taught the intricate nuances of true self-expression. His new ideas are inspired and make our (not so) quiet corner of the school an amazing place to be. He has made it a priority to make connections with his students through beautiful music. In the short time that I’ve known him, Mr. Connell has shown enthusiasm like none other and I’m am beyond excited to see how he further builds our community.
Dr. J.D. Salas
Dr. Salas was my tuba professor at SFASU. More importantly though, he was my biggest mentor during that pivotal time in my life. Not only did he understand that his job was to teach music, but also to help everyone in his studio grow as people. People in my studio had a variety of issues such as drug use and family problems back home when they arrived. I watched Dr. Salas take each individual and help them through their struggles, including me. I remember times where I felt that I hadn’t practiced enough and our fifty minute lesson turned into us talking about life and him guiding me through my relationships and struggles. I recently met up with some of my fellow studio members and we were all chatting about what a big influence he had on us. We all agreed that we didn’t deserve Dr. Salas, but that we were all thankful to have had him anyway. When I think of the great educators I’ve had in my life, he always pops up first, because he’s so much more than a tuba professor.
Mr. Bogue is overall one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. He always knows how to take our choirs above and beyond and he has created such a wonderful environment for his students. He has created a safe and happy environment for everyone to be themselves and get the most out of the program. You wouldn’t believe the tremendous improvements people make under his teachings. I am so proud to be a part of his choir program and it is the one thing I will never ever forget about high school
He is by far the best orchestra teacher I ever had. He not only taught us music and how to play, but he taught us about being great human beings. He pushed us to be the best musicians and people possible and made sure to let us know that we could make a difference in the world. He made sure we knew we were loved and that our creativity was just as valuable as all of our academics. He was there for me during a tough period in high school and was more of a father figure than a teacher sometimes. I have been out of high school for 4 years now and I still lean back on his musical advice and teaching as well as his life teaching and genuine love and care for each of his students. He is one of my biggest inspirations in life and one main reason I want to be a teacher even if it isn’t music.
Mrs. Ellen McCarthy
Mrs. McCarthy is a consummate professional, treats each and every student as if they are the most important person in the room at all times. She has a way of making a community out of the the most unlikely of strangers and has built a tremendous choral program in Northport, NY. She is loved by her students and has one of the most focused rehearsals complete with affect and emotion that I have ever watched. It’s a joy to be able to watch and work with someone who loves so genuinely and passionately what she does each and every day!
Dr. Colleen Richardson
Doctor Richardson is one of the most amazing conductors I’ve ever met. She is so serious about everyone playing well, and also genuinely cares about everyone and their needs. She all wants us to be the best musicians we can be. I love being under the leadership of her because she’s taught me to become a leader. I hope someday to be just like her. She’s an absolutely amazing conductor and I could not ask for anyone better.
Mrs. Michelle Green
Mrs. Green is a great example of what it means to be a good choral educator. She pushes us further than we think we can go, never letting us quit. She provides us with opportunities that we wouldn’t get elsewhere like performing with Foreigner or at the governor’s mansion. She is so dedicated that she missed out on the opportunity to attend your workshop at GSU so we could have another rehearsal to perform at our best. More importantly than anything else, Mrs. Green makes us better people. I have learned more life lessons in her class than I can count. She taught me that music is about more than just notes and rhythms; it’s about how it can make someone feel. She taught me that hard work and respect will get you further than almost anything. Mrs. Green takes us under her wings and treats us like her own children. Everyone who she comes into contact with knows that her room is a place full of love. For these reasons and more, I’m forever grateful and think she should be recognized.
Mr.Woody is the most caring man I know. He loves his students more than any other teacher I’ve ever met. He has taught me to give and help others in any way I can and to be a leader. He shows kindness and compassion through every moment of the day. He pours his heart and soul into his students and helps them to grow as people. As a past student I can say, without a doubt, he deserves to be teacher of the week!
Ms. Birdsong has an extraordinary ability to make people feel good about themselves. Her entire educational philosophy revolves around prioritizing interpersonal relationships and building strong bonds with each of her students. Her exceptional communicative skills have led to her be a fantastic music educator- one who instills both a love of learning and a love of music in the hearts of her students. Ms. Birdsong is currently Assistant Director of Bands and director of the pep band at James Madison University, and it seems that every student and faculty member in the music department is in completely love with her.
Mr. Jeremy Davis
Mr.Davis is the best choir teacher. He inspires so many teens at my high school to try choir and he made me fall in love with it. He is so passionate about what he does and is one of the kindest human beings I know. He celebrates his student’s successes and mentors us one on one when we need help. Mr.Davis is the best choir teacher I’ve ever had, he teaches us so many great techniques. He helped me fulfill my choir dreams. By pushing me to be my best, he helped me get into many honors choirs and to meet Dr. André Thomas at Ohio state choir this year. Mr.Davis puts all of his heart into his job and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition.
Mr. Doheny is honestly the best high school choir teacher you could ask for. He is so kind and caring, not to mention funny. He always hops on the chance to get his students to do different things involving choir. All state audition recommendations, American music abroad recommendations . He always want us to do something new. If we are singing for him, whether its audition practice, or something else, he doesn’t look, so we feel more comfortable. He is always motivating us to do better, and is always confident in us. He never criticizes us and instead always tells us what we should work on to improve our singing. He likes to keep us entertained and loves to share stories, or terrible jokes, so we never get bored. He is honestly gotten me to love singing again and even my non choir friends love him. He is very dedicated into not just turning us into singers, but experienced musicians, that are very close together. Our choir is not just a choir, but like a family thanks to him.
Dr. Barlow Bradford
Dr. Bradford is the chair for choral studies at the University of Utah. He is truly dedicated to cultivating not just good choral singers, but good artists. He also develops personal relationships with his students. Dr. Bradford truly believes he has the greatest job in the world.
Mr. Andrew Williams
Mr. Williams has become one of the most influential people in my life. He has encouraged and pushed me to be the best version of myself, both musically and personally. He inspires his students to be responsible for their actions, inside and outside of the classroom. He has always been there for his students and has always been someone you can talk to. Mr. Williams has inspired me to pursue music education as a career and has been helping me every step of the way. Students could not ask for a better band director, music teacher, or person. He truly has made the most positive impact on my life, and many others. Thank you, Mr. Williams.
Jarrod & Shawna Hendricks
Mr. and Mrs. Hendricks have truly impacted my life in so many more ways than musically. They have given me the gift of patience and self confidence. I honestly would not be the person I am today without them. I wouldn’t be able to nominate one without the other because they are such a wonderful team. They are the best directors I have ever had and they teach me more about how to view life as a gift and how to find the music in the world every day.
Ms. Howard explains things in a way the kids can understand. She makes kids feel equal and is always there for each and every one of them. She opens up her choir room to the whole school and invites everyone inside so that people know choir is fun and accepting. She does so much for the program and so little for her self. All she ever does is give give and give. I first hand have seen what it’s like to have your head direction out because of cancer and have to take over the whole program and say it’s running smoothly and mean it, I’ve seen it first hand because of my choir director, Courtney Howard. Not only is she my amazing choir director, but she is my amazing mother. By day she’s fighting altered pitches and triplets, and by night she’s a single mother of three at home and cooks for them to make sure they are cared for and they’re always on top of their day. She sometimes plays both roles as dad and mom when she has too. She is my teacher of the week every week.
I am nominating Ms. Courtney Howard because she is so caring to each and everyone of her students and makes them feel welcomed.
because shes a baddie
She is overall a great teacher and a great person. I couldn’t imagine anyone else teaching choir at our school. We all love her so much and she is so helpful and understanding all the time. It would really mean a lot to her to win teacher of the week. Thank you.
Ms. Howard perseveres. Through the hardship of teaching 5 periods a day, directing all the choirs in the absence of our head choir director, and giving seniors who are pursuing further education in music guidance to succeed; Courtney Howard excels and keeps a level head.
Greatest music teacher and hard working.