Mrs. Bennett is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever met. As an orchestra director, she is always promoting a deep love and appreciation for music. She is dedicated to spreading messages of kindness and compassion, and she incorporates various service projects into our musical lives to emphasize the fact that music can change the world. She truly cares about every one of her students and is always ready to encourage and support her students with life outside of the orchestra. Mrs. Bennett is an incredible teacher and all-around great human being.
Amanda Hanzlik has conducted many honorable choirs besides the one at home (EO Smith High School), including the Rhode Island All-State choir and the children’s choirs at the Aspen Music Festival. Her commitment to the choir and her personal attention to every single member stands out among other teachers of her caliber. She doesn’t just improve her students as musicians, but makes them better people. She has taught many the importance of trusting your gut, as well as really letting go of yourself, and trusting every singer in the group for the sake of the song. If only there were a teacher of the year award, she would instantly snatch such a title. Nominated by: Sarah.
Mrs. Hanzlik is an amazing teacher and an extremely hardworking and caring person. She does everything she can in order to ensure that her students have the best musical experience possible during their high school career. She encourages everyone to sing, and truly cares about what she does. Nominated by: Jaclyn.
Most capable, flexible, helpful, and sweet choir directors of all time. She is who brought us into recognition from America’s Got Talent. She is who also got actual composers of songs to come rehearse with us (especially Jacob Narverud). All in all, E O Smith wouldn’t exist without her! Nominated by: Oswald.
Amanda Hanzlik is a fantastic choir director for many reasons. She challenges her students with music that is advanced and usually feel good pieces. The students learn so much about music from this in the technical sense and they learn the joy from singing with a group. Rehearsals may be intense however she truly preps students that wish to pursue music in college and beyond. The connections made with the students and Ms. Hanzlik manifest for a happy environment that students look forward and love to be in. She truly gives her all when finding ways to give her students experiences that will enrich their music education and make the choir even more connected, turning into one big singing family. Nominated by: Annie.
She is my choir director and if there was anyone who is supposed to be a choir teacher it would be her. Without Mrs. Hanzlik I wouldn’t have grown so much in my singing abilities in just these past few years. Her love and passion for her work and students is amazing and I am so beyond grateful to have her as my teacher. She’s so good at what she does and really grows beautiful and well-rounded singers. Nominated by: Maddie.
Mrs Hanzlik is such an amazing teacher in so many ways. She genuinely cares about her students and has done everything to prepare us for performances, and the numerous auditions I have had. She is so kind and has taught me more than I ever thought I could know about music. She is also the reason I am planning on going into a music major. She works so so so hard to give us the best education and offers us as many opportunities as we can get. She deserves this more than anyone!!!! Nominated by: Madison.
Mrs. Hanzlik has not only been a constant source of comfort and support throughout my senior year. She has been raw, honest, and in tune with students’ struggles and needs in her class. She goes above and beyond to make class safe and exciting and is able to connect students to their work. She teaches in a way in which students can truly connect with their music and the results are extraordinary. In teaching and personal connection, she surpasses all expectations I have ever had for a teacher and goes well beyond what her job requires of her. Her work in class not only shows a deep knowledge of music, but a personal connection to the arts that goes deeper than the surface, she is an inspiration to all in her class. Nominated by: Emma.
I am nominating Mrs. Hanzlik because she always pours her heart and soul into every rehearsal and class period. Mrs. Hanzlik has gone to great lengths to provide an extraordinary choral experience for our choir. Nominated by: Lukus.
Amanda Hanzlik is not only a wonderful teacher with massive amounts of knowledge, but she inspires each and every one of her students. She holds together the group and it is clear to us that she truly cares about not only the quality of our choir, but the experience of each singer in the group. She is a wonderful, caring individual with such an enormous love for choral music. I cannot think of a better candidate to receive this title. Nominated by: Caroline.
Dan Stowe is in his 26th year as the director of the University of Notre Dame Glee Club. He also serves as the conductor of Notre Dame’s Orchestra and Collegium Musicum. You cannot be in the same room with Dan without learning something, whether how to finesse the attack on a note, or how to achieve success and remain a man of humility. Dan stretches his students’ worldview; he consistently emphasizes the need to experience life outside of the rehearsal room, outside of the present day, outside of the country. He is principally concerned with the formation of conscientious citizens of the world, and his students’ true loyalty and respect is earned. He has a far-reaching knowledge that is the product of intense curiosity and commitment to doing the work. His passion for learning is a natural partner of the dichotomy that is music: an analytical exercise to be carefully approached and studied, and an act of creation justified and beautiful for its own sake. From your students–thank you.
Angie Doctor is a phenomenal jazz voice teacher. She has built a jazz vocal program at Ruth Asawa school of the arts from nothing. She works tremendously hard to accommodate all of her students needs and has changed many students lives through jazz music. Ms. Doctor doesn’t give up on her students and often stays till 7 or 8pm each night to make sure every student has the repertoire and information they need to thrive.
Mr. Comeaux is the most dedicated band director I know. From the way he talks to his students, to pushing us to be our best selfs (musically and emotionally), to how every little detail for our week is posted and thoroughly reminded to us every day, to the way he conducts the beautiful timbre of our music. He goes far beyond what’s expected of him and strives to leave his students with life lessons that they can take with them far into life.
Ross S. Sterling High School’s Levi Duncan is hands down the most inspirational, life-changing, and hardworking choir director I have ever encountered in my time as a musician. His instinct of recognition for potential is amazing, and the way he harnesses that potential is astounding. Myself, along with countless others, have been fortunate enough to have been recognized by Mr. Duncan at such a young age and be introduced to our personal inner musicians that he saw laying inside of us. Along with pushing us extensively musically, he encourages us to grow morally and professionally, and for that I am eternally grateful.
Mr. Boardman was an incredibly astounding and captivating choral director from the first time I met him. He only teaches at the high school level, but he strives for excellence from all his students during each and every performance. His passion for educating and dedication to his craft can be not only heard, but felt whenever listening to his choirs perform. Mr. Boardman makes a point of always teaching his students how to work dynamically when learning difficult pieces, while also teaching them to work cohesively as one unit to produce the best sound possible. I am truly honored to say that Mr. Boardman was my choral director through high school, and I will carry the passion for music that he gave me for the rest of my life.
Yair Corral Villegas
He is a children choir teacher in Sonora, México. He is helping them to learn and joy the blessing of music through choral music in boys and girls from 6 -21 years old. He has no profit and they have an invitation to sing in Chengdù, China in July 2019. Find him on facebook yair corral coro infantil de hermosillo.
Mr. Allgair is a phenomenal band director who cares about each of his students and takes the time to get to know each one individually. He comes in everyday with a smile and tells corny jokes to make his students laugh or roll their eyes. He takes the time to make sure each of his students are doing well academically, and offers to help them find help when they are struggling. He radiates joy and shares his love of music with each of his students and is an all around great person, in and out of the classroom.
It is with great honor that I write to you in support of Michelle Shmuel as an EW “Teacher Of The Week”. While Michelle is clearly an outstanding professional, mentor, musician and teacher, I believe she should be viewed foremost as an outstanding leader. After years of setting the standard as a “young” teacher, Michelle has now transitioned to a “seasoned veteran” who leads by example on a daily basis for not only her students but co-workers as well. Michelle’s unwavering approach to her daily tasks as an educator is a beacon of professionalism for all to see. She truly displays the philosophy that she is teaching young adults how to be better HUMAN BEINGS through singing, as opposed to simply becoming a good musician. She runs three choirs, as well as numerous smaller chamber groups with over 200 students enrolled. It does not matter what level of performer you are, if you are willing to put the work in, she is willing to give her time to teach you. Truly Inspirational!
Mr. Andrew Robinson
Our school has never seen a more dedicated, passionate teacher than Mr. Robinson. Everyday he motivates his students not only to learn great music but to be amazing people. Through the short time he has been at Munster High School, he has brought so much love to our choirs and has allowed us to have such amazing experiences including singing at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Mr. Whitacre himself. He never gives up on us even when we seem hopeless. He is incredibly humble and he’s always there for his students. He has touched our hearts and changed our lives for the better. All of us are so incredibly lucky to have him, and I know we will never have a director as amazing as Mr. Robinson ever again. He is truly one of a kind.
Martha Helen Schmidt
Ms. Schmidt has taught me and so many other students what it is to love music. She has spent her whole life writing and teaching, and I am so blessed to have been taught by someone with an enormous amount of talent in just one finger tip.
Dr. René Clausen
I nominate Dr. Rene Clausen at Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. For over 20 years, he has taken his students on a personal journey; learning about music, learning about themselves. He is lighthearted and funny, serious and intense. His search for excellence in each and every sound is infectious. A simple 8-part E-chord was enough to cleanse my soul from whatever I carried on my shoulders. I came to choir to sing and left with a family. I will always remember the wink and smile after the final cutoff, “Happy Birthday” on the piano, and his stunning ability to pull a limerick out of thin air. Experiencing choral music the way I did with him, in his choir, is something I will never have again, and will cherish forever.
Emmanuella Mazile teaches choir at Lowell Scott Middle School. She’s only in her second year of teaching and has already made such a difference in their music program and in the lives of her students. Her kids come to class excited to learn because she engages them with respect, humor, and love. They’re not just learning songs in Miss Mazile’s class; they’re learning how to be musicians. Parents, teachers, and students alike recognize how beautifully–and quickly–she’s transformed an “easy A” choir class into a high-quality music education. Emmanuella is an incredible, natural teacher and advocate for kids who are often navigating a tumultuous period of their lives. I met Emmanuella in college while we were both studying music. I’m so immensely proud of her and thankful to call her my best friend; she’s a daily source of inspiration for me and I’m absolutely thrilled for all of the students in the years to come who will get to learn music from Miss Mazile.
Chris Koehn treats every child he encounters at the Coweta band room as his own. There have been so many nights where he has slept at the band room because we have gotten back so late from an event and he still has stuff to do. During marching season, he and his wife (one of our other directors) put in some of their own money to make our show as great as possible. Mr. Koehn is one of the most compassionate and loving people that I have ever met and it is impossible to describe how great he is. He knows when we’re havibg an off day and does everything in his power to change that. He pushes all of us to do our best everyday yet never yells at us when he knows we could have done better. Mr. Koehn is one of the greatest men I have ever met and I wish every person had the chance to sit and learn under him or just be able to talk to him.
Ms. Chandler is an outstanding teacher that motivates her students with her great creative talents.
Dr. Paul Torkelson
Dr. Paul Torkelson is the director of choral studies at the University of Nevada, Reno. He directs the Symphonic Choir, the Nevada Chamber Singers and teaches choral conducting. He has conducted many All-State choirs and is frequently a guest clinician at state ACDA conventions. Many students call him Dr. T. Dr. T is an amazing inspiration to me as well as many students that sing for him. He challenges us to think critically when it comes to singing with technique and text stress. He encourages his singers to sing with passion and think about what the music means to them. Dr. T has invited his singers to sing in Carnegie Hall and Europe through the MidAmerica Productions. Dr. T, your kindness, compassion and dedication has greatly impacted many singers. Thank you, Dr. T!
Mrs. Ubrig is the current High School Choir Director at Mesquite High School, but when I was with her she was the Choir Director at Alhambra High School in Phoenix, AZ. Mrs. Ubrig made choir a place that everyone could call home, regardless of what our actual home life was like. She inspired so many of us to be passionate about music. Within the 2004-2006 graduating class, 3 of us went on to become Choir Directors. Even now, as I am directing my own choir, I think of her often and how much she meant to me. She changed my life forever and I know is still doing the same for many others.
There are no words great enough to describe Mr. Watts. He has helped me through a really tough spot in my life and is the kind of teacher who you can go to for advice, whether it be a musical decision or a personal life decision. More than anything, though, he has helped me learn that it’s ok to be my crazy weird random self and that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you. I don’t know of anyone as nerdy about leadership/social psychology as he is and I cannot wait to be a band director to give others what band has given to me.
Heidi Forslund is a force to be reckoned with. For 7 years, she commuted between two schools, Cavelero Mid High and Lake Stevens High School, so that we could have a strong program in our district. When Heidi arrived at Lake Stevens School District, she had very small numbers at both schools (a mere 25 at the high school) and choir was not a name in our community. For the next 7 years, she worked hard to build structure and family within the district’s choir program. She upped the program’s overall participation to around 190 students with 2 classes at Cavelero, 2 at the High school, and one smaller jazz choir in the morning. Over the years, we have gone on to win many awards and many 1+ scores at both schools. Choir became a known force in the community, one that even band couldn’t overshadow. Heidi is someone else. She taught us values that no other music teacher had taugh me and gives everything she has to make sure choir is a thing everyone wants to be a part of and feels welcome.