Dates, hosts, and locations of festivals that are known at this point in the year have been posted under the FESTIVALS link as a sub-page to the Calendar-at-a-Glance link. Updates will continue to be added as dates, hosts, and locations are confirmed.
Due to Yough SD Closing - Today's PMEA Festival is CANCELLED. We will begin looking for possible make up dates soon.
As we move into region and state festival, it is important to make sure that correct forms are completed and submitted. The Student Medical Information Form and First Aid/Emergency Treatment Authorization was revised twice in 2014, once in February, and then again in August. Please make sure that students use the one labeled "Revised August 2014," which listed below, for all region and state festival form completion. Please also note when completing festival paperwork that the Special Dietary Needs form only needs to be completed if a student has a need.
Please join music educators from across Pittsburgh on Sunday, February 8th, for a special event featuring Eric Bluestine, author of The Ways Children Learn Music. Eric will discuss and demonstrate the pedagogy and implementation of Music Learning Theory—including techniques for tonal and rhythm exercises in general music. Along the way, Eric will share music lessons that include audiation exercises and other elements of music, and offer ways to integrate music with dance and poetry instruction. The future of MLT, with an eye on the new National Core Music Standards, will also be covered. PNC Recital Hall, Mary Pappert School of Music, Duquesne University. 2:00–3:30; informal reception following. No charge or RSVP; reduced-fee parking at Forbes Avenue Garage. For more information, contact Dr. Paul Doerksen: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fox Chapel music teacher Mairi Cooper was so caught up in the joy she felt as one of her students introduced her Monday at the Keystone Awards of Excellence program in Hershey that it didn’t immediately register when she was named Pennsylvania’s 2015 Teacher of the Year.
“I was just in that zone. I was sitting back and listening to the kids introduce their teachers and was so touched listening to my student [that] I just sort of thought, ‘These are all incredible teachers. I don’t have to worry — they are not going to call my name,’ and then they did and when I realized it, it was overwhelming,” Ms. Cooper said later Monday.
She was in Hershey as one of 15 finalists for the 2015 Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year competition, which the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania Chapter of National State Teacher of the Year sponsor.
She will be Pennsylvania’s nominee for National Teacher of the Year.
Ms. Cooper, 46, of Highland Park, has taught for 14 years at Fox Chapel. Her courses include advanced placement music theory, orchestra, piano and world music, and she is chairwoman of the high school music department.
The National Association of Music Merchants, a nonprofit organization focused on advancing participation in music, honored the district’s music program in 2012 as one of the best in the nation.
Ms. Cooper acknowledged that the department has grown under her leadership, but she was quick to give credit to the “amazing team of teachers” who work under her guidance.
A student introduced each of the finalists at the ceremony. Eli Ziff, a senior at Fox Chapel Area High School and an orchestra member, introduced Ms. Cooper.
“Ms. Cooper is not my Teacher of the Year; she is my teacher of a lifetime,” Eli said.
Ms. Cooper said she is able to develop a special bond with her students because she has most of them for all four years of high school, unlike teachers who teach subjects that students pass through in one year.
“I can impact them not simply as musicians but also as thinkers and human beings, and that changes the nature of how I am able to interact with them,” she said.
Fox Chapel Area superintendent Gene Freeman described Ms. Cooper as a “teacher who defies gravity.”
“When you think she has lifted her students to the highest degree, she inspires them to go even higher,” he said.
A native of the state of Indiana, Ms. Cooper moved to the area to take a part-time teaching job at Seton Hill University.
While working on her doctorate, she started teaching in the K-12 grades “and fell in love with the students.”
She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from the University of Rochester.
Besides Ms. Cooper, there were three other finalists from Allegheny County: CeCe Kapron of Mt. Lebanon School District, James Nagorksi of Carlynton School District and James Lucot of Seneca Valley School District.
Mary Niederberger; email@example.com; 412-263-1590. First Published December 8, 2014 11:49 AM
Results from last night's District Chorus auditions are posted in the members-only section. The password was communicated to directors at the meeting. Please do not share it with students.
Results from last night's Honors Band auditions are posted in the members-only section. The password was communicated to directors at the meeting. Please do not share it with students.
The junior high district band WEST mailing accidentally went to ALL junior high directors in District 1. If you are a director in a District 1 EAST school, please disregard this information. The East festival is still happening, and info will be sent out separately. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.
Results from last night's Honors Jazz auditions are posted in the members-only section. The password was communicated to directors at the meeting. Please do not share it with students.
Results from last night's Honors Choir auditions are posted in the members-only section. The password was communicated to directors at the meeting. Please do not share it with students.