{ALUMNI TODAY} at Roberts

RPO Musicians Honor Area Music Educators

Five local teachers will received awards at the May 9th RPO concert.  The Five area music educators were honored for contributions to their students, schools and communities with the 25th annual RPO Musicians’ Awards for Outstanding Music Educators at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert in Kodak Hall held on Thursday, May 9.

The 2013 awards winners and Their Categories

Jeremy Rath ‘07:  Outstanding Choral Director (Elba Central Schools)

Rebecca Root Davis (Adjunct Faculty):  Special Award (South Seneca Elementary School, Interlaken) recognizing her tremendous commitment to music education in our area

Chandra L. Downs:  Outstanding Classroom Specialist (Geneseo Central School)

Kenneth Foster:  Outstanding Band Director (North Street Elementary School, Geneva)

Beth A. Remming:  Outstanding String Director (French Road Elementary School and Twelve Corners Middle School, Brighton)

“The students in our nine-county area are very fortunate to benefit from the expertise and dedication of many fine music educators,” says Lisa Albrecht, Chair of the 2013 Music Educators Awards Committee.  “My colleagues and I are honored to publicly recognize the significant accomplishments of this year’s recipients.”

Founded in 1988, the RPO Musician’s Educator Awards program works to strengthen the relationship between area music educators and the musicians of the RPO.  The awards commend those teaches who have shown both educational and musical excellence and who recognize the positive influence they have on the musicians and audiences of the future.  Administrators, educators, parents and students submit nominations that are then reviewed by a committee comprised of community educators and RPO musicians. To learn more about the history and purpose of this award as well as this year’s winners, visit the RPO website at:  rpo.org/Awards_for_Outstanding_Music_Educators.

The RPO’s program on Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m., NEXUS and the RPO, will feature Peter Bay conducting works by Toru Takemitsu, Lily Boulanger, Karen Tanaka (world premiere) and Maurice Ravel. Internationally-renowned percussion ensemble NEXUS will appear as the featured guest artists, and NEXUS member and former RPO Principal Percussionist Bill Cahn founded the awards 25 years ago. Tickets start at $22 ($10 student tickets) and are available in person at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street) or at area Wegmans; by phone at (585) 454-2100; or online at rpo.org.

Alumni/Adjunct Faculty Winners’ Biographies

Jeremy Rath'07 resides in Brockport and is the proud son of Pam and Tom Rath of Hamlin. In 2007, Jeremy earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education (Organ and Voice) from Roberts Wesleyan College, where he also received a Masters of Music in Music Education in 2012, graduating Summa Cum Laude.  Jeremy is currently teaching K-12 General and Choral Music at Elba Central School. At the Elementary level, he teaches K-6 General Music and directs the Elementary Chorus, a 4th-6th grade vocal ensemble. In the Jr. Sr. High School, he directs the High School Chorus (a 7th-12th grade vocal ensemble), and teaches voice lessons, a music class for autistic students, and a Junior High “Music in Our Lives” course. When interest and time permits, he also directs a High School Glee Club as well as Women’s and Men’s choral ensembles. Jeremy has directed and assisted with many musicals, assemblies, and productions at all grade levels at Elba, and has accompanied a number of All-County choirs in and surrounding Genesee County. This year, he’ll accompany the Genesee-Wyoming High School All-County and Erie Junior High All-County Choruses, and it will mark his third year of providing piano accompaniment for Pembroke High School musical productions. Jeremy is a founding member and accompanist of the Kendall Community Chorus, directs the choir at the Kendall Concordia Lutheran Church, and plays organ and directs the choir at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hilton. He enjoys being a part of music at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, where he sings in the Harmonics Society and offers informal recitals on historic instruments. Jeremy also instructs a number of private students on piano and organ.

Rebecca Root Davis is the Instrumental and General Music teacher for grades 3-5 at South Seneca Elementary School in Interlaken, NY.  Since joining the faculty a decade ago, she has created an inclusive band program, making “loaner” instruments available to every student by seeking and obtaining used instruments from around the Rochester and Finger Lakes areas.  Her South Seneca Elementary Band students also present an annual “Coffee House/Talent Show” to raise money for new instruments. Student participation in the elementary band has increased to include more than 85% of the 4th and 5th grade enrollment, and she has augmented the program to include Jazz Band and Marching Band.  Each year, Rebecca composes a new march for the Marching Band, which they perform in three local parades. The South Seneca Elementary Marching Band has traveled as far as Holland, Michigan, where they participated in the Tulip Festival Kinder Parade. Before beginning her public school teaching career at South Seneca, Rebecca performed as Principal Horn with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the New Orleans Philharmonic, the Chautauqua Symphony, the Aspen Chamber Symphony, Central City Opera and the Chautauqua Opera, and as Third Horn with the Denver Symphony. She has served as adjunct faculty at Roberts Wesleyan College, Houghton College and Nazareth College, and as Horn Professor at the Chautauqua Music Festival. Many of her former students are now professional musicians in orchestras and teachers in colleges, universities and public schools around the world.  In 2012, Rebecca presented a master class on “The Art of Teaching French Horn” for the New York State School Music Association Conference, where her South Seneca Horn Club – comprised of horn students in grades 4-12 – performed her arrangements.