COE Music Education majors, graduates on Grammy short list

June 17, 2021

Grammy in the Schools LogoIn what is becoming a College of Education tradition, four students who are part of the college’s Music Education program have been named quarterfinalists for the 2021 Music Educator Grammy award. Three of the nominees are graduates of the program, and one is a current student.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (teaching kindergarten through college, in public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

The four include Jerell Horton, a current M.Ed. student, from Vestavia Hills High School in Vestavia Hills, Alabama; Matt Martindale who has both bachelors and master’s degrees in the Music Education program, from Shelby County High School in Hoover, Alabama; and Justin Antos, an Ed.S. and Ph.D. alum, from Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Frankfort, Illinois. In the legacy category, Nathan Johnston (M.Ed.) was recognized for his long history of directing bands and musical ensembles in Arizona.

Antos was a finalist in last year’s Grammy list of music educators. Also, in addition to this award, Martindale was recognized earlier this year as one of Yamaha’s “40 under 40” winners, which celebrates and recognizes outstanding music educators who are making a difference by growing and strengthening their music programs.

Jane Kuehne, an associate professor in the Music Education program, knows all four of the students.

“Being nominated for the Grammy Music Educator Award is an acknowledgement of the power of music in people’s lives, but more importantly it’s a recognition of the positive and lasting impact a music educator can make in students’ lives,” she said. “For all that are nominated, it’s an acknowledgement that they matter in kids’ lives, and for those who have never been nominated, but who are still doing the meaningful work music educators do every day, it’s a reminder that their work also matters and is important in kids’ lives. For Auburn University Music Education, it says something about the students who pass through our doors, whether in person or through distance learning in undergraduate and graduate degrees. They are making that positive impact. For every one that is nominated, there are so many additional Music Education alumni making that same positive, lasting impact, making music, bringing music to their students and communities, and being that spark for those around them.”

In another Auburn link to the Grammys, Music Education professor Nancy Barry recently accepted an invitation to serve as a screener for the 2022 Grammy Award for Music Educators.

“The Grammy Music Educator Awards bring national attention honoring the importance of music in our schools and celebrate the important work of dedicated music teachers across our nation,” Barry said. “The number of Auburn University graduates nominated for this prestigious award attests to the excellence of our program and of our outstanding graduate and undergraduate students. Music makes a difference in students’ lives and Auburn Music Education graduates continue to earn regional and national recognition as leaders and role models.”

Congratulations to all!