The Advocate

Newsletter for The Music Education Community of Western PA

Congratulations to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Who Advanced to the Quarter Finals For the GRAMMY Music Educator Awards

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Congratulations to all of the Pennsylvania music educators selected to move forward to the quarter-finals of the GRAMMY Music Educator Award!

Every year the GRAMMY Museum and the Recording Academy present the award to a music educator who has made a significant impact in music in their school and community. Full-time music educators who teach in private or public schools, kindergarten through college, are eligible to be nominated for the award. Teachers can be nominated by fellow music teachers, school administrators, students, or parents. Based on merit, the teachers are selected to advance from the initial nominations to the quarter-finals. From there, the teachers submit additional materials (video/audio, written essays, testimonials) and, through a series of different screenings, will advance to the further rounds.

The award's winner will be announced during the week of the GRAMMY awards. The winner will receive a trophy and a $10,000 honorarium. Finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium, and semifinalists receive a $500 honorarium.

Below is a list of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers selected to move forward from the initial nominations to the quarter-finals. JMC wishes all of the educators chosen all the best and hopes they will receive recognition for their musical impact on their students.

Ryan Buldarelli

Christina Crivelli

Alex Gittelman

Deanna Grandstaff

Allison Kline

Jacqueline Langley

Kevin Longwill

AJ Merlino

Jenny Neff

Adam Nobile

John Pachence

Courtney Powers

Kelly Winovich

Ronnie Ziccardi

Jayme Zimmerman

To learn more about the GRAMMY Music Educator Awards, including how to nominate an educator, click this link.

Auditioning Tips from Scott Albert

Scott Albert has been a saxophone instructor at JMC since 2008 and directs the 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade band, and teaches 4th and 5th-grade strings at Shaler Area School District. Over his 15 years of teaching, Scott has taught numerous students who have been accepted into the Alle-Valley honors band and the PMEA festivals. JMC asked Scott to share some of his tips for auditioning; here is what he had to say:

1) As soon as you know what the audition piece is, make sure to get it ordered as soon as possible.

2) Plan accordingly to practice the piece and be prepared. Waiting until the last minute can cost you valuable time.

3) Did I say practice? Yes! Then go practice some more. If frustration sets in, sit your instrument down and take a break. You can do this!

4) Warm up on any scales that coordinate with the key signature of the audition piece. There may be more than one key signature. This is helpful to prepare the piece and know the key you are playing or singing in.

4) Listen to the piece of music. Try to get a good interpretation of the music. YouTube is usually a helpful place and you can change the speed to play along with the recording.

5) Work on areas that need the most attention. Spend more time on these places and it will make the other sections easier. Slow the tempo down, change the rhythms to play it a different way then play it as written. Use a metronome if needed! Also, work on measures that precede the section and connect it.

5) Use a tuner to help check your intonation. Make sure you tuned before you go into your audition.

6) Go in with confidence! Take a deep breath. Play a quick warm up and then play the audition.

Too many students walk in not prepared or are anxious. Seek help with private lessons or play for someone before you audition to get as much feedback as possible.

Check with your music teachers or check the music store if the music is available to start preparing.

Good luck as you get ready for a new year to audition for music festivals around the area, state festivals, or for college!

New Faces at JMC!

JMC's New Educational Sales Representative, Larry Silvestri

Johnstonbaugh's would like to introduce Larry Sylvestri as a new Educational Sales Specialist. Larry taught for 34 years as Franklin Regional Middle School's Band Director and was involved with their marching band program. He spent 33 years as their Assistant Marching Band Director, with his last two years as the Marching Band Director. Franklin Regional is also where Larry went to grade school when he was growing up. Following high school, Larry received a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Larry and Bob Johnstonbaugh have a long-standing professional friendship as Larry started his job as Band Director when Bob first started JMC in the 1980s. At the very beginning of the business, Larry was one of JMC's original customers. Larry is looking forward to using his experience as a band director to help JMC's educational customers in ways he appreciated being helped by JMC in the past.

JMC's New Lesson Coordinator & Sales Specialist, Phil Sheets

Johnstonbaugh's would also like to welcome Phil Sheets as the new Sales Specialist and Lesson Coordinator at JMC's Allison Park Location. Phil is originally from Spencer, WV, and moved to Pittsburgh in 2020 for more career opportunities. He currently lives in the South Side Flats.

Phil has a musical background, taking piano lessons at age 8, singing in musical theater and choir in middle school, playing trombone and percussion in high school, and studying music in college.

Phil graduated from West Virginia University with a Multidisciplinary Studies Degree in Music Technology, Music Industry, and Entrepreneurship. While formally learning the details of the music industry, Phil assisted in A&R and production for a student-run record label, Mon Hill Records.

Phil is excited about starting a new career at Johnstonbaugh's Music Centers, and everyone at JMC is excited to have him on board.

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Issued February 2022

Newsletter by Joe Weinzierl and Dennis Emert