Music Educator Awards
April 6, 2019
Presented by American Electric Power
Sponsored by Kim & Judith Swanson
Established in 1997, the Columbus Symphony’s Music Educator Awards recognize those individuals who instill and inspire a love of music in the children and adults of central Ohio. The purpose of these annual awards is to promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for music education, as well as to honor those individuals who are making a real difference in our community through their dedication to music education. One award is honored in each of the following categories:
Elementary Music Educator Secondary Music Educator Community Music Educator
Each Music Educator Award winner receives a monetary grant to be spent at their direction for a broad range of music education endeavors, such as purchasing music, instrument repair, or professional development classes for the educator. For additional information, please call (614) 221-4916.
Nominees should be music educators in the central Ohio area who:
- Make a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds
- Routinely go “above and beyond the call of duty” by extending efforts beyond the classroom
- Make a significant impact on their community through music education
- Inspire students to reach appropriately high levels of musical understanding and ability
- Demonstrate longevity in the field of music education by their many years of work
- Instill a lifelong appreciate of music in their students
Nomination must include:
- Notation of the educator’s nomination category – elementary, secondary, or community.
- Three letters of support (no longer than 3 pages each) describing how the nominee meets the selection criteria.
- Nominee's information: name, place of employment, title, home and work addresses, email address, number of years in current position, and total years experience in music education.
- Nominator’s information: name, email address, relationship to nominee, home and work addresses, and phone number.
2018 Music Educator Award Winners:
The 2018 Music Educator Awards were presented at the annual dinner fundraiser at the Sheraton Hotel on Saturday, March 17. Columbus Symphony musician Steven Wedell acted as emcee for the event. The winners were also presented on the stage of the Ohio Theatre preceding the Columbus Symphony concert. The Music Educator Awards are made possible through the generous support of American Electric Power and Kim & Judith Swanson.
Additional 2018 nominees for this award are listed below. To see a list of past award recipients, click here.
Costantino Benedetti | Elementary Educator
Costantino Benedetti grew up surrounded by music. At an early age, his parents established it as a central aspect of his life. He woke up most Saturdays to the sound of Italian opera throughout his home and was taken to countless concerts at the Ohio and Palace Theatres. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from The Ohio State University and has been teaching at Tremont School for three years where he also co-leads a guitar program, a ukulele club and a songwriting club.
John Laswell | Secondary Educator
John Laswell has taught instrumental music for the past nine years, five at Westerville South HS. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Ohio Northern University and his Masters of Music in Music Education from Kent State University. John currently instructs the Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, and Marching Band. John performs in the Westerville Concert Band, a community band of over 80 local musicians who perform throughout central Ohio. He lives in Hilliard with his wife Emily, their newborn daughter Rylee, and their four-year old beagle, Cooper.
Kathy Larkins | Community Educator
Other nominees included
- Karla Cherwinski, Canal Winchester Schools
- William Giacomelli, Hilliard City Schools
- Angel Hillyard, West Jefferson Schools
- Kara Johansen, Worthington City Schools
- Debra Keller-Perry, Columbus City Schools
- Becky Ogden, Columbus Montessori Education Center
- James Becker, The Wellington School
- Lynette Burris, Pleasant Local Schools
- Ann Johnson, Whitehall-Yearling HS
- Josh Reynolds, Columbus City Schools
- Keith Watson, River View Local Schools
- Catherine Willis, founder of the Urban Strings Columbus Youth Orchestra
Who should be nominated for CSO Music Educator awards?
Nominees should be Music Educators in the Central Ohio region who:
- Make a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds.
- Routinely go "above and beyond the call of duty by extending efforts beyond the classroom.
- Make a significant impact on their community through music education.
- Instill a life-long appreciation of music in their students.
- Inspire students to reach appropriately high levels of musical understanding and ability.
- Demonstrate longevity in the field of music education by their many years of work.