Music Educators




 The Columbus Symphony would like to offer each Central Ohio music teacher two free tickets for each Masterworks series during the 2023-2024 season!


How the subscription card works:


* Sign Up for your free subscription card using the link: click here


* Present your subscription card at the box office beginning Monday of each concert week to receive two seats in the best available seats. 


* Show a school ID to redeem the tickets which you may use for yourself or give to students, family, colleagues, or friends. 


* The subscription card is not a one-use card but may be used multiple times throughout the season - one concert per program weekend.


* The subscription card is not transferrable


Music Teachers employed in schools in the following counties are eligible for this offer 


   Delaware     Licking     Pickaway 


   Franklin       Maidson   Union 


** Some restrictions may apply.  All tickets are subject to availability









Elementary Educator 

*WINNER* Brian Petit, Stevenson Elementary- Grandview Heights Schools 

 Brian Petit is in his 13th year of teaching, all of which have been in the Grandview Heights Schools. He teaches K-3 general music at Stevenson E.S., and has prior teaching experience with beginning band (5th grade trumpet and trombone), 4th and 5th grade general music, and class guitar. At Stevenson, he is a member of the school PBIS Team (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and an inaugural member of the district’s DEI Team (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion). Brian is a graduate of The Ohio State University (BME, summa cum laude) and Capital University (MME, with distinction). Although he considers the Kodály methodology his “home base”, he has also explored leveled courses in other methodologies (Orff, American Eurythmics Society, World Music Drumming, and Teaching Guitar Workshop). He is a past member of TBDBITL, a member of OAKE, and a passionate pursuer of the nexus between music and culture, history and art. Brian’s educational philosophy centers on the belief that music is for everyone (and, everyone is for music!) However, he also holds to the belief that music education is a means to an end (not an end, in-and-of itself.) Consequently, he believes that musical fluency should be a catalyst for opening one’s mind and heart to the great expressions, histories, cultures, and stories of our shared human experience.


Jennifer Sugerik - Columbus School for Girls

Jennifer Sugerik currently teaches grades 4 through 12 in general music, choral music, and piano at the Columbus School for Girls. This is her 30 th year teaching and a recent return to Ohio. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, she began her career in the Medina County Schools. After marriage, she taught in Virginia, northern Ohio, then North Carolina for 22 of those years. She has taught all grade levels and enjoys the distinct differences of music education for every age group. As a 30+ years member of NAfME, her students earned consistent Superior Ratings at Contest and have earned positions in state honor’s choirs. She hosted the NCMEA festival contest for 15 years. Her love for music and music education has encouraged many former students to pursue careers in music such as opera, church music, musical theater, sound design, talent management, composing, and teaching. Jennifer exposes her students to various opportunities in music exploration and participation. Her CSG 1 st graders learn about sound, science, and the pipe organ. In tandem with the Science Specialist, this lesson culminated with a trip to a local church to explore the pipe organ. The faculty at CSG frequently work together integrating lessons with music. Jennifer and her students have participated in workshops and have made music with Chanticleer, Manhattan Transfer, Eric Whitacre, UNC Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State University, Paul Winter Consort, Paul Haley, Pete Seeger, and appeared in a movie with Anna Kendrik and Ben Stiller. Her CSG students are in music class every other day and shared with Strings or Band. In choral/general music they play Orff instruments, sing, dance, create, and act through a combination of methods such as Orff, Kodaly, and Dalcroze. She believes everyone has a musician inside of them and experiencing the beauty, community, and fun of music making is integral to the well-being of humanity. She thanks her student, Fiona, for nominating her



Secondary Educator 

*WINNER* Dr. Brandon Moss, Upper Arlington High School - Upper Arlington City School District 

Dr. Brandon L. Moss is Vocal Music Director at Upper Arlington High School, where he directs four ensembles and teaches IB Music. Prior to this, he served for many years as Director of Choirs at Central Crossing High School in Grove City, where he directed the award-winning CCHS Chorale and several other choral ensembles. Now in his 18 th year of teaching, Moss has also taught vocal, instrumental, and generalmusic in grades 5-12 at Westfall Local Schools, Three Rivers Local Schools, and Dover City Schools, and at the collegiate level at Otterbein University and The Ohio State University. Choirs under Dr. Moss’ direction consistently receive Superior ratings at Ohio Music Education Association Adjudicated Events and have earned top places at Music in the Parks competitions. He has also coached numerous students to Superior and Excellent ratings at Solo & Ensemble and into the Ohio All-State Chorus and All-National Honor Choir. In 2023, Dr. Moss conducted the Upper Arlington High School Vocal Ensemble in an invited performance at the OMEA Professional Development Conference. As a high school teacher, Moss has produced and music-directed numerous musicals, including Guys & Dolls, Catch Me if You Can, The Sound of Music, Little Shop of Horrors, Beauty and the Beast, and 42 nd Street, which earned CAPA’s Marquee Award for Best Musical in 2022. Dr. Moss is also Director of Music at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, where he has served for 12 years. An active conductor, adjudicator, and clinician, he has directed, assistant-directed, and worked with several other community, school, and church choirs in Central Ohio, including the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, The Magpie Consort, and Clintonville Community Choir. As a performer, he often sings as a tenor soloist and chorister throughout Ohio. Moss is Past-President of the Ohio Choral Directors Association, where he presided during the pandemic years, pioneering two highly successful virtual conferences. He has served the OCDA board for well over a decade in a variety of roles, including Conference Chair and Secretary. Moss has also served OMEA as District 15 President and as All-State Choir Chair in 2013 and 2018. Dr. Moss holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from The Ohio State University, the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from OSU, and the Bachelor of Music Education degree from Otterbein University.


Private/Community Educator 

*WINNER* Larry Klabunde, Westerville Community Band 

Larry Klabunde is the Music Director for the Westerville Community Bands, which includes various chamber ensembles, the Westerville Community Big Band, and the Westerville Concert Band. He conducts the Westerville Concert Band and plays trombone in the Westerville Community Big Band. Since Klabunde began directing the WCB in the fall of 2014, the band has promoted broad-based initiatives centered on the theme “Music for Life.” The band presents annual music scholarships to deserving Westerville students planning to major in music education and/or continue playing or singing in a college ensemble after high school. The WCB won a blind audition and performed at the 2018 National Association of Concert Bands Conference in Buffalo, NY. Starting in 2019, the WCB began partnering with the Westerville schools to feature their band students at an annual Young Person’s Concert. Early in the 2020 COVID pandemic, the band met via Zoom on a regular basis, with one of the band’s members composing a major patriotic work with narration. Band members recorded their parts in seclusion, which were professionally mixed, and premiered over Memorial Weekend of 2020 via a Virtual Video Recording presentation. When the city allowed the band to rehearse outdoors during the summer and fall months, the WCB made a recording of a newly arranged “flex edition” of movements from Lincolnshire Posy, and both that recording and the virtual recording were featured at the 2021 Ohio Music Education Association State Virtual Conference. In May 2021, the WCB performed the first public outdoor concert in central Ohio, welcoming back throngs of audience members to live performances. Throughout the years, the WCB enjoys commissioning new works for the concert band, and will continue to do so in the decades to come. After having graduated magna cum laude from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music in 1979, Klabunde toured with a Pennsylvania show band playing trombone. From 1980-2017, he taught as a fulltime music educator in both private and public schools. Since retirement from fulltime teaching in 2017, he has taught part time in public and private schools as well as serving as an adjunct music education professor at Cedarville University and Otterbein University. Prior to his current position with the Westerville Community Bands, in addition to being a school music educator, Klabunde’s involvement in community instrumental ensembles included conducting the Sinclair Community Concert Band, playing trombone in the Lansing (MI) Concert Band, the Sinclair Community Wind Ensemble (Dayton), and the Grace Brethren Orchestra (Worthington). For a season in each, he also played euphonium with the Worthington Civic Band, and English baritone with the Brass Band of Columbus. Klabunde earned his Masters in Music Education with an emphasis in instrumental conducting from The Ohio State University in 1985. As a Graduate Teaching Associate, he proudly conducted the OSU Marching Band and OSU University Band during his tenure at OSU. He also guest-conducted the OSU Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Marching Band on tour concerts. Klabunde maintains a private lesson studio based in his home in Powell, Ohio.



Amanda Guitry - Private Flute Teacher (Not Pictured)


Lifetime Achievement 

*WINNER* Samuel Richardson, Columbus Alternative High School- Columbus City Schools 

Drawing on over three decades of expertise, Mr. Richardson specializes in instrumental music education. Prior to embarking on his professional journey, he pursued an education at Jackson State University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Music Education degree in 1986. He continued his academic efforts at the Ohio State University, earning a Master of Arts degree in music in 1996. As a commitment to his field, Mr. Richardson has been active with several professional organizations, including the National Association for Music Education and the Ohio Music Education Association.

Mr. Richardson has built a prolific career serving as a music educator in the Columbus City Schools district for over 30 years. His tenure includes teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and working as a music arranger for the Columbus East, Eastmoor and West High school bands. Mr. Richardson has also found much success as the director of instrumental music at Columbus Alternative High School. As a professional musician he performed with Gene Walker’s Generations, The African-American Brass Ensemble under the direction of Ted Turner and with many big bands, church groups, jazz, and rhythm & blues groups in the Central Ohio area as a freelance musician.

Adjacent to his main responsibilities in the field, Mr. Richardson has been active as a department chair for Westmoor Middle School, Franklin Alternative Middle School and Columbus East High School where he served as Director of The Mighty Marching Tiger Band. Additionally, he has helped develop curriculum for the Columbus City Schools music department in the areas of orchestra, concert band and jazz band for grades 6-12. Well-regarded for his contributions to the field, Mr. Richardson has been honored as the conductor of All-City Orchestra (Middle School 1992), the conductor of All-City Concert Band (Middle School 1994), the co-conductor of The Columbus City Schools Jazz All-Stars (2012-2017). In 2002, Mr. Richardson was awarded the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s Music Educator of the Year for Secondary Schools. Mr. Richardson attributes much of his success to the guidance of his mentors, including his father, Carl Varnado and William W. Davis, as well as to his educational opportunities throughout his career. Looking toward the future, Mr. Richardson aspires to continue thriving in his career and hopes to be more involved in writing the curriculum for the jazz, orchestra and concert band programs in the school district.


Chris Carmean - Assistant Band Director and Percussion Instructor, Pickerington Local Schools

Chris Carmean has been an Assistant Band Director and Percussion Instructor in the Pickerington Local School District since 2001, where he teaches students in grades 6-12 at Pickerington High School North, Lakeview Junior High School, and Toll Gate and Harmon Middle Schools. Under his direction, the PHSN Percussion Ensemble performed at the OMEA Professional Development Conference in 2015, 2017, and 2019, and has performed annually at the Ohio State University Percussion Ensemble Festival (Dr. Susan Powell, host), receiving acclaim from guest artists including Anders Astrand, John Beck, Michael Burritt, Anthony Cirone, Mark Ford, and Neil Grover. PHSN has had 33 percussionists selected for OMEA All-State Band and Orchestra; students have also performed in the Capital University Honor Band, the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra, the OMEA South Central Regional Orchestra, and the Ohio State University Honors Band. Alumni have continued to perform at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Akron, Bowling Green State University, Capital University, Miami University, the University of Michigan, the University of Nebraska, The Ohio State University, and the University of South Carolina. To celebrate 20 years of percussion at PHSN, the percussion ensemble gave three world premieres and welcomed back over 30 graduates for a first of its kind alumni percussion ensemble at their 2023 concert. The newly formed PHSN Steel Band is preparing for its premiere performance at the Central Ohio Pan Fest. Originally from Findlay, Ohio, Mr. Carmean received a BM in Music Education and Performance from Miami University, where he was a founding member of the African Ensemble and Steel Band, and an MM in Music Performance from Duquesne University. He marched snare drum for two seasons with the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps from Casper, Wyoming. Following graduation from Duquesne, Mr. Carmean served on the faculty in the percussion department, and performed as an extra percussionist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, including a tour to South America. He has also performed with the New World Symphony (Miami, FL), the Naples Philharmonic (FL), and the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble. Mr. Carmean has been an Associate Musician with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, performing under conductors Rossen Milanov, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, Junichi Hirokami, Gunther Herbig, and film composer John Williams. Mr. Carmean performs frequently with the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra, has appeared in concert with Andrea Bocelli and Ben Folds, and performed at the 2011 Bach and Beyond Festival (Fredonia, NY). He is a percussion adjudicator for OMEA Solo & Ensemble and Marching Band Adjudicated Events, and has served as Junior High Affairs Chair and Marching Band Adjudications Chair on the OMEA Adjudicated Events Committee. Mr. Carmean is a member of the Vic Firth Education Team, has completed coursework through the Marching Roundtable Judge's Academy, and appeared as a guest on the Marching Roundtable Podcast. He has six percussion ensemble compositions and arrangements available through C.Alan Publications. Mr. Carmean is married to professional flutist Lindsey Goodman, and they reside in Pickerington with their champion non-sporting pro-napping Bichon Frise dog, Jack.


Dr. Jerome Maxwell - Northside Christian School

Dr. Jerome Maxwell was educated at The Ohio State University where he received a B.S. degree in Music Education and a M.A. in Vocal Pedagogy. Additional choral students with noted choral conductors have included Robert Shaw, Paul Salumonich, Weston Noble, Charlene Archibegque, Henry Leck, Moses Hogan, and Anton Armstrong. Dr. Maxwell taught choral music in the COlumbus Publuc Schools for twenty five years. Eighteen of which were spent at Walnute RIdge High School and seven years as Vocal Music Supervisor of all the Columbus Public Schools for grades 1 through 12. In 1983, just one year after his wife’s death, he became the principla at Northside Christian and continued to teach there for the next 25 years. After this he became the part-time music teacher in the upper school until the present-totalling 39 years at NCS. During the past 65 years of teaching he has received many honors, some of which include: Teacher of the year in 1970: The Columbus Jay Cees Plaque, Teachers Touch lives in 1985, Ministry of Music award in 2007 from The wilds Christian Camp and Conference Center, “Thank you for the Music” celebration for his 80 th Birthday in 1917 at the Walnut Ridge High School reunion, Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bob Jones University in May 2009 and numerous trophies and honors from various contests. 








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 - General Music, Chorus, or Instrumental educators who primarily work with grades K-6.          

* Secondary - General Music, Chorus, or Instrumental educators who primarily work with grades 7-12.              

* Private/Community - Any professional working within a community-based musical organization or private studio-based educators.

* Lifetime Achievement - Educators that have made significant contributions to music education and to the students of Central Ohio. Must have at least 10 years of teaching or experience to be considered.


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. The nomination process takes place each year from January-February. For additional information, please call (614) 221-4916.  


To see a list of past award recipients, CLICK HERE.