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WCU Director of Athletic Bands named semifinalist for 2023 Music Educator Award

The Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools.

The 2023 Music Educator Award semifinalists are from 25 cities across 18 states and were selected from more than 1,205 initial nominations from across 47 states. The finalists will be announced in December, and the ultimate recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY Week 2023.

Jack A. Eaddy, Jr., a native of Orangeburg, SC, is the Director of Athletic Bands at Western Carolina University, where he serves as the Director of Pride of the Mountains and conducts the Symphonic Band in the School of Music. Prior to his appointment at WCU, Dr. Eaddy served as Assistant Director of Bands at McNeese State University and the University of South Carolina, where he assisted with athletic bands, including the Pride of McNeese Marching Band and the Carolina Band, as well as taught music education courses.

The annual Music Educator Award is open to current U.S. music teachers. Anyone can nominate a teacher, including students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves. Nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Dr. Eaddy earned the Doctor of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from the University of North Texas. He holds a Master of Music in Wind Conducting from the University of Georgia, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Florida State University. As Director of Bands at Oak Ridge High School, Dr. Eaddy developed a flourishing program that was recognized throughout the state of Florida for maintaining the highest standards in spite of the challenges that many of its students experienced. Dr. Eaddy received the Florida Music Educators Association Tom Bishop Award that recognizes a director in the state of Florida who has turned a program around, making a positive difference in a short amount of time.

Dr. Eaddy has presented at state and national music conferences, including the Midwest Clinic and CBDNA Southern Division and Athletic Band Conferences. As a conductor, some of his honors include being a participant in the U.S. Pershing’s Own Army Band’s conducting workshop and receiving 2nd place for the 2020 American Prize in Conducting. Dr. Eaddy is an active drill writer, arranger, adjudicator, and clinician; and was a clinician at the inaugural National HBCU National Band Directors’ Conducting Symposium. Dr. Eaddy has earned a national reputation mentoring music directors and convenes two professional development seminars: Listen Up!!! score study sessions, and the Conductors’ reToolbox, as well as hosts a national podcast, Tales from the Band Room, that focuses on strengthening music education programs in urban communities to have a life-long impact on students. His professional affiliations include the National Association for Music Education, the College Band Directors National Association, Kappa Kappa Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Mu Alpha, and Pi Kappa Lambda, Music Honor Society. Dr. Eaddy has contributed to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series, published by GIA Music.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. They will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school’s music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.

The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.


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