Press Release - May 2015 - Partnership of MSO and Worcester County Public Schools to Receive Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award


The MSO is excited to announce that from a diverse pool of applicants, the partnership between the MSO and Worcester County Public Schools has been selected to participate in the 2015 Symposium on Music in Schools and receive the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award. This year's Symposium, which will take place June 4-7, 2015, on the Yale campus in New Haven, CT, focuses on partnerships between professional music organizations and public school music programs and will facilitate high-level discussion about the importance of music in young people's lives.

The Yale School of Music is a graduate professional school of Yale University.  While the School does not offer degree programs in music education, it creates awareness in its students about the role that music can play in the development of a better world. This effort has been enhanced by the establishment of the Music in Schools Initiative in 2007, thanks to the generous 50th reunion class gift by the Yale College Class of 1957.


As part of the award, the travel, room and board, and conference expenses of two participants from each partnership (one from the public school and one from the professional music organization) will be paid by the Yale School of Music.  Lisa Adams, Music Teacher, Worcester County Public Schools, and JoFran Falcon, Vice President of Education and Outreach, MSO Board of Directors, will represent the partnership at the Symposium.

For several years, JoFran has worked closely with the Worcester County Public Schools to provide students an opportunity to get interested in and excited about playing orchestral instruments.  For this school system, she has arranged for the MSO to perform concerts, execute one-on-one workshops and master classes, offer instrument exploration, participate in career days, and provide the Noteworthy Program, an instrument loan program.  In this program, students from low-income families can 'check out' an instrument from the central office, rather than having to rent one.  In addition, the MSO helps to support a local artist-in-residence, Monika Lilley, instructor of the A-B-C Me Play program. This program is directed by Patricia Barrett, an MSO Honorary Director and a former MSO Board President.  Recently, Monika came to Buckingham Elementary School, a school without an instrumental program, and taught 82 fourth grade students to play the violin in five weeks (two-three lessons per week).  Alongside music teacher Julia Young, Monika worked with the students and taught them to play a song and perform various violin techniques.  MSO master classes are also currently being conducted in Sussex County, DE.

Only about $200-$500 comes from the Worcester County education budget for this music partnership.  The MSO provides the rest of the funding and is very thankful to the private donors, local civic organizations, and local art councils who have made donations specifically to fund the MSO Education and Outreach Program.

Guy McIntosh