Education in Music Award


koehneJane Kuehne, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Assisted by: Robert Lyda, Notasulga School (K-12), Notasulga, Alabama

2010 Robby D. Gunstream Education in Music Award

November 2010 – April 2014

Third and Fourth Grade Students and University Music Education Students

Music education students from Auburn University went to Notasulga High School (K-12) starting in November of 2010, and began teaching students in a variety of ways, leading to a musical performance of original student work(s). AU students began by reading 3 stories to the Notasulga students. Using those stories as a basis, they worked together to create original stories, with similar types of characters. They then worked to create short musical themes for each character in the students’ original stories. The AU students created short student-based compositions (arrangements) using the themes that were created by the 3rd and 4th graders. Finally, the university students taught the students how to play the compositions, culminating in a final performance of the works on April 21-22 2011. 

A very important goal of this project was to extend the AU students’ experiences to schools that are different from the schools in which they grew up, and to help provide them with positive direct teaching experiences in an unfamiliar environment.  The Notasulga School is at 100% poverty level as defined by the U.S. Federal Government guidelines for Title I funding.  It is a rural community and the population is not transient. They do not leave their community, even though the university is only 20 minutes away. 

The positive outcomes resulting from this project can be seen in several ways. First, the Notasulga students have been highly motivated to participate, and seek a high level of quality in their themes, and in how they are learning to play the arrangements. Second, the AU students’ perceptions of at-risk, rural, high poverty students have changed dramatically, in positive ways. Based on a questionnaire they completed, they became “less afraid” and “more open” to teaching in an at-risk school setting.

More information about this project can be found at: 


2019-2020 Education in Music Award
Leah Schuman, VanderCook College of Music

As of February, 2020, the One City program at VanderCook College of Music is thriving.  Enrollment is currently at 6 students over our target enrollment for the 2019-2020 schoolyear, with a total of 66 children enrolled in three jazz bands and an honors jazz combo.  These are students from some of the lowest income neighborhoods in Chicago.  They receive high quality new instruments and outstanding instruction at One City, and the students are thriving.  Their December concert was a huge success, with a packed house of proud family members, friends, community leaders, and One City supporters.  In addition to the One City ensembles’ separate performance, the concert ended with a combined performance of a New Orleans Brass Band-style piece called “Unane.”  All 66 students and their teachers performed together while Dr. Roosevelt Griffin directed and played the bass line on his Sousaphone while moving around the audience and the stage.

One City is also doing well in terms of fundraising.  In addition to the generous support we received from the College Music Society in the form of the 2019-2020 Education in Music Award, One City has raised $31,205 since August 1 of 2019.  The revenue has been in the form of grants from the D’Addario Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, the Regenstein Foundation, the Field Foundation, and the McKee Foundation as well as generous support from individual donors.  We also have grant applications currently pending at the Mockingbird Foundation, the Paul M. Angell Foundation, and the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

Thank you to the CMS for helping us make it possible for the One City students to have the opportunity to experience the joy, the teamwork, and the discipline that come from learning to play an instrument and be part of an ensemble.  And thank you also for helping VanderCook’s collegiate music education majors be a part of this program where they receive valuable hands-on experience teaching children and helping achieve greater equity and broader access in the field of music education.


One City Group Photo – September 2019



One City Student with her new trombone.



One City’s Nat King Cole Honors Combo rehearses

Suzanne L. Burton (University of Delaware), Newark, Delaware

Assisted by: Brian Bersh, Shari Feldman, and Kathryn Makos (University of Delaware)

Boise-Eliot Elementary School, Portland, Oregon

October 23, 2009

Project MUSIC teaching artists musically engaged three separate classes of children. (ages 7 – 9)

This project helped students learn new musical concepts and skills through close interaction with teaching artists. The children were musically engaged in singing, rhythmic chanting, playing instruments, movement, and labeling. Specifically, the students accompanied newly learned songs with body percussion and were taught gestures to indicate basic dynamics. These gestures led the students into conducting the teaching artists. In addition, they moved to music, sang songs at different tempi, and engaged in playing small instruments. Students were enthusiastic and participated whole heartedly.  A thank-you letter from the children and their music teacher indicated the event’s success in engaging the children in the presentation. It further suggested that the music teacher would integrate what she had learned from the presentation into her future music classes.  


Ana y su sombra (Ana and Her Shadow)
Kimberly Carballo (Indiana University Jacobs School of Music)
2013 Robby D. Gunstream Award

Assisted by:Roundabout Opera report

Gabriela Ortiz and Mónica Sánchez (Composer and Librettist)

Indiana Univ. School of Fine Arts; Indiana Univ. Department of Apparel Merchandising and Design (costume and set design and build, by students in classes in SoFA and AMaD)

Indiana Univ. Arts Administration program (practical support through student practicum projects)

Private donors:

City of Bloomington Arts Commission (grant for administrative support)

Indiana Univ.: La Casa – Latino Cultural Center (financial and educational support)

Indiana Univ.: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (grant for video camera and administrative support)

Puffin Foundation West (grant for production costs)

Indiana Univ. Service Learning Faculty Fellows (award for service learning course development, for which ROK is a community partner)

ROK Cincy: a pilot program of ROK in Cincinnati, Ohio (grants awarded and partially funding repertoire development for all associated programs of ROK)

Indiana Campus Compact: Service Engagement Summit, Indianapolis 2013 (invited poster session on ROK and present and future projects, including Ana y su sombra)


This project is being presented in the greater Bloomington, Indiana area

The project premiered on Saturday Sept. 14, 2013. There will be ongoing performances throughout the 2013-14 school year.

Ana y su sombra is ROK’s 2013-14 repertoire for elementary-school-aged audiences; the world premier was a free performance given at the Monroe County Public Library in Bloomington, IN on 9-14-13 to a full-house audience composed of children, parents, and other community members. Since then, it has been performed at local schools, with a total of 35 anticipated performances for the 2013-14 school year.

This project is part of ROK’s ongoing mission to add works to the operatic repertoire that are accessible to young audiences and to perform age-appropriate opera for children free of charge.

operaRoundabout Opera for Kids (ROK) is an outreach and education group, which performs age-appropriate operas for children at area schools, libraries, and hospitals, at no cost. ROK provides its free performances and curriculum guides with the help of a rotating volunteer cast of music students from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and young emerging professional musicians. This activity not only supports arts education without cost to the schools, but also extends the performing experience and education of the university students and fosters a habit of community service by the musicians.

This particular project was the commissioning of Ana y su sombra, one of several operas that have been successfully commissioned and performed by ROK. The following is a brief description of Ana y su Sombra.

Ana is the daughter of diplomats, and she hides herself away out of terrible homesickness for Mexico. Her shadow wants to get out in the world where they are living; they part ways over the disagreement, and have to figure out if they can live separately--or how to reconcile.”


Dr. Cassandra Eisenreich, Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania
Robby D. Gunstream Awardee for 2015

Created in 2014, the Slippery Rock University Community Engagement Initiative: Learning Enhanced Through Music is an innovative music program specifically designed for preschool through elementary age students. The program currently serves the Head Start Preschool students from the Butler County Children’s Center in Butler, Pennsylvania. The preschool students are bused to Slippery Rock University once a week to participate in a forty-five minute interactive music class. The curriculum is two-fold in that it is aligned with the National Core Arts Standards and the VIA Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues. The main overarching goals of this program are to provide meaningful musical experiences for elementary aged children in low-income communities, enhance pre-teaching experiences for students at Slippery Rock University, and enrich the community at large. Classroom Goals and Objectives are directly linked to the National Standards for Music Education and inspire creating, performing, responding, and connecting in the classroom and across the curriculum.

Slippery Rock University music teacher Cassandra Eisenreich, center rear, holds her weekly music class for children. Photo: Heidi Murrin | Trib Total Media (PA)


Robert Rosen
Gunstream Award 2014


Very Young ComposersThe core of the Very Young Composers of Central Wisconsin (VYC) program is the creation of original music by thirty 4th and 5th graders. The curriculum is modeled after the Very Young Composers program run by the Education Department of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The class is a four-week after-school class that meets three times a week in January. The young composers are aided by a group of volunteer undergraduate music majors (TAs) from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). At the end of the four-week class all of their compositions are performed in a public presentation. In the second phase of the program, a select group of six young composers go on to orchestrate their compositions for symphony orchestra or wind band. The orchestrated compositions are performed in the spring by the Stevens Point Area Senior High Orchestra and Wind Ensemble. Assisting the TAs and providing experienced guidance are three elementary school music teachers. During the orchestration phase of the program, additional guidance is provided by the head of music theory and composition at UWSP. Over the first four years of the program, over 100 4th and 5th graders have composed over 120 original compositions. Thirty-two young composers have orchestrated their compositions for symphony orchestra or wind band. Thirty-five UWSP music majors have served as TAs. 

Very Young Composers Poster