SMS Band Director Finalist for National Grammy Music Educator Award

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Dr. Gene Hundley has been selected as a Quarterfinalist for the 2022 MUSIC EDUCATOR AWARD™. With over 2000 nominees, a total of 219 music teachers from 204 cities have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by the Recording Academy® and GRAMMY Museum®. The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2022.

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers and each year one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students' lives. The eighth annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards® and a range of GRAMMY Week events. Additional finalists will receive an Honorarium with matching school grants.

Dr. Hundley has been a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) for 26 years and has served as District Secretary, District Chairman, and Band Chair. He also served on the GMEA State Board of Directors, Band Council, the Large Group Performance Evaluation Music Selection and All-State Committees. Dr. Hundley has been active as a Clinician for GMEA Honor bands as well as an adjudicator for Large Group Performance Evaluations. He has presented workshops to band directors and other educators on differentiation, data-based instruction, as well as the use of technology in music education and the use of Finale and Smartmusic as tools to enhance student achievement. Dr. Hundley has held memberships in the PAGE, IEEE, ACM, Tau Beta Sigma, and Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity and was recently inducted into Phi Beta Mu (the honorary International Band Directors Fraternity). He was also selected as both the Swainsboro Middle School and the Emanuel County Teacher of the Year in 2012 and again in 2019.

The Swainsboro Middle School Band program has grown from 3 band classes and 65 students in 1996 to five band classes, and I jazz band class with an average of 230 students. This is approximately 1/3 of the school’s student population enrolled in band. A wide range of performances are given each year ranging from Christmas and Spring Concerts, Greenjackets Baseball Games, Jazz Band Dinner Theater, Christmas Dinner Theater, and Community Performances for local civic groups and churches. SMS Band students have had opportunities to perform in New York, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Nashville, The Blue Bird Café, The Grand Ole Opry, and Carnegie Hall. The SMS Jazz band has won the statewide Jr. Beta Group talent competition 2 times and placed in the top 3 every other time they entered the competition. The SMS Band Concert Band is one of three bands in our district that has consistently received Superior ratings at the GMEA Large Group Performance Evaluation and had students selected to the Allstate Band for the past several years. Despite the fact that almost none of our students are able to take private lessons due to lack of private instructors in the area, we have had one of the highest district-wide averages of students participating in Solo and Ensemble Festivals, District Honor Bands, All-State Bands, and University of Georgia Honor Bands for the past several years.

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