Columbus Symphony Announces 2013 Music Educator Award Winners; Ceremony Set for 3/3


The Columbus Symphony today announced the winners of the 2013 Music Educator Awards, honoring individuals who make a difference in the community through a dedication to music education, and their efforts to promote a greater understanding of and appreciation for music education.

Three nominees have been selected to receive a 2013 Music Educator Award in the categories of elementary, secondary, and community education. Each winner will receive a $2,500 grant to be spent at their discretion on a broad range of music education endeavors. Past winners have used these funds to host guest instructors, repair instruments, take professional development classes, and purchase new instruments, computer software, and music.

The winners will be presented with their awards at a brunch on Sunday, March 3, 2013, at The Westin Hotel followed by a presentation on the stage of the Southern Theatre preceding the Columbus Symphony concert that afternoon. Tickets to the awards brunch are $50 (includes CSO concert ticket) and can be purchased by calling 614-221-4916.

The 2013 Music Educator Award winners were selected based on the following criteria:

- Making a lasting difference in the lives of students of all abilities and backgrounds
- Routinely going "above and beyond the call of duty" by extending efforts beyond the classroom
- Making a significant impact on their community through music education
- Inspiring students to reach appropriately high levels of musical understanding and ability
- Demonstrating longevity in the field of music education by their many years of work

The winners of the 2013 Music Educator Awards are:

- Music Educator Award - Elementary Education
- Deborah Forsblom, General Music Teacher
- Bexley City Schools
- Cassingham Elementary School

Deborah Forsblom was a music history major until her senior year at Oberlin when she wisely switched to music education. She received a BA and BM from Oberlin College and Conservatory, and a MA from The Ohio State University. Forsblom began her teaching career in the Southwestern City School district and at various community churches where she directed the adult and children's choirs. She has periodically been a member of the Columbus Symphony Chorus for more than 30 years.

Forsblom has certification in Suzuki Piano Pedagogy, Kodaly, Orff-Schulwerkm, and Dalcroze-Eurhythmics. She taught in the Bexley City Schools for 21 years, co-producing original fifth grade musicals and directing a boys' choir and girls' choir. She instituted the Cassingham Winter Concerts for the band, orchestra, and choir students, and helped to create the Spring Middle School and Elementary School Choral Festival.

Forsblom is active in the Central Ohio Orff-Schulwerk Association Chapter 113, hosting workshops at her schools and presenting a session at the 2000 National Convention of the Organization of Kodaly Educators.

Music Educator Award - Secondary Education
Todd Phillips, Vocal Music Director
Canal Winchester High School

Todd Phillips received his Bachelor of Music Education from Miami University as a voice major and percussion minor. He holds a Master of Music in choral conducting from The Ohio State University. Now in his 28th year of teaching, he has taught everything from elementary general music, beginning band, high school percussion, and middle and high school vocal music. His first and second year music theory classes make extensive use of the high school MIDI lab and software including Finale, Alfred Music Theory, Band-In-A-Box, Sibelius, GarageBand, and Audacity. The music theory curriculum draws students from across the student population with a goal of becoming full-time professional musicians.

Under his direction, the Canal Winchester High School Vocal Department has consistently scored high ratings in OMEA Solo and Ensemble, District, and State Competitions. He also serves as Vocal Director for the annual high school spring musical. Since 2000, Phillips has also directed and arranged for the Canal Winchester's Steel Band program which consists of a middle school band, a high school beginning band, high school advanced band, and a community band. The program is one of the largest in the state, and has earned a national reputation by working with the top people in the art form including Andy Narell, Ray Holman, and Dr. Chris Tanner.