Lee Snyder Named Grand Prize Winner of Phila. Youth Orchestra's 2019 Ovation Award
Legendary music teacher Lee Snyder, 77, of Huntingdon Valley, PA, who has been teaching at Settlement Music School for 47 years and has private students, was named as the grand prize winner of the 6th Annual Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO) Ovation Award in a surprise presentation. It took place in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center on Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 3 p.m. during the 79thAnnual Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Festival Concert. The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra's Ovation Award for Inspiration and Outstanding Leadership in Music Education has been honoring excellence in music instruction since its inaugural year in 2014. The Award honors music teachers in the Delaware Valley who not only successfully teach music to their students, but also instill confidence in them. The award is sponsored by J.W. Pepper, Jacobs Music Company with WRTI-90.1 as a partner.
Snyder was joined by many other finalists in a presentation hosted by WRTI-90.1's on-air host Kevin Gordon. Each finalist received a plaque provided by Jacobs Music Company, a J.W. Pepper gift card and an honorarium of $100. As the grand prize winner, Snyder received a crystal trophy made possible by Jacobs Music Company commemorating his award, a $500 gift card from J.W. Pepper, as well as a $1,000 honorarium. Directly after receiving the honor, Snyder, who was a finalist last year as well, said, "I never expected this. I am totally surprised." Snyder was one of 10 finalists nominated by current and former students. The nominators were asked to respond to the question, "How has my music teacher changed my life?" The nominees were then reviewed by a panel of judges including Rachael Ludwig, a Philadelphia-based professional violinist, Mary Javian, professional double bassist and faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music and Richard Dammers, professor and Dean of the College of Performing Arts at Rowan University. The panel chose the 10 finalists, as well as Snyder as the grand prize winner.
Lee Snyder was nominated by two people, both members of PYO, who were seated on the stage when Snyder was announced as grand prize winner. Grace Wei wrote in her nomination that she was "drawn to his humanity and that his belief in me sparked my genuine joy in music." Eric Gao wrote that he "has learned innumerable lessons, both in music and life and that Mr. Snyder is a role model and inspiration to me." What is remarkable about Snyder is that he has taught hundreds of students over the 40 years who have participated in PYO.
After Gordon announced Snyder as the winner on stage, the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, with 120 student musicians, performed its concert. The concert, conducted by Maestro Louis Scaglione, included the Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, Prokofiev's Symphony No. 5 and the world premiere of Orchestral Prelude in E Major, by Daniel Zarb-Cousin, who is the Third Annual Young Composers Competition Winner.
Snyder and the other finalists were invited to watch the PYO Concert after the completion of the Ovation Award ceremony. The list of the admirable 2019 musician/teacher finalists includes:
Brett Edmondson -- double bassist -- is a member of several orchestras with permanent positions with the Lancaster Symphony, Annapolis Symphony and Delaware Symphony and has played with the Philadelphia Orchestra
Alex Gittelman - teacher at Haverford Middle School and directs many bands and ensembles including the Haverford Summer Music Program. He is a member of many premier ensembles.
Elizabeth Guerriero Ph.D. -- a member of the music education faculty of Rowan University, an instructor at Rider University. She is president-elect of New Jersey American String Teachers Association.
Virginia Hermmann -- involved in many aspects of music education, Hermann is a 23-year veteran director of orchestras in the Upper Dublin School District at the high school and Fort Washington Elementary School
Rachel Ku - violist, member of Philadelphia Orchestra since 2004, when she was only 19 years of age and the youngest member of the prestigious orchestra. She is an award-winning soloist
Adriana Linares- Venezuelan violist and one of today's most talented Latin American ar tists. Included in her many musical activities, she is Founder and Ar tistic Director of ArCoNet, The
Artists & Community Network
Shannon Lee- violinist -- has been the concert master of many orchestras and been soloist with Seoul Chamber Orchestra. She performed throughout the world including at the Carnegie Hall 100th Anniversary Concert.
Charles Salinger - clarinetist -- Charly performs in most of Philadelphia's most prestigious orchestras and presenting organizations including the Delaware Symphony, playing principal clarinet with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and the Opera DelawareOrchestra as well. For over 40 years, he has substituted on saxophone as well as clarinet with the Phila. Orchestra and many others.
Nancy Voight -- Nancy Voigt teaches in the Abington School District where she directs the Junior and Senior High School Orchestras and Chamber Ensembles.
About Lee Snyder:
Lee Snyder received his Bachelor's degree from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Stuart Canin (Paganini Competition winner). He earned two Masters' Degrees-one from Juilliard School while studying with Ivan Galamian and Dorothy Delay and the other from State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was a member of the American Symphony under Leopold Stokowski and the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia under Anshel Brusilow. He has concertized in the US, Germany, and Central America. He has also performed concerti with several of the local orchestras. For many years, Mr. Snyder was a member of the Alverthorp Trio. As a teacher, Snyder is the Arthur Judson Distinguished Faculty Chair at Settlement Music School. He has had nine students perform as soloists with the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as having many students win the local community orchestra solo competitions. Two of his former students are presently members of the Philadelphia Orchestra while others have graduated from the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School of Music, Eastman, Cleveland Institute of Music, Peabody, and others. His students have positions in other major orchestra and there are a number of former students on the Settlement Music School faculty.
About Daniel Zarb-Cousin
Daniel Zarb-Cousin, 20, is a classical composer and musician living and attending conservatory in San Francisco. He was born in Southern California but spent most of childhood in rural West Virginia, eventually returning to "So-Cal" to complete middle and high schooling. As a young red-robed choir boy in the secluded wood of pastoral Arthur I. Boreman Elementary, Tyler County, WV, Zarb-Cousin was initiated into the beloved Art to which he now devotes all things. By music, he seizes redemptive beauty and utter refreshment of the human spirit. He is a creator who respects standards of beauty and musical virtue, these being his foremost muses. His orchestral works "Largo for Orchestra" and "Fantasy for Orchestra" have each been premiered by the Orlando Philharmonic -- it was with these works that Zarb-Cousin enjoyed two consecutive victories in the widely acclaimed annual contest, the National Young Composers Challenge. Daniel Zarb-Cousin leads an extremely focused musical lifestyle. He is a steadfast devotee of composer Anton Bruckner and champions his music with fierce piety. He teaches piano and choir at various schools in the Bay Area and is the presiding Tenor Section Leader at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in San Francisco. Zarb-Cousin's aspirations are Symphonic, and he intends to leave the canon with a cycle of great symphonies. As to master his craft, he is studying with Nadia
Boulanger-pupil David Conte at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he will attain his Bachelor's Degree.