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Outstanding Community Service Award Recipients

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Congratulations to our past award recipients for their work in enhancing the string community within the state! MNASTA awards began in 1986 when Teacher of the Year and Outstanding Community Service awards were first presented. The following year, the Meritorious Orchestra Award was added to recognize on-going excellence in a school or youth orchestra program. In 1990, Outstanding String Educator was added to recognize significant achievements in school teaching. This award was renamed Master String Educator in 1997. In 1990 and 1991, two awards for individual accomplishments were presented, one named Teacher of the Year and one name Master Teacher. Since 1992, this award has been known as Master Teacher. MNSOA awarded Teacher of the Year from 1996-1997.


Beginning in 1998, MNSOTA has presented four annual awards: Master Teacher - Studio, Master Teacher - School Orchestra, Meritorious Orchestra Program, and Community Service Award.

2022

Neil Trainor - Dolliff Insurance

2021

Suzanne Block - Youth Advantage Program, Stillwater

2020

Monticello Community Strings Orchestra - directed by Kara Mather, Rachel Vannett, and Michelle Schettler-Stein

2019

All Strings Attached

2018

Steven Eckblad and Beverly Williams - St. Cloud

2017

Deborah Sittko - MNSOTA leadership

2016

Kristine Wiese - MNSOTA Honors Orchestra leadership

2015

David Arnott - Director, Upper Midwest String Camp

2014

Claire Givens Violins

2013

Kerri LeJeune - accompanist

2012

Stella Anderson - MNSOTA leadership

2011

Carl Anderson - Minneapolis Schools instrument repair

2010

Amir Kats - GTCYS Artistic Director

2009

Michael Watson - MNSOTA website

2008

Doug Geston - Westmark Productions recordings

2007

Faith Farr - MNSOTA String Notes editor

2006

Tom Nelson - Superintendant of SoWashCo district

2005

Jim Bartsch - Minnesota Orchestra Director of Education

2004

Julie Guerber - MNSOTA leadership

2003

Susan Garrelts - accompanist

2002

MacPhail Center for Music - Outreach Programs

2001

Harry Dunscombe - Director, Upper Midwest String and Chamber Music Conference

2000

John Farr - layout and graphic design for String Notes

1999

House of Note

1998

Gary Alan Wood - Minnesota Orchestra Education Outreach

1998

Minnesota Sinfonia - Jay Fishman conductor

1997

Richard Zgodava - accompanist

1996

Thelma Johnson - accompanist

1993

Norman Selness - Upper Midwest String and Chamber Music Conference founder, private teacher

1992

Playing (less) Hurt Conference - Janet Horvath director

1991

Minnesota Youth Symphonies - Claudette and Manny Laureano, co-music directors

1990

Clifford Brunzell - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra member, Hopkins High School Orchestra founder, Golden Strings founder/leader, Jazz Quartet leader

1989

Richard Massman - UM professor and String Task Force chair

1988

James Berg - Robbinsdale Public Schools and GTCYS

1987

Schmitt Music Company

1986

Orchestra Fellowship Program - administered by Susan Vaughan through the MNDoE


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