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Nassau BOCES Partnership wins Yale Music Award

Beatrice and David Wiley


Nassau BOCES, in partnership with Uniondale UFSD and Long Island Philharmonic, have been selected as a winner of the 2015 Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award. This year's awards focused on partnerships between professional music organizations and public school music programs.

The Performance Partners residency program, established in 2007 and consisting of Nassau BOCES Arts in Education, Long Island Philharmonic and Nassau County school districts, is designed to help students develop a lifelong interest in music and open their minds to the opportunities available to them through music. These partnerships for orchestra, band and chorus include intense coaching sessions, sectional rehearsals, conductor and dress rehearsals, and a side-by-side concert for the community. The success of the Uniondale partnership is due to the collaborative effort of the partnership's lead teacher, Orchestra Director Beatrice Flipse, Long Island Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor David Stewart Wiley, Education Coordinator Jane Park and the Arts in Education program at BOCES.

The 2015 winners, 38 partnerships around the country, include such prestigious organizations as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Opera and the Cleveland Orchestra. The winners will attend the fifth annual Yale Symposium on Music in Schools which facilitates high-level discussions about the importance of music in young people's lives and gives the winners a chance to strategize and network.

"The partnership has been a wonderful opportunity for Uniondale music students to rehearse side-by-side professional musicians and to meet an important curriculum goal - advanced level study and performance of repertoire in preparation for college-level playing," said Ms. Flipse. "My students have developed greater musicality, motivation and self-confidence by working with the Long Island Philharmonic. This is an experience which they would not otherwise have been afforded."

"We initially developed the partnership program with the Philharmonic and currently oversee it, manage the financial aspects of the program, and schedule and participate in planning sessions designed to address student needs," stated Joanne Spencer, Program Specialist, Nassau BOCES Arts in Education.

During the seven years of this partnership, Uniondale students have also had the opportunity to attend Philharmonic concerts and master classes. Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor Wiley has participated in Uniondale's Grade 5-12 district summer music programs, providing opportunities for students to learn conducting technique, to play music under his baton, to hear about a musician's life, and to meet and talk to a professional conductor. In addition to mentoring students, Philharmonic coaches provide free lessons, lend instruments, assist with college audition preparation and applications, and have been influential in helping Uniondale students obtain auditions with prestigious pre-college music programs and conservatories.