Two California educators vie for 2017 Grammy

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Two California music teachers, Keith Hancock and Henry Miller, are among ten finalists chosen for this year’s Grammy Award for Educator in Music.

Keith Hancock is in his 15th year teaching choral music, all at Tesoro High School, where he directs over 250 students in five curricular and four extra-curricular ensembles, and runs the Music Production/Audio Engineering program.  Last year, Mr. Hancock was selected as a Grammy Music Educator finalist and was recently awarded the Secondary Vocal Music Teacher of the Year for Orange County, California.

The Tesoro music program was chosen as one of five Grammy Signature Schools of Excellence nationwide for 2015. The Tesoro Vocal Ensemble under his direction has been invited to perform at the ACDA Western Division Conference in 2012 and 2016, as one of four high schools in the Western U.S.  The Tesoro choirs have performed to rave reviews in Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, Ireland, and Carnegie Hall, New York.  In addition, ensembles under his direction have won two Golden State Championships and three Barbershop Harmony Society High School Quartet Championships.

Mr. Hancock has earned three degrees (Summa cum Laude) and is a former faculty member at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University. As a performer, he has sung in Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, the Orange County Performing Arts Center, and with the Cypress Pops Orchestra, and various venues around Europe and Asia. Mr. Hancock has been married to his beautiful wife and fellow music teacher, Carly, since 2003, and they have two sons, Joel and Chase.

Henry Miller received his Bachelors of Music degree from California State University, Long Beach in 1989 and received his professional clear teaching credential the following year.  He earned membership in several professional musical organizations and honor societies including Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Kappa Phi, and Kappa Delta Pi. In 1998, he graduated from CSULB with a Masters of Music degree in trumpet performance and instrumental music conducting and was listed on the Graduate Dean’s List of University Arts and Scholars.

He has taught instrumental music in the Irvine Unified School District since the fall of 1990 and has taught at every grade level from third grade up through university graduate. He is the Director of Instrumental Music at Sierra Vista Middle School where he teaches three bands, three orchestras, and jazz band. He also annually co-conducts the Fine Arts Summer Music Program in Irvine.

He was selected as “Teacher of the Year” for the IUSD Department of Fine Arts in 1999 and in 2016, was selected as “Middle School Teacher of the Year” for the District and semi-finalist for “Teacher of the Year” for Orange County.  He has been recognized twice by the Orange County Music and Arts Administrators with an “Outstanding Arts Educator Award”, and in 2013, he was presented with the “Irene Schoepfle Lifetime Achievement Award” for Distinguished Contributions to Orange County music education.

Mr. Miller is sought-after as a clinician on the subjects of trumpet pedagogy and teaching methodology and has presented many workshops for professional organizations in California. He has directed many ensembles including those at the professional and university level and honor groups in the Irvine, Long Beach, Capistrano, ABC, and Ocean View School Districts.

Music Educator nominees are evaluated based on demonstrated evidence they have made a measurable difference in the lives of students, a lasting contribution to the field of music education and are exemplars of the best in the field. Finalists have shown a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in our schools and have made a significant impact on their educational community.

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