The Yamaha Corporation of America, which marked its 50th year of operation in the U.S. in 2010, presented a 50th Anniversary Year Partnership Award to Southern Methodist University in a ceremony in Caruth Auditorium on September 23. The award was presented to José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts, and Sam Holland, director of the Division of Music, by Eastern Regional Manager Fred Kleid and District Manager Michael Inman of Yamaha’s Keyboard Division.
In presenting the award, Inman said it recognizes schools that “took an early interest in using Yamaha products in their programs, embrace music technology as fundamental to the future of music education, and partner with Yamaha to provide local opportunities for area educators.” He said it also honors school administrators and faculty members who, in addition to their university positions, do “tremendous ecumenical work in the profession.”
“This award is only given to a select group of institutions who are leaders in incorporating technology and electronics in their music programs, and whose faculty are doing outstanding work in community outreach,” said Inman. He cited as an example a talk given by Dr. Holland at a recent Mid-Cities Music Teachers Association meeting, noting that his comments to music teachers of high school students interested in music careers were both frank and forward-looking.
Other schools that have received the prestigious award include the Berklee College of Music in Boston and The San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Inman said that North Texas is a notable region for music appreciation. “This is ‘Piano Town America,’“ said Inman. “The area has nationally recognized university piano programs, and genuine community interest – so many people here truly enjoy and seek out piano performances, more so than in other areas of the country.”
The award plaque will be permanently displayed in the SMU Meadows Division of Music office.