Pamela Dawson Named Recipient Of The 2023 Music Educator Award

Pamela Dawson Named Recipient Of The 2023 Music Educator Award, Presented By The Recording Academy And GRAMMY Museum


Pamela Dawson of DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Texas, is the recipient of the 2023 Music Educator Award™presented by the Recording Academy® and GRAMMY Museum®. In addition, nine music teachers have been announced as finalists for the award. Initial nominations were submitted from 47 states. A complete list of the recipients is below.

The Music Educator Award recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the music education field and demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. The recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2023.
The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators.
Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.
Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. They will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school’s music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants.
The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.
Nominations and applications for the 2024 Music Educator Award are now open via 


  • Winner                              School                                                                City                                 State
    Phil Aguglia                     Kenmore East High School                        Tonawanda                 New York 

  • Finalists                            School                                                                City                                 State
    Phil Aguglia                      Kenmore East High School                        Tonawanda                 New York
    Ernesta Chicklowski        Roosevelt Elementary                                Tampa                         Florida
    Antoine Dolberry             P.S. 103 Hector Fontanez School             Bronx                          New York
    Jack A. Eaddy, Jr.            Western Carolina University                      Cullowhee                  North Carolina
    Marisa Frank                    Explore! Community School                       Nashville                    Tennessee
    Trevor Nicholas               Senn Arts at Nicholas Senn High School  Chicago                    Illinois
    Matthew Shephard          Meridian Early College High School         Sanford                     Michigan
    Tony Small                        Pallotti Arts Academy                                  Laurel                        Maryland
    Alice Tsui                          New Bridges Elementary                             Brooklyn                    New York


Pamela Dawson began studying music at the age of 7 on the piano. She continued in music throughout her education and was greatly influenced by her God-Sister, Dorothy Ashby, a well renowned jazz harpist. She graduated from Cass Technical High School as a vocational music major and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications & Theater with an emphasis in music from Eastern Michigan University. She began her teaching career in 1995 in Detroit, Michigan and was the Head Choral Director at several schools in the
metropolitan area. Dawson is currently in her 27th year of teaching and her 16th year in Texas at DeSoto High School. Choirs under her direction have consistently earned numerous sweepstake ratings in Contest and Sight-Reading, Best in Class, and Outstanding Performance awards at festivals on the local, state, national, and international levels, including a tour and performance in London. Dawson is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, American Harp Society, Texas Choral Directors Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and has previously served as the Chair for the DeSoto Arts Commission for six years. Dawson was previously a finalist for the Music Educator Award in 2021. In 2022, she was inducted into the DeSoto School ISD Hall of Honors for special achievements and honors in her career, for making an impact in the community and the district, and for her service to education and the DeSoto ISD.

The GRAMMY Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating and exploring music from yesterday and today to inspire the music of tomorrow through exhibits, education, grants, preservation initiatives, and public programming. Paying tribute to our collective musical heritage, the Museum values and celebrates the dynamic connection in people’s diverse backgrounds and music’s many genres, telling stories that inspire us, and creative expression that leads change in our industry.

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The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers, and all music professionals. Dedicated to ensuring the recording arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, the Academy honors music’s history while investing in its future through the GRAMMY Museum, advocates on behalf of music creators, supports music people in times of need through MusiCares®, and celebrates artistic excellence through the GRAMMY Awards® — music’s only peer-recognized accolade and highest achievement. As the world’s leading society of music professionals, we work year-round to foster a more inspiring world for creators.

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