Rebecca Root Davis named Educator of the Year
Rebecca Root Davis has been named Educator of the Year for 2013 by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Davis, who teaches Instrumental and General Music at South Seneca Elementary School, was nominated by the RPO Musicians’ Awards Committee for this special award which honors exceptional music educators in public and private schools from the city of Rochester and the nine-county surrounding area.
Since joining the faculty at South Seneca a decade ago, Davis has created an inclusive band program, making “loaner” instruments available to every student by seeking and obtaining used instruments from around the Rochester and Finger Lakes areas. Her South Seneca Elementary Band students also present an annual “Coffee House/Talent Show” to raise money for new instruments.
Student participation in the elementary band has increased to over 85 percent of the 4th and 5th grade enrollment and she has also augmented the program to include Jazz Band and Marching Band. Each year, Davis composes a new march for the Marching Band, which they perform in three local parades, serving the communities in their area. The South Seneca Elementary Marching Band has traveled as far as Holland, Michigan, where they participated in the Tulip Festival Kinder Parade.
Before beginning her public school teaching career at South Seneca, Davis performed as Principal Horn with the Rochester Philharmonic, the New Orleans Philharmonic, the Chautauqua Symphony, the Aspen Chamber Symphony, Central City Opera and the Chautauqua Opera, and as Third Horn with the Denver Symphony. She has served as adjunct faculty at Roberts Wesleyan College, Houghton College, Nazareth College, and as Horn Professor at the Chautauqua Music Festival. Many of her former students are now serving as professional musicians in orchestras and as teachers in colleges, universities, and public schools around the world.
In December 2012, Davis presented a master class on “The Art of Teaching French Horn” for the New York State School Music Association Conference. Her South Seneca Horn Club, comprised of horn students in grades 4 through 12, performed her arrangements at the master class.
The Awards will be presented at the RPO Philharmonics concert in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre on May 9, 2013. This concert is dedicated to those educators who inspire, encourage and challenge young musicians on a daily basis. A block of tickets has been reserved for South Seneca area families who wish to attend the concert for $18 for adults and $10 for students. To reserve tickets, call the Eastman Theatre Box Office at (585) 454-2100 and mention Rebecca Root Davis by name. It is hoped that a large contingent from the South Seneca School District will be present as Davis receives this award.