Broadcast Music, Inc. Executive Director, Online Communications David Bills fondly remembers his high school music teacher Kent Knappenberger. Bills studied with Knappenberger at Westfield Academy and Central School in Westfield, New York, back in the 1990s. Remaining inspired after all this time by his teacher, who has worked tirelessly to promote music in schools, Bills entered Knappenberger’s name to win the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year Award. With similar support from other students, Knappenberger was one of 30,000 educators across the nation nominated for the award, and after the submission of a four-minute teaching video, two detailed essays and a six-minute video about his teaching philosophy, Knappenberger was notified that he was among the top 25 nominees. Next, during the press conference in which all of the GRAMMY nominees were announced, Knappenberger was revealed as one of the 10 finalists. Finally, in a live broadcast of the CBS Morning Show on January 21, 2014, Knappenberger found out he had won the prestigious award, for which he was recognized in the audience during the live GRAMMY ceremony on January 26.
“There’s no one more deserving of this award than Kent Knappenberger,” said BMI’s David Bills. “His love of music is infectious. So much so, that I’m proud to work in the music industry and continue to play music after having had him as one of my first teachers.”
Join us in congratulating Mr. Knappenberger on this impressive award!