Teacher Who Created Orchestra For Students With IDD Wins Grammy
Grammy Awards aren’t just for the likes of Taylor Swift and SZA. A high school music teacher who started an orchestra for students with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities took one home too.
Annie Ray, the orchestra director and performing arts department chair at Annandale High School in Virginia, received the Music Educator Award last weekend, an annual honor handed out by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum to recognize those who have made a “significant and lasting contribution” to the field of music education.
Ray was selected for her work promoting universal access to music education, in particular for creating a parent orchestra that allows nearly 200 caregivers to learn an instrument alongside their kids and the Crescendo Orchestra program, which teaches students with disabilities to play music.
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The award was presented to Ray at the Recording Academy’s Special Merit Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles. She also attended the Grammy Awards where she hobnobbed alongside stars of the music industry.
“This award, it’s my students’ award 100%,” Ray said during an interview backstage at the Grammys. “They are the coolest kids in the world at Annandale High School.”
Ray will receive a $10,000 honorarium and a matching grant for her school’s music program.
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