George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education Award


Developed by the National Association for Music Education and Music for All, the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education Award is named for the late George Parks, Director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band. Considered a national authority on drum majoring, Mr. Parks led the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy at the Music for All Summer Symposium.

The George N. Parks Award honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks showed his students every day.

The recipient must demonstrate:

  • Collaborative spirit
  • Dedication to knowing students as individuals
  • Perseverance and enthusiasm
  • Ability to instill qualities in students beyond achievement in music

Nominate a Director for 2019

NAfME and Music for All will hold an open nomination period for the George N. Parks Award through September 9, 2019. Please send the following information to if you wish to nominate a candidate:

1. One page, typed, double-spaced word document detailing why the band director should be a candidate for nomination.
2. First and last name, email address, physical address, and phone number for you and your nominee.

Indviduals selected as finalists will be contacted by phone. Finalists who wish to be considered for the award will be asked to complete a short biographical survey and submit two letters of recommendation from colleagues in the music education profession.

Members of the Music for All board of directors and the NAfME Council for Band Education will select the recipient based on the criteria, and information submitted with the nomination.

The recipient will be brought to Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis in November 2017 to accept the award on the field. The recipient will be listed on the NAfME website following the award presentation. 


2018 George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education Award Recipient

Music for All and NAfME honored David LaMorte, Assistant Principal of Visual, Performing, and Career Arts at Tottenville H.S., NY with the 2018 George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education Award.


David LaMorte, 2018 recipient

Past recipients

2017 – Marisa Weinstein, Director at Warsaw M.S., ME
2016 – Thom Hannumm, Associate at the University of Massachusetts
2015 – Patrick M. Erwin, Director of Bands at Hillgrove H.S., GA
2014 – Cynthia Napierkowski, Director of Bands at Salem High School in Salem, MA
2013 – Dr. Barry Shepherd, Superintendent of Cabarrus County Schools, NC
2012 – Daniel Kirk, Blue Valley West H.S., KS
2011 – Dr. Peter Boonshaft, Hofstra University, NY