A St. Louisan is among this year’s Music Educator Award semifinalists, announced by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum.
Harvey Lockhart is one of 25 music teachers from 25 cities in 18 states to be named a semifinalist. More than 3,300 teachers were nominated.
Lockhart was recognized for his work as band director at Riverview Gardens High School and performing arts coordinator of secondary education for the district and for his separate music, arts learning and performance nonprofit, the HEAL Center for the Arts. Over the summer, he became director of music programming at Cardinal Ritter College Prep.
“I’m humbled and honored to be considered for the work that I’m doing,” Lockhart said. “It’s always a blessing to have people recognize the work that I’m doing.”
As with awards he’s received in the past, he said, “It’s never about me. I’m always focused on the students, making sure they have high-quality instruction, that they’re given opportunities. This award will allow me to have the resources to reach more students. I believe that students need to perform as much as possible to reach their full potential and realize their gift.”
According to the announcement, the award “recognizes current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.”
Of the 25 semifinalists, 10 finalists will be announced in December; one will become the seventh annual honoree and attend the Grammy Awards ceremony and related events in January in Los Angeles.
The nine other finalists will receive $1,000, and all finalists’ schools will receive matching grants. The remaining 15 semifinalists each will receive $500, with their schools receiving the same amounts.
“Mr. Lockhart’s artistry and compassion make him truly deserving of this honor,” said Riverview Gardens School District spokesman Anthony Kiekow. “His contribution to the lives of our students was transformational. From musical instruction and performance opportunities to sound mentorship and unconditional love, Mr. Lockhart gave our students the tools they need to be successful in music and life.”
Getting more performance opportunities for his young singers and instrumentalists has helped them hone their skills; many have received full college scholarships. That’s true of his school students and of those who come from all over the region to study at HEAL.
The Point of View Jazz Ensemble, the small jazz group that he established at HEAL, gives more than 50 public and private shows each year in St. Louis. Made up of students from districts as diverse as Ladue and Riverview Gardens, it performs on the last Saturday of every month at the Dark Room and on the first Friday of every month at Strauss Park, both in Grand Center.
Diana Haskell, associate principal clarinet of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, is both an instructor at HEAL and a member of the organization’s board. She praises Lockhart’s musicianship and teaching ability.
“Harvey is one of the most remarkable music teachers I’ve ever known,” she said. “His students, from whom he demands much, work hard for him because they know he believes in them and cares for them. He is tough, and he is loving, a perfect recipe for helping students overcome any obstacles preventing them from success.”