Congratulations to Mr. David LaMorte, Assistant Principal of Visual, Performing, and Career Arts at Tottenville H.S., NY, the 2018 recipient of the George N. Parks Leadership in Music Education award. Mr. LaMorte received the award during the opening finals ceremonies at the 2018 Grand National Championships, presented by Yamaha on November 10.
Developed by NAfME, the National Association for Music Education, and Music for All, the award is named for George N. Parks (1953–2010), director of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band at the University of Massachusetts Amherst from 1977 until his death, and honors an exemplary music educator who embodies the characteristics and leadership that Mr. Parks personified.
Under Mr. LaMorte's leadership, Tottenville's six bands, three symphonic orchestras, four choruses, training ensembles, and championship marching band enjoy a reputation for musical excellence which is a beacon for New York City and NY State. His symphonic band regularly receives a NYSSMA Gold Rating in Level VI, as do many other of Tottenville's bands, orchestras, and choruses. A professional trombonist as well as conductor, Mr. LaMorte received his education at Montclair State College and the University of Buffalo. He is a recipient of the DaVinci Award; Phi Delta Kappa Leadership in Education Award; City of New York Proclamation Award; Music Educators of New York City Outstanding Service Award; The Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award; and many more.
Mr. LaMorte also serves as Executive Director of the Summer Arts Institute, a special program that attracts gifted New York City music and art students to participate in a summer of rigorous and creative performance endeavors. He is also conductor of the Staten Island Community Band, NYC's longest-running community band. He has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and throughout the metropolitan area. Fans of classic movies can see a young David LaMorte in the legendary film, "Fame", which was made as his alma mater, the High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.
Congratulations to Mr. LaMorte and thank you for all you do to help create, provide, and expand positively life-changing experiences for your students.
2017 Marisa Weinstein
Director of Bands, Warsaw Middle School in Pittsfield, ME
2016 Thom Hannum
Associate Director, Minutemen Marching Band, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA
2015 Patrick M. Erwin
Director of Bands at Hillgrove High School in Powder Springs, 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, KS
2011 Dr. Peter Boonshaft