A Chautauqua County music teacher and choir director has won a GRAMMY. Kent Knappenberger has been named for the the first annual Music Educator Award.
Knappenberger is a Secondary Music Teacher at Westfield Academy. Knappenberger said he is "extremely humbled and honored to be the recipient of the first-ever Music Educator Award."
"I believe that this award has already been and will continue to be a tremendous encouragement to all music educators. Besides the attention it has brought to many fine teachers, it brings attention to the importance of music education in general," said Knappenberger.
The GRAMMY Foundation created the award to highlight the extraordinary influence of music teachers on their students in and beyond the classroom.
A story posted on the Westfield Academy Website state:
"He was the only music educator from New York State in the final round. Mr. Knappenberger was revealed as 2014 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year during the live broadcast of CBS Morning Show on January 21st."
Knappenberger has been a music teacher and choir director at Westfield Academy and Central School for 25 years. He received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Fredonia and a master’s degree from Eastman School of Music.
"It's been exciting. We've kept our fingers crossed," said Westfield Academy and Central Schools Superintendent Dave Davison. "It's awesome that this is the first ever GRAMMY Music Educator of the year and it comes here to Westfield."
Westfield Academy says Knappenberger will attend the GRAMMY’s Lifetime Achievement Award luncheon in California and participate in GRAMMY week. Davison tells WBFO News Knappenberger is heading to L.A. Tuesday for this Sunday's GRAMMY'S.The GRAMMY's made the announcement earlier Tuesday. Westfield Students gathered in their school auditorium this morning to watch the nominations. They gave a standing ovation when Knappeneberger's name was read Westfield Academy and Central School is a k through 12 school district in Westfield, New York. Approximately 730 students attend. The school district held a Red Carpet Celebration on January 15th to celebrate Knappenberger being designated as one of ten finalists for this first-ever award. Students in grades 4-12 participated in the celebration. The district will host a community reception for Knappenberger and his family on Friday, January 31st from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the school's cafeteria. The 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on Sunday, January 26 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.