GMHS Educator is Quarterfinalist For The Music Educator Award

Posted on May 13, 2015, in Academics, Events


General McLane High School music teacher Bruce Yates has been selected as a quarterfinalist for the 2016 Music Educator Award.

A total of 213 music teachers from 194 cities across 42 states have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™, presented by The Recording Academy® and the GRAMMY Foundation. In total, more than 4,500 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

“I appreciate the nomination and I am honored to be considered among the many music educators across the country that were selected. My students inspire me to do my best. I consider it a privilege and a blessing to have to opportunity to work with the many hard working and talented students I have had over the years and to be part of a district and community that supports and realizes the importance of music and the arts,” said Yates, who added that his wife Trisha Yates has been one of the main contributors to the success of the program.

The Music Educator 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. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical GRAMMY Award) during GRAMMY Week 2016.

Yates has been a vocal teacher with the District for 26 years. General McLane High School was the first school in the area to have a Vocal Jazz ensemble. General McLane choir students now compete in regional and state competitions, including the PMEA All-States. In 2006, the GM Vocal Jazz ensemble was selected to perform at the PMEA state conference.

Yates is the director of the high school musical and the Broadway Dinner. The Broadway Dinner showcases the talents of almost 200 students and has become a community treasure. This production typically sells out its 500-plus seats within hours. All four performances of this year’s musical, Phantom of the Opera, were also sold out.

According to Yates, his most memorable achievement has been Phantom of the Opera and the success of Broadway Dinner after doing it for 28 years.

“Bruce Yates has pushed the General McLane vocal music program to new heights,” said Superintendent Richard Scaletta. “He has been able to involve a large number of students from all facets of the student body. Whether performing music of Broadway or choral classics, his students perform at the highest level. He has made the GM vocal music program a premier program.”

Outside of General McLane, Yates has been the music director at St. Jude’s Church for 26 years and is involved with the Erie Playhouse. Yates has also been a guest conductor for several PMEA festivals, as well as guest conductor and clinician for Vocal Jazz Festivals in Pittsburgh and Jamestown NY.

Each year, one recipient will be selected from 10 finalists, and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winner will be flown to host city of the GRAMMY Awards to accept the award, attend the GRAMMY Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine other finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Foundation’s Education Champions: Converse, Disney Performing Arts, Ford Motor Company Fund, and Journeys.

The semifinalists will be announced in September.