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Local band directors honored

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Southmont Jr.-Sr. High School Director of Bands Elizabeth Newnum and North Montgomery High School and Northridge Middle School Director of Bands Andrew Simpkins received the 2019 Moffit Music Education Award at during a dinner honoring them and their spouses at Francis & Mount in Crawfordsville. Presented by St. Paul Christian University, the award consists of a trophy, certificate, and enrollment in the Moffit Music Order.

The Moffit Music Education Award is named for Dr. William C. Moffit, the third director of the Purdue University All-American Marching Band and Indiana Music Arranger Laureate, known internationally through his “Patterns of Motion” innovative marching band drill techniques published in a series of books and his more than 450 arrangements that have sold to date in excess of 1.1 million copies in his SOUNDPOWER Series. He passed away in 2008.

Newnum and Simpkins were selected for the honor as ones who embody Moffit’s approach to teaching: “I never see mistakes; only better ways to do things” as well as devoting themselves to promoting the benefits of music education as providing experiences to students that no other activity can match upon which they can build life-long skills and from which they can enrich others through their encounter.

In making the presentation, SPCU Board Vice President Mark Eutsler noted that Newnum and Simpkins are also directors of the Montgomery County United Marching Band and Guard and Montgomery County United Concert Band.

“In a very short time, these ensembles, comprised of students from the Crawfordsville, North Montgomery and South Montgomery school districts, have excelled in performance and competition events and the marching band will appear in the 64th annual national televised IPL 500 Festival Parade in 2020,” he said.

Newnum and Simpkins earned degrees in music education from the Indiana State University College of Arts and Sciences School of Music.

The SPCU awards program recognizes and honors exceptional achievement and scholarship that exist beyond its formal education programs. Honorary degrees and awards are conferred at the discretion of the SPCU Board of Directors.

SPCU and its Covenant Divinity Seminary are higher education ministries of the Lutheran Orthodox Church and provide lay and clergy theological distance education.

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