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Purpose:  To give recognition for exceptional support and outstanding accomplishments in the service to NYSSMA toward the advancement of music education in the schools of New York, public or private.

Nominee Eligibility

  • Must be a full-time or retired NYSSMA member who is, or has been, employed in the field of music education in New York State for a minimum of 20 years.
  • Has demonstrated effectiveness in teaching young people through music and who has the ability to inspire positive attitudes among students, the school and community in a balanced program.
  • Has demonstrated a concern for music education by active involvement in NYSSMA, as well as other local, district, state, regional or national professional organizations.
  • Has demonstrated interest in, and application of, educational innovation and has recognized the necessity for continued professional growth.

Method of Nomination

Any member of NYSSMA may nominate a person(s) deemed worthy of this special recognition.

  • Complete the form below.
  • Upload your letter of recommendation
  • Upload two additional letters of recommendation, one preferably from an administrator and the other from a music teacher.

Number of Awards to Be Presented Annually

No more than two (2) Distinguished Service Awards will be given in one year.

Method of Selection

  • The NYSSMA Awards and Recognition Committee will review each nomination.
  • If not selected, individuals submitting nominations may petition the committee to reconsider the application the following year.
  • The committee reserves the right to not recommend any award recipient when appropriate.


The Awards and Recognition Committee will recommend the recipient to the NYSSMA President who will notify the recipient.  The award may be presented during the annual NYSSMA Winter Conference.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.