School of Music’s Glen McCarthy Nominated for Grammy Music Educator Award

Posted: October 4, 2013 at 5:02 am, Last Updated: March 28, 2014 at 5:11 pm

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By Catherine Probst

Glen McCarthy

Glen McCarthy. Creative Services photo

George Mason University’s Glen McCarthy, professor of music, is one of 25 semifinalists from across the country to be nominated for the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator Award. This year marks the first time the award will be given.

The award was established to recognize current educators, kindergarten through college, at public and private schools 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.

McCarthy has taught guitar methods, required for all music education majors in George Mason’s School of Music, for more than 15 years. He has been a guest clinician and adjudicator at festivals, conferences and workshops both nationally and internationally.

He retired from Fairfax County Public Schools after 30 years as the director of the guitar program at Robinson Secondary School. Under his direction, the Robinson Guitar Ensemble was consistently awarded superior ratings at adjudicated festivals.

In 1980, Robinson was the first recipient of the Guitar & Accessories Manufacturers Association’s award to recognize innovative guitar programming in the United States. In 2003, McCarthy was nominated for Fairfax County Teacher of the Year.

He is presently the chair of the National Association for Music Education Guitar Council, the chair of the American String Teachers Association Guitar-in-the-Schools Committee and co-chair of Teaching Guitar Workshops. During the summers, as a clinician for Teaching Guitar Workshops, he teaches teachers throughout the country.

The award was open to current music teachers throughout the country, and anyone could nominate a teacher including students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators. Teachers were also able to nominate themselves.

Each year, one recipient will be selected from 10 finalists and recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students’ lives. The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the Grammy Awards ceremony, and receive a $10,000 honorarium. The nine finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists also will receive matching grants.

The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the support of the Grammy Foundation’s Education Champions Converse, Ford Motor Company Fund, Box Tops For Education and Journeys with additional support from Universal Music Group.

The 10 finalists will be announced in December.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at

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