Eileen M. Hower Memorial Award

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The Eileen M. Hower Memorial Award is presented in honor of Eileen M. Hower, gifted choral musician and choral educator.

Eileen earned a bachelor's degree from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, a master's degree from Marywood University, and was working toward a DMA at Boston University. Eileen was a highly successful middle school music teacher at Central Columbia Middle School in Bloomsburg, where she taught for 18 years. During her tenure there, her choirs won numerous awards and were recognized widely for their excellence, with the highlight being an appearance at the 2005 ACDA National Conference in Los Angeles. She presented numerous interest sessions and workshops at state and division conferences, and contributed to a November 2006 article in the Choral Journal. She was particularly passionate about the opportunities presented with middle school voices and providing her students with the finest musical experience possible. This passion spilled over into her teaching at Bloomsburg University where she taught music education and led the Women’s Chorus, inspiring the next generation of music educators. Many students credit her for making a difference in their lives because she believed in them and saw their potential. Her luminous personality and radiant smile lit up the room wherever she went. She gave selflessly to her profession as a member of ACDA and NAfME, serving as President of ACDA PA from 2007 – 2009. Eileen's passion for music and education lives on through the many colleagues, students, and friends whose lives she touched.

Her passion and character are exemplified in the following excerpt from an article she wrote for ACDA-PA’s publication, Polyphony:

“Whether we are in a university, a public school, a community or sacred setting, whether we are young or experienced, we have—or will have—our own struggles. But at the end of the day, we must remind ourselves that we offer our students something they can’t get anywhere else. We bring meaning, value and purpose to our singers every time we see them. The gift of choral music is an irreplaceable treasure. It’s the awakening of history and literature, culture and humanity. It’s the beauty of making music, of singing and feeling and learning and knowing and growing. Today I realize more than ever, if we don’t advocate for choral music in the lives of our students, who will?”


The award is given to a Pennsylvania choral music educator who has been teaching for more than 15 years; has a proven record of commitment to developing voices, particularly at the middle school level; maintains high artistic standards; is actively involved in ACDA or some other professional leadership; models a passionate, positive, energetic, and joyful approach to their work.

Nomination Process

Any member of ACDA PA is eligible to nominate a candidate for the award by submitting a letter of nomination by May 1st of the nominating year. Nominating letters should evidence examples of the criteria above and must include name/address of nominee, name/address of professional position (current, or former). Completed letters should be sent to:

Randy Yoder, Vice-President
2101 Eastern Blvd.
York, PA 17402

The selection will be made by the Executive Board of ACDA PA and will be presented at the summer conference. The award shall consist of a commemorative plaque, an invitation to present the Eileen Hower Memorial Lecture at the ACDA PA summer or fall conference in the academic year following the award, and a complimentary conference registration.

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2014 Christine Jordanoff
2015 Donna Knott