Versprille named quarterfinalist for 2016 GRAMMY Music Educator Award

May 15, 2016

MONCKS CORNER, SC – Linda Versprille, Director of Orchestras at Cane Bay High School and the Panjamdrum Steel Band, is now a quarterfinalist for the 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year Award.

“I am incredibly honored that the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation have recognized my belief that music education inspires students to reach for possibilities. All credit goes to my students who have gone on to excel in many different professions having experienced the pursuit of excellence through the magic of music,” Versprille said.

A total of 290 music teachers from 264 cities across 41 states were announced yesterday as quarterfinalists for the award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. More than 3,300 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

Versprille attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Her Bachelor of Music Degree is in Piano and Music Education General Supervisor’s Curriculum. She is certified in Music K-12 Instrumental, Choral and Piano. Versprille received her Master’s in Education from Lesley University in Creative Arts in Learning and she is currently completing her doctoral coursework at Concordia University, Portland in Transformational Leadership. She has taken more than 80 hours of instruction in piano at the University of South Carolina where she studied with Dr. Charles Fugo and received certification in all levels of Orff Schulwerk at the Eastman School of Music. Versprille attained her National Board Certification in 2007, and is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the South Carolina Music Educators Association and the American String Teachers Association. No stranger to this process, Versprille was a semifinalist for the 2016 GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year Award.

Versprille has taught school choral music and private piano in Aiken, Augusta, Columbia and Charlotte. After moving to Berkeley County in 2000, she helped pilot the first arts infused magnet school at Cainhoy Elementary/Middle School where she taught general music, strings, band and steel drums. There, Versprille developed the Cainhoy Steel Tigers, which performed at Piccolo Spoleto three times between 2005 and 2007.

In 2008, Versprille began developing the strings program at Cane Bay High School. She also was able to build the feeder program through Sangaree Middle School. That same year Versprille created the Panjamdrum Steel Band. Since then, the group has performed at Piccolo Spoleto. The group’s 2015 performance marked its seventh consecutive performance, the tenth consecutive for a Berkeley County Steel Band, at Piccolo Spoleto.

“My students are my inspiration. Being able to grow with them during the course of seven years helps me stay connected with their development. The relationships I am able to build with their families and the community are priceless and bless me daily,” Versprille said.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize 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 schools. Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists, and will be recognized for his or her impact on students’ lives. The winner will be flown to the 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.