University News

Fansler Named Quarterfinalist for National Music Educator Award

June 2, 2014

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MACOMB, IL - Western Illinois University Director of Bands Mike Fansler has been named a quarterfinalist for the Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

Fansler is one of 222 music teachers from 208 cities in 41 states chosen as quarterfinalists. The list was narrowed from more than 7,000 nominated music teachers from across the country.

The second annual award, which will be presented during Grammy Week 2015, recognizes teachers 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."

Teachers were nominated for the award by students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators. Fansler was nominated by Beth Justice, of Bluff City (TN), who is a former student from his time teaching at Sullivan East High School. Justice later became a band director in Sullivan County (TN).

"What we do as educators far eclipses the need for individual recognition and accolades," Fansler said of his nomination. "Having a student from nearly 20 years ago feel strong enough about her musical education to nominate me for a Grammy is enough recognition in my opinion."

Fansler added that he feels blessed by the countless opportunities WIU gives him to work with gifted students, professors and administrators.

"As far as the Grammy is concerned, I feel like I am winning one every time I have a concert," he said.
The list of quarterfinalists will be narrowed to a list of semifinalists in September. One winner will later be chosen from 10 finalists to receive a $10,000 honorarium. The other nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium and the schools of the 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

The grant money is provided by Converse, Disney Performing Arts, the Ford Motor Company Fund and Journeys.

For more information on the award, visit

Posted By: WIU News (
Office of University Relations