Florida State University’s Judy Bowers Named
2014 Lowell Mason Fellow for Stellar Service to Music Education
On July 29, 2014, Dr. Judy Bowers, Professor of Choral Music Education at the Florida State University, was recognized by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) as a Lowell Mason Fellow during a special award ceremony in Reston, VA. This important distinction, created to honor music educators, education advocates, political leaders, industry professionals, and others who have contributed to music education in meaningful ways, is a significant recognition for Bowers.
In addition to her work with the choral department at FSU, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in choral music and music education and conducts the Women’s Glee Club, Dr. Bowers developed a community service partnership with Raa Middle School, an urban middle school in Tallahassee, FL. Now in its 14th year, this collaboration has provided music ensemble opportunities for the middle school students while also enriching the teacher preparation experience for Florida State University students. What began as an after-school program has grown to include before-, during-, and after-school music programs that include a World Music Choir, Jazz Band, Steel Pan Ensemble, Study Buddy Tutorials, Strings, and Boys and Girls ensembles.
At the induction ceremony Bowers spoke of how her experiences have shaped and changed her approach to education over the years, stating that many of the young students she works with “don’t need sympathy but empathy; they need us to care, but they also need our respect.”
About the Award
Lowell Mason was born on January 8, 1792 in Medfield, Massachusetts. At an early age he showed an intense interest in music, and began to compose when he was very young. Mason served as director of music at the Hanover, Green and Park Street churches, and as president of the Handel and Haydn Society in 1827. In 1833 he co-founded the Boston Academy of Music, and in 1837 taught music on a volunteer basis. This eventually led to the inclusion of music as part of the regular curriculum of the Boston public schools in 1838. Mason died on August 11, 1872 in Orange, New Jersey.
Induction into the Lowell Mason Fellowship is considered by NAfME to be the ideal way to recognize an individual for their contributions to the field of music education, and is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Association.
The National Association for Music Education, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century.