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Lancaster orchestra director second time finalist for national GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Music Teacher Lynne Ruda

Once again, a Lancaster High School music teacher’s outstanding dedication to music education has been recognized on the national stage. On December 10, 2020, Lynne Ruda was selected as one of the finalists for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award for the second year in a row. Of the 2,000 nominations, Lynne Ruda stood out, placing her in an elite group of 10 educators eligible for the award.

The Music Educator Award recognizes 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 the schools, according to the official announcement from the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum.

Mrs. Ruda, a Lancaster High School graduate with the Class of 2004, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education with a performance certificate at SUNY Fredonia. She has been teaching for 13 years and currently conducts the Lancaster High School Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra and the String Chamber Ensembles.

Mrs. Ruda is an active member of the Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA), New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and National Association for Music Education (NAfME).  Her involvement in Lancaster extends beyond high school music. She is on the Lancaster Opera House Board of Trustees as well as the Lancaster Village Board. In addition, she volunteers as a firefighter for the Village of Lancaster and advises the Lancaster High School First Responders Club, a group that brings awareness and hands-on experience for students interested in emergency services.

Mrs. Ruda started the collaboration with Buffalo String Works two years ago, bringing Lancaster High School orchestra students to Buffalo to volunteer to teach refugee students how to play string instruments. She was named a 2020 NYS Women of Distinction and received the 2020 Agent of Change Award from the Lancaster Chamber’s Women in Business Gala.  She was the 2019 recipient of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra / Erie County Music Educators Association Award for Excellence in Music Education.  In 2018, she was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Lancaster Area Chamber of Commerce.  Mrs. Ruda received the 2016 “Chief’s Award” from the Lancaster Fire Department and was the 2015 “Member of the Year.”

The GRAMMY Music Educator Award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, was created to bring attention to the excellent and impactful work being done by thousands of music teachers across the U.S. Finalists will be announced in December. In addition to the prestige, all finalists receive an honorarium and matching school grant, and the winner will be honored during GRAMMY week in January.