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Lancaster Middle School Teacher Awarded the ECMEA/BPO Award for Excellence in Music Education

Lancaster Middle School Teacher Awarded the ECMEA/BPO Award for Excellence in Music Education

Mr. Kenneth KowalskiLancaster Central School District’s music programs are award winning and so are the dedicated, professional staff who teach and lead our students. Please join the district in congratulating Middle School Music Teacher Kenneth Kowalski, who has been honored with the ECMEA/BPO Award for Excellence in Music Education.

For 37 years Mr. Kowalski has been an important, integral part of the success of the Lancaster music program, and thousands of students have been fortunate to be in his concert bands, jazz ensembles, marching bands, pit orchestras, and of course, the famous Carnival Kids Steel Orchestra. He also served as Coordinator for the ECMEA Elementary Music Festival for several years.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) and the Erie County Music Educators Association (ECMEA) celebrates the achievements of great Western New York music educators annually.  Established in 1994, these awards recognize and honor music educators who make possible the progression from the very first note, to the last exquisite tone, as students are nurtured into the musical art.

“Erie County is recognized across the state and nationwide as having some of the finest school districts for music. I believe two of the greatest influences for students’ excellence in music performance are the Erie County Music Educators Association and the presence and influence of the Buffalo Philharmonic. They offer countless opportunities that have far reaching impacts on our students. To be recognized by these two fine organizations that I respect so greatly, many of whose members I can call friends and colleagues, is truly a tremendous honor for me,” Mr. Kowalski said.

“Mr. K,” as he is affectionately known by his students, received his bachelor of fine arts from SUNY Buffalo in 1981 and subsequently earned his master of music degree in 1984 and two administrative degrees in 1994.

He has spent 34 of his years with Lancaster Schools at the middle school, directing jazz ensembles, pit bands and marching bands, and in 2001 became director of the CKSO. Under his leadership ensembles have earned numerous Gold NYSSMA ratings, in addition to three Gold with Distinction awards. The Lancaster Middle School marching band has taken first place in every parade they have entered since 1989, boasting a 31-year winning streak. And the CKSO has traveled nationally to the Grand Ole Opry, Washington D.C. and internationally to St. Thomas and Antigua to perform and in 2011 was named Buffalo’s Most Entertaining High School Group at a Buffalo State competition, making appearances at many local festivals, sports games and events.

“Ken is a kind, caring and passionate teacher always willing to help, offer advice and go the extra mile for his friends, colleagues and students.  He has taught thousands of Lancaster musicians over the years and the Lancaster Music Department is strong because of him.  It is truly befitting for Ken to be honored in such a prestigious way!” Lancaster Schools Music Department Chair Daniel DeAngelis said.