University Musical Society honors EMU's Early College Alliance as DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year

Honor to be presented at Annual Ford Honors Gala on April 22

by Truly Render, University Musical Society, Published April 05, 2012

Ann Arbor – The University Musical Society (UMS) is pleased to honor the Early College Alliance at Eastern Michigan University as the 2012 DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year and Troy High School band director Mr. Brian Nutting as the 2012 DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year.

This year, for the first time, the recipients were nominated through a public nomination process.   The awards will be formally presented during the 17th Annual Ford Honors Gala (benefitting UMS Education and Community Engagement programs) on Sunday, April 22.

The Ford Honors Gala will take place in the U-M Biomedical Research Building (109 Zina Pitcher Place) and follows a Hill Auditorium concert by Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, leader and violin. DTE Energy Foundation generously sponsors this award through a financial commitment to UMS's Youth Education Program.

The DTE Energy Foundation School of the Year award honors the Early College Alliance for its dedication and commitment to arts education. An educational program that strives to create successful transitions from high school to college, the Early College Alliance (ECA) exists in partnership with Washtenaw County school districts and is housed on the EMU campus.

Through a combination of large-scale field trips to UMS performances, pre-show preparation, performance-related book groups, and post-show engagement, ECA has done an exceptional job of integrating the performing arts into their curriculum, preparing students with the cultural context and dialoguing that will encourage success in a post-secondary environment. ECA is helping students look not only at the quality of the performers onstage, but at the entire cultural history, context, and meaning of the work presented on UMS stages.

Brian Nutting is honored as the DTE Energy Foundation Educator of the Year for his passionate commitment to arts education at Troy High School and to the transformative power of the arts in the community at large.

As Band Director for Troy High School, Brian Nutting has been a model educator for 12 years, taking student ensembles to great heights in competitions and beyond. Troy High School ensembles have been invited to perform at such venues as Carnegie Hall, the Lord Mayor of London's New Year's Day Parade, and the Michigan Music Conference.

"It's important to recognize the tremendous difference educators like Brian Nutting and educational programs like the Early College Alliance can make in the lives of young people and in the community at large," said Fred Shell, DTE Energy vice president of corporate and government affairs and president of the DTE Energy Foundation. "Helping students develop an appreciation for the performing arts is something that can enrich their lives forever. We are very pleased to again sponsor the DTE Foundation Energy School and Educator of the Year Awards to acknowledge the important contribution teachers, schools, and organizations like UMS make in the quality of life in our community."

UMS President Ken Fischer noted, "UMS is thoroughly impressed with the work that the Early College Alliance is doing, especially in regards to incorporating the performing arts in the curriculum. The performing arts provide immediate and deeply-felt gateways to different parts of the world, different artistic visions, different moments in history, and demonstrate the very best in human achievement. ECA understands the deep and meaningful impact that performing arts can have when integrated into the curriculum, bettering the lives of young people and the community at large.

"UMS is also very pleased to honor Troy High School's Mr. Brian Nutting for his innovative approach to student engagement. Nutting has empowered students with the ability to transform lives and bring a community together through the performing arts. We are also very grateful for the DTE Energy Foundation's renewed commitment to UMS and its recognition of the value and excellence of UMS's artistic and educational endeavors."   

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its principal operating subsidiaries, Detroit Edison and MichCon. The Foundation directs its contributions and involvement to support initiatives dedicated to developing the human and economic potential of the communities it serves.

One of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, the University Musical Society is now in its 133rd season. With a program steeped in music, dance, and theater performed at the highest international standards of quality, UMS contributes to a vibrant cultural community by presenting approximately 60-75 performances and over 100 free educational and community activities each season.

The annual Ford Honors Program celebrates an artist or ensemble that has made significant contributions to international music history while also having a deep connection to the history of the University Musical Society. This year, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Joshua Bell have been named recipients of the 2012 UMS Distinguished Artist Award.

A gala dinner will be held after the Academy's concert on Sunday, April 22 in the U-M Biomedical Research Building (109 Zina Pitcher Place) with proceeds benefiting UMS education programs. For information about the gala dinner, please call 734-647-8009. The Ford Honors Program recognizes the longtime generous support of UMS's Education and Community Engagement Program by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.

For further information, contact:

Truly Render, University Musical Society


Eileen Dixon, DTE Energy




Geoff Larcom


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