JJC Professor Charles Morgan named Quarterfinalist for GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Joliet Junior College Music Coordinator Charles Morgan has struck the right notes once again.

For the third time in his career, Morgan has been selected as a quarterfinalist for the Music Education Award presented by the Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Museum.

Morgan is among 197 other music educators in the United States, and six in Illinois, who have been nominated. In total, more than 2,300 nominations were submitted nationwide.

If Morgan wins, he will receive a grant for JJC and attend the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards in New York.

If he is one of the nine runner-ups, he will win $1,000, and JJC will receive a matching grant. Semifinalists will receive $500 with a matching grant.

“It is always special to be recognized for doing something you love,” Morgan said. “I am fortunate to work in a supportive environment that encourages excellence. This nomination is special because it came from one of my adult students who appreciates what the music program here at Joliet Junior College is able to offer to him and the community. I am surprised and humbled to be one of the 197 out of the original 2300 nominated and at the same time very proud of the work we do here.”

Morgan grew up playing the trombone in New Lenox, Illinois. As a student, Morgan said many music teachers inspired him including his first trombone teacher, Marvin Johnson; his junior high band director, Tom Goodwin; his high school band director, Randy Kummer and JJC’s Jerry E. Lewis. Morgan said he also worked with amazing professors while attending Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, Illinois, and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago.

As a teenager, Morgan wasn’t sure what he wanted to pursue after graduation. But while attending JJC in the late 1980s, it became clear that his passion was in music – and teaching.

“JJC is where I decided to become a music teacher,” he said. “Without coming here, the connections that I made – the life changing decisions would have never happened. I would be a different person living a much different life if I had not chosen to attend JJC.”

Morgan has been teaching at JJC since 1998. In addition to being music coordinator, Morgan is a music adviser, and directs the JJC Community Band.

The Music Educator Award recognizes teachers who have made a significant contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to maintaining music education.

The semifinalists will be announced in September.

For more information about JJC’s Fine Arts Department, visit http://www.jjc.edu/fine-arts/Pages/default.aspx or contact Fine Arts Department Chair Lori Schahrer at 815-280-2339 or loschahr@jjc.edu.  For more information about the Grammy’s first-ever Music Educator Award, visit www.grammymusicteacher.com.

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