April 6, 2010
Nancy Ditmer will serve as President of The National Association for Music Education beginning in 2012.
WOOSTER, Ohio - Nancy Ditmer, longtime professor of music education at The College of Wooster and director of the Scot Marching Band and the Scot Symphonic Band, has added another prestigious honor to her long list of career achievements by being elected president of MENC: The National Association for Music Education.
Ditmer, who has been at Wooster since 1984, will become President-Elect on July 1, 2010 and take over as National President on July 1, 2012. "I am very humbled to be chosen president," she said. "I am excited about the challenges and opportunities, and I am looking forward to working with music educators across the country to accomplish the objectives of the organization. My ultimate goal is to bring people together with a singleness of purpose."
A nationally-known clinician and highly regarded educator, Ditmer was chosen as a Lowell Mason Fellow by MENC in 2008, and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) in 2006. Previously, she served as MENC North Central Division President (2002-2004) and President of the OMEA (1996-1998). She received her undergraduate training in music
education at Capital University and her master's degree from The University of Iowa, where she also completed coursework toward her Ph.D. She holds memberships in a variety of organizations, including the College Band Directors National Association, the Ohio Private College Instrumental Conductors Association (OPCICA), Phi Beta Mu, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the National Band Association.
"Nancy has been a trail-blazer in Ohio," said OMEA President and longtime associate James Dowdy. "When music education moved throughout Ohio's colleges and universities, the position of director of bands was a male profession. Nancy was a pioneer and helped create a professional path that
today's young women now travel. She has been a leader in music education within and beyond our state's borders. She has never been too busy to travel to other states on behalf of MENC, and she has become the face of Ohio on the national stage.
"For her entire life, Nancy has been devoted to children and to those who serve children," added Dowdy. "She has been tireless in her efforts to champion music and what it can bring to a person's life. She has been a beacon to thousands whose lives have been truly enriched by her efforts."
John Mahlmann, executive director of MENC, said it was a great pleasure to announce that Ditmer is MENC's new president-elect. "Having already collaborated with Nancy for many years in her capacities as state president and division president, I know firsthand the expertise, enthusiasm, and deep feeling she brings to her work with her students and colleagues," he said. "MENC and the music education profession will be well-served with the leadership that Nancy Ditmer exemplifies."
Ditmer's long career has been characterized by a passion for music and an unwavering commitment to students pursuing studies in education. "I hope that my passion defines who I am and what I do professionally, from my responsibilities at Wooster to the many volunteer activities I have been involved with outside of the classroom," she said.
Ditmer credits Wooster for its support of her professional aspirations. "My 26 years at Wooster have been more rewarding than I ever could have imagined," she said. "There is something that makes it different from anywhere else I have ever been. If you spend some time here, you develop a condition where your blood runs plaid (a reference to Wooster's MacLeod Plaid kilts worn by members of the band). It seems as though wherever you go, you meet someone with a Wooster connection. Our students continue to challenge me with their intellect, talent, energy, and terrific senses of humor. I cannot imagine a better place to spend a lifetime making music with young people who have made me proud of who they are and what they have accomplished."
College of Wooster President Grant Cornwell saluted Ditmer for her achievements and praised the quality of Wooster's music program. "From the Wooster Chorus, to our outstanding orchestras and ensembles, to the Scot Band, our students produce wonderful music," he said. "All of this, of course, is because of our outstanding music faculty who work tirelessly with our students to help them perform at a very high level. Within this context, Nancy Ditmer's leadership is legendary. Generations of Wooster students have benefited from her great work and extraordinary commitment."
Ditmer is also strongly committed to the mission of MENC - to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all - and to the importance of music in the education of young people and in the lives of all people. "Education is an ever-changing institution," she said. "High-stakes testing and a lack of adequate funding seem to be the primary challenges at this time in our history. It is essential that we continue to educate others about the importance of music and what it can do to enhance learning skills and the quality of life."
The National Association for Music Education is one of the world's largest arts education organizations. Now more than a century old, it is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. Through membership of more than 75,000 active, retired, and pre-service music teachers, and with 60,000 honor students and supporters, MENC serves millions of students nationwide through activities at all teaching levels, from preschool to graduate school. MENC's mission is to advance music education by encouraging the study and making of music by all. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers.
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