Published: Jan. 11, 2022 By

Carrie P.Every year, the Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) recognizes individuals for their contributions to music education. We're pleased to share that the most recent recipient of the CMEA Outstanding Young Music Educator Award is our own Carrie Proctor (BME ’19).

Proctor—who studied French horn with Professor of Horn Michael Thornton and music education with Associate Professor of Conducting and Music Education Matthew Roeder and Assistant Professor of Conducting and Music Education Matthew Dockendorf—currently serves as director of bands at Westview Middle School in the St. Vrain Valley School District. 

Proctor says she always knew she wanted to impact young lives by becoming a music educator. We caught up with her recently to learn more about her passion to inspire youths through a shared connection to music and how her experience at the College of Music prepared her for a career that elevates the talent, tenacity and creativity of young musicians. 

What does receiving the CMEA award mean to you?
Proctor: My three years of teaching so far have all been heavily impacted by COVID, so there have been a lot of extremely challenging situations to navigate. There are countless young educators across the state who are deserving of recognition for starting their career and pushing through the obstacles thrown their way. 

To be chosen for this award when I know how tirelessly other teachers in my shoes have worked feels incredibly humbling. I am also very thankful to have supportive colleagues and a strong parent community behind me. Being nominated and selected for this award is such an honor. 

What ensembles did you participate in at the College of Music?
Proctor: During my time at CU, I performed with the Symphonic Band, Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra and several brass quintets. I also played in the CU Athletic Bands and the Golden Buffalo Marching Band, where I served two years as a Drum Major. I was the recipient of the Colorado Bandmasters Association’s 2019 Student Teacher Scholarship.  

How has your experience thus far prepared you for your current position?
Proctor: I worked with a variety of young ensembles and instrumentalists having served as a conductor for the Middle School Ensemble program, band director at the St. Louis K-8 Catholic School and head counselor for the CU Middle School Summer Music Academy. I still actively teach young French horn players in the Longmont area and serve as youth symphonic band director for the Longmont Youth Symphony. 

What projects or organizations are you currently a member of that support your musical and professional aspirations?
Proctor: As a lifelong learner, I continually pursue opportunities to grow as a teacher, musician and conductor. I am a member of the National Association of Music Educators and the Colorado Bandmasters Association. I regularly attend conferences for professional development, participate in conducting clinics and perform as a member of the World Youth Wind Orchestra Project in Schladming, Austria. 

The CMEA presents an annual clinic/conference including many sessions discussing top-level strategies, techniques and inspiration from veteran educators to prepare new teachers for their first jobs. The CMEA’s Annual Clinic/Conference is Jan. 26-29. We'll be there and we hope to see you!