Friday, March 3, 2023

Do YOU Know An Outstanding Music Teacher?

PYO Music Institute (PYOMI) and its partners are thrilled to continue recognizing outstanding music teachers through the 10th Annual Ovation Award. This award recognizes inspiration and leadership in music education. 

For over ten years, hundreds of current and former music students have shown appreciation for their music teachers through Ovation Award submissions. Beginning on March 6, 2023, current and former students of all ages are invited to nominate “the music teacher who changed my life” in a 250-word essay. The nominations are due by March 31, 2023, and can be submitted online at

Each year PYOMI has partnered with three organizations that share the honor of recognizing music teachers. They are Jacobs Music Company, one of the nation’s most respected piano merchants and the Tri-state region’s exclusive representative for new and authentically restored Steinway & Sons pianos, Steinway’s Boston and Essex pianos, J.W. Pepper, one of the leading sheet music merchants in the world, and WRTI 90.1 FM, broadcaster of the region’s most comprehensive classical and jazz radio programming.  

Ten finalists including the award recipient are selected by a blue-ribbon panel of representatives from major music organizations and music departments of area universities. All finalists are awarded prizes with the Ovation Award recipient also receiving a $1,000 honorarium. Additionally, the nominator of the Ovation Award recipient will receive a $250 Visa gift card. Nominations from prior years can be re-submitted. The Ovation Award finalists and recipient will be announced at the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra concert in Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center on June 4, 2023.

Louis Scaglione, President and CEO of the PYO Music Institute, has great respect for music educators and is pleased to provide this opportunity for students to recognize their teachers. He said, “It’s hard to believe we have conducted this recognition program for 10 years. It has been personally rewarding for all of us to learn directly from students what their music teachers mean to them. Each year we look forward to reading the beautiful nominations of so many music teachers, who do more than teach music skills to students. They build the confidence of students and help them overcome challenges. As a music education institution, we recognize how dedicated these teachers are and how they enhance the lives of hundreds of music students each year. We extend our sincere gratitude to our partners who share in our appreciation of music teachers, people who rarely get the attention they deserve.” 

Chris Rinaldi, President of Jacobs Music Company, and member of the PYO Music Institute Board of Trustees, is happy to continue Jacobs’ support of the PYO Music Institute Ovation Award. He said, “Students’ participation in music education provides them with valuable life tools as well as the personal enrichment that music-making provides. This pursuit of music is developed and advanced through the tireless efforts and guidance of dedicated music educators. Jacobs Music Company is delighted to continue to be a part of the Ovation Award which recognizes these teachers and the inspiration they provide for generations of young musicians.”

Lee Paynter, COO of J.W. Pepper & Son, is also a member of the PYO Music Institute Board of Trustees. He is proud to have participated in this nine-year PYOMI tradition and said, “Many people at Pepper, myself included, have personally experienced the gift great music teachers give to their students. Supporting music teachers is part of our company DNA, so we happily join the PYO Music Institute in showing them appreciation through the Ovation Award.”

Bill Johnson, general manager of WRTI 90.1 FM, has long been a fan and friend of the PYO Music Institute. His station’s ongoing support includes promotion of the Ovation Award and the broadcast of Philadelphia Youth Orchestra concerts performed in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center. Johnson said, "The pursuit of music brings lifelong rewards. From discipline to collaboration to critical listening, students of music become well-rounded adults who recognize the importance of music education and the arts for a well-lived life. We're proud to be a part of their journey in partnership with the extraordinary leadership and team at the PYO Music Institute.”
For more information and to access the Ovation Award application, visit, or email questions to the PYO Music Institute at

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