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Utah educators win inaugural Sorenson Legacy Awards for arts education
Education » Nineteen educators, administrators and volunteers were chosen based on their work providing arts education in Utah public schools.
First Published May 31 2013 09:14 am • Last Updated May 31 2013 12:23 pm

Utah educators from around the state have been selected for the inaugural Sorenson Legacy Awards for Excellence in Arts Education.

The awards were funded by a grant from the Sorenson Legacy Foundation, founded by the late James LeVoy Sorenson and Beverley Taylor Sorenson, who died Monday at age 89.

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The new awards honor those who have demonstrated a commitment to providing arts education in Utah public schools. The 19 educators, administrators and volunteers were honored by the Utah State Office of Education at a ceremony earlier this month.

Each individual winner received $2,500, and an additional $2,500 was awarded to each winner’s school.

Beverley Taylor Sorenson was recognized in Utah and nationally for the efforts she championed, which include the creation of an innovative integrated arts teaching model. The Beverley Taylor Sorenson Arts Learning Program first received state funding in 2008 and it will reach tens of thousands of students at approximately 130 Utah elementary schools in the 2013-14 school year.

The inaugural winners of the Sorenson Legacy Awards, as described at the awards ceremony, are as follows.

Alpine School District

Don Harvie, music instruction, Northridge Elementary

Harvie’s Northridge Elementary School Choir was the only elementary choir invited to perform at the 2006 National Music Conference, where members shared the stage with a group from the University of Utah. His choir sang a song in four-part a cappella, and performed "The Star Spangled Banner" and a piece accompanied by a string quartet. The choir performs each December and each spring.


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Cathy Jolley, music instruction, Timberline Middle School

Mormon Tabernacle Choir Director Mac Wilberg, impressed with Jolley’s choral program, agreed to arrange the number "Down to the River to Pray" for students. It debuted in March 2009 at Timberline and the Tabernacle Choir has since recorded it and performs it regularly.

Davis School District

Martha Avant, music, Knowlton Elementary School

Avant plans an annual music program with each grade’s performance inspired by that year’s curriculum, such as 3rd graders who learned to sing in Chinese.

Linda Gold, drama instruction, Creekside and Whitesides Elementaries

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