The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is proud to announce our new 2020 LIMHOF Educator of Note, Marc Greene.
LIMHOF Education Committee Chairman Tom Needham said, “The Long Island Music Hall of Fame is very excited to honor such an accomplished and respected educator. He is one of a small group of music educators who have had such a long-lasting and significant impact on so many music students all over Long Island.”
We asked Marc Greene to share some highlights from his remarkable career, and his thoughts about being named the 2020 LIMHOF Educator of Note.
He responded, “It is so very exciting and humbling to be recognized as the 2020 Long Island Music Hall of Fame Educator of Note. So many of the previous honorees are esteemed music education colleagues and mentors, providing very large footsteps in which to follow and broad shoulders upon which to stand.
I came to Long Island in 1993 after a dozen years of teaching in upstate New York at the middle and high school levels when the recession of the early 90’s resulted in the elimination of my teaching position. Fortunately, there was a mid-year retirement at Newfield High School in the Middle Country Central Schools, where I became the director of Choral and Theatre Activities. Under my leadership, in four years the choral program grew to include multiple curricular and co-curricular ensembles, a voice techniques class, recognition of NYSSMA Level 6 ensembles, and an exponential increase in the number of students participating in NYSSMA’s solo evaluation festivals, with a resulting vast increase in representation in Suffolk All-County and NYSSMA All-State Honors Choral Ensembles. A comprehensive theatre program was also developed that included two annual mainstage productions and the establishment of a student chapter of the International Thespian Society at Newfield High School.
During my fourth year of teaching at Newfield High School, I was approached by the Cecil Ramsey, the Middle Country Superintendent of Schools, who encouraged me to take coursework leading to state certification as an educational administrator in anticipation of the impending retirement of Alfred Longo, the longtime Director of Music and Art. In September 1997 I took on this new role, and immediately began to develop with staff and community a long-term plan to embellish the available Arts Education experience for Middle Country students, which at the time was the third largest suburban school district in New York State. In the ensuing ten years the following programs were established:
- A string orchestra program in grades 4-12 that currently enrolls over 1100 students annually.
- A high school graduation sequence in theater including performance and technical coursework.
- A hands-on elementary and middle school classroom music curriculum that features the development of social guitar/ukulele, keyboard and world drumming performance skills.
- Specialized kindergarten music instruction
- Balanced performance curricular offerings in band, orchestra and chorus with the uniform achievement of excellence in all of these areas by both ensembles and soloists alike.
During my tenure at Middle Country, I served as a chairperson for the Suffolk New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education Honors Chorus, and served on the team of leaders that developed the first High School Honors Treble Chorus in addition to the Mixed Chorus. I also was elected President of the statewide chapter of NYSCAME, with which I initiated an internet presence in the form of an association website. I also served NYSSMA as an assistant to the Zone 14 Suffolk County representative, as a member of the statewide Curriculum Committee, and as an All-State Voice and Vocal Jazz and Choral adjudicator.
In late 2006, I was approached by several faculty in the Port Washington UFSD and encouraged to make application for the district’s open position of Director of Creative Arts. This provided an opportunity to work with an Arts program that included an established elementary dance program and longstanding partnerships with the Martha Graham Dance Company and the American Ballet Theatre. I expanded those programs to the secondary level, and was also able to embellish the district’s support of instruction on the harp.
While at Port Washington, I served as NYSSMA’s Zone 13 Representative, providing leadership throughout the performance evaluation festival seasons and representing Nassau County as a member of NYSSMA’s Executive Board. I was a founding member of two organizations during this period as well: Long Island Symposium of Supervisors of Arts, which offered extensive development for leaders in arts education in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and the Long Island Scholar-Artist Program, which, under the auspices of the Long Island Arts Alliance, provides annual recognition to a select group of high school seniors with proven success both academically and in the Arts.
After leaving Long Island for work with the New York State Education Department and the Bedford Central School District, I returned to teach in the Baldwin Union Free School District as the Director of Choral Activities at Baldwin High School. I developed a comprehensive vocal lesson and choral curriculum that greatly increased student enrollment as well as representation in the All-County, All-State, All-Eastern, and All-National Choral Honor Ensembles.
As I served the Baldwin community, I also was elected to serve as the President of the New York State School Music Association, headquartered in Westbury. This provided the opportunity to develop statewide structures that supported the embellishment of standards-based curriculum instruction and learning, advocacy to support and maintain music education in all schools, and the continued increase of student access to NYSSMA’s performance evaluation festivals and honors ensemble programs.
Upon my retirement from the public sector in 2013, I immediately joined the faculty of the Ithaca College School of Music, serving as a supervisor of student teachers on Long Island and in the New York metropolitan area. Subsequently, I also became the Director of Student Teacher Placement, effectively serving as the matchmaker for an annual group of 40 to 60 student teachers and their cooperating mentor teachers and school districts ranging throughout the United States. Approximately one-fourth of the students elect to complete their student teaching on Long Island, which enables me to spend much supervisory time in a broad range of music classrooms in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. As the college and our host schools moved to virtual and hybrid instructional models, I worked with our stakeholders to design multiple means of providing meaningful professional preparation in this new environment. I also have taught the Senior Music Education Capstone course, which is the final class that students take prior to their student teaching, effectively connecting all of their previous college learning to the impending practical experience.
Although my work as the President of NYSSMA concluded, my ties to the organization and its national affiliate, the National Association for Music Education have deepened. I was elected President of the Eastern Division of NAfME, serving on the National Executive Board and Executive Committee. In 2016, I joined the executive staff of NYSSMA, working daily in their offices to support all manner of student, school, and educator services. In this year of much required creativity and innovation, I worked closely with NYSSMA’s elected officers and staff to develop a virtual evaluation festival model, which will be available to students across New York State during the spring of 2021. I also spearheaded the development of NYSSMA’s first-ever Cyber Summit, a virtual professional development event featuring over 150 workshop presentations from a broad range of musicians and educators, including the esteemed soprano Renee Fleming. Over 1400 music educators attended and participated in this unique and rewarding function.
I have continued to work with the school districts of Long Island in multiple capacities – as a consultant for music curriculum development, assessment and instruction and as a guest conductor for county and district choral ensembles. Additionally, I maintain a small voice instruction studio and provide piano accompaniment and vocal performance on an as-needed basis for several local religious congregations.
Long Island truly is a great place to make music, to teach music, and to surround oneself with a cadre of people who truly understand the power of music to embellish the lives of children and adults alike.”
Congratulations to Marc Greene, the 2020 LIMHOF Educator of Note!