Sunderman Conservatory of Music graduate Amanda Herold ’22 was one of four college students nationwide selected by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) for the Professional Achievement Award, which recognized her outstanding dedication and commitment to the field of music education during her time as an undergraduate at Gettysburg College.
Herold was an active and engaged member of NAfME and helped lead music education initiatives across campus. She served as the state-wide president for the Pennsylvania Collegiate Music Educators Association (PCMEA) and was a panelist for first-generation students at the PCMEA Crescendo Conference in 2021. She was also invited to speak at the NAfME Collegiate Advocacy Summit on the topic of advocacy in collegiate music education chapters in 2021.
“It’s really exciting to have received national recognition for my work within NAfME and at Gettysburg College,” said Herold. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the support of the faculty and mentors I have had during my time here.
“Gettysburg’s curriculum and opportunities definitely helped put me in a position to attain this award,” she added. “Being a part of such a dynamic and intellectually challenging program really allowed me to create my own path while also being supported by the faculty and fellow students.”
Herold’s recognition marked the second year in a row Gettysburg has received acclaim from NAfME. Last year, the Sunderman Conservatory of Music was selected as one of six recipients of the Chapter of Excellence Award for its service to music education within the community.
“Music education is one of our core programs in the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College,” said Director of Bands and Prof. Russell McCutcheon. “We are honored to be recognized by the National Association for Music Education for the second year in a row for our program as a whole and the individual achievements of our students.
“Amanda Herold sets an outstanding example for music education students both at Gettysburg College and throughout Pennsylvania,” McCutcheon continued. “These awards, chosen from programs and students from across the United States, demonstrate our commitment to music education as a field of study as well as the success of our students in their education and career goals.”
The Professional Achievement Award is given to collegiate members who “have served their chapters in an exemplary manner” according to the press release. Herold joined award winners from Michigan, Nebraska, and Indiana in receiving the award during a virtual ceremony as part of NAfME’s National Advocacy Celebration for Music Education this past June. She was also invited to co-present at the conference on recruitment and involvement in collegiate music education chapters.
“These awards speak to the value of music and music education at the Sunderman Conservatory of Music,” said Herold. “The Conservatory has worked to support all of their students and has put on some really amazing projects. I think these awards serve as a testament to Gettysburg College’s motto, Do Great Work, where I always felt I was taking active and meaningful steps toward building better understandings.”
Herold, who is from Waymart, Pennsylvania, and graduated with a degree in music education in May, is currently working as an instrumental music teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. She is serving as the school’s band and instrumental music director and plans on continuing her educational pursuits by attending graduate school in the future.
By Corey Jewart
Photos courtesy Amanda Herold ’22 and Shawna Sherrell