Orchestra Director of the Year
Studio Teacher of the Year
Orchestra Director of the Year
Deanna Leedy - Andreozzi
Deanna Leedy-Andreozzi, an Ohio native, attended Boston University where she majored in Music Education. She completed her Master’s at the Hartt School of Music and is currently pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lesley University (all but dissertation).
Deanna has taught in the Weston Public Schools, Wakefield Public Schools, and is currently teaching in the Sudbury Public Schools. As such, she has worked with students across all grade levels. In addition to teaching in the public schools, she conducts the Camerata Youth Symphony of Indian Hill.
A cellist, she has performed with the Civic Symphony of Boston, the West Virginia Symphony, Rivers Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony. Deanna is currently Past-President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American String Teacher's Association. She has adjudicated for both the Junior and Senior District Festivals, as well as volunteered her time as orchestra manager and festival coordinator. She maintains a private teaching studio in addition to teaching.
Dr. Walter Pavasaris
Walter Pavasaris graduated from the Hartt College of Music with a Bachelor of Music Education Degree. He then became a member of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York. After completing his tour of duty with the band, he earned a Master of Music in String Instruments from the University of Michigan (where he was a Teaching Fellow) and a Doctor of Education Degree from Boston University.
His teaching career began in the Marshfield (Massachusetts) Public Schools. Dr. Pavasaris then became the Director of Orchestras and string teacher for the Belmont Massachusetts Public Schools. During his tenure in Belmont the string program flourished both in the elementary and secondary schools. Under his baton, the Belmont High School and Chenery Middle School Orchestras consistently earned superior ratings at numerous state, regional and international music festivals. Additionally, the Belmont High School Orchestra was selected to perform at the All-Eastern MENC Conference in Boston in 1983. From 1990 to 2009 Walter was Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts for the Lexington (Massachusetts) Public Schools. His primary responsibilities included advocating for the arts and creating and implementing curricula in the areas of music, visual arts, and drama. Under his leadership, the arts maintained an integral place within each student’s basic education. Walter continuously modeled his passion and belief that music is a life long endeavor that transcends gender, age, and ethnicity.
For over three decades Dr. Pavasaris has positively impacted many music educators while serving as a faculty member at The Boston Conservatory, New England Conservatory and Boston University. Whether teaching conducting, string pedagogy, instrumental methods, his students have experienced Walter’s enthusiasm and passion for the artistry of being a musician and educator. In June 2009 Dr. Pavasaris was appointed to a full time faculty position in the Music Education Department at Boston
Conservatory of Music. He currently also holds faculty positions at Gordon College and Berklee College of Music.
Walter continues to be an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor throughout New England. He has been a past faculty member of the SYMS, ASTA and Bay State summer camps. As a conductor, he has
had the distinct privilege of conducting numerous festival orchestras throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island. In 1992 and from 1999-2001 Walter was the guest conductor
of the United States Youth Ensemble String Orchestra during their European Tour. From 2003-2008 he was the associate conductor of the Metrowest Orchestra in Hopkinton, Massachusetts. During the 2004
and 2005 seasons he served as Music Director of the Nashoba (Massachusetts) Youth Orchestras. For over thirty years Walter was the Music Director and conductor of the Arlington (MA) Philharmonic Orchestra. He has conducted the Gordon College Symphony Orchestra and currently conducts the Northeast Massachusetts Youth Symphony Orchestra.
In 1992, Dr. Pavasaris was the recipient of the Paul Smith Memorial ‘Conductor of the Year Award’ presented by the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors’ Association. In 1996, the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association named Dr. Pavasaris as a recipient of the ‘Lowell Mason Award’ acknowledging his numerous contributions to music and music education. In 2007 he received the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association ‘Visionary Leadership Award’ for his outstanding contributions as a music administrator. In 2008 Dr. Pavasaris was the recipient of the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association ‘Distinguished Service Award’ in recognition of his exceptional support and outstanding accomplishments towards the advancement of music education in the schools of Massachusetts.
Studio Teacher of the Year
Marielisa and Mariesther Alvarez
Marielisa and Mariesther Alvarez are founders and directors of the Boston String Academy, an El Sistema- inspired program which hosts an outstanding children’s string orchestra curriculum.
They are graduates of ”El Sistema”, the National System of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela, and hold Master of Music Degrees and Graduate Performance Diplomas in violin performance from The Boston Conservatory. They have had the privilege of working with internationally acclaimed artists such as Gustavo Dudamel, Jose Antonio Abreu, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Pamela Frank, Joseph Silverstein, Mela Tenenbaum, the Berlin Philharmonic String Quartet, among others.
The Alvarez sisters apply a unique pedagogical approach combining different methods and techniques from their own training at El Sistema in Venezuela, studies with Rictor Noren at the Boston Conservatory, the period of study with Mimi Zweig at the String Academy of Indiana University, and with the founder of the Colourstrings method, Geza Szilvay in Hungary and Finland. Recently, in the Spring of 2016, they were chosen among the 100 most influential people for the Hispanic community in Massachusetts! This is an outstanding recognition from El Planeta’s Powermeter event.
Marielisa and Mariesther are currently faculty at Longy School of Music of Bard College and its Sistema Side by Side Series. They collaborate regularly with El Sistema in Venezuela teaching at the different nucleos and Summer Festivals, specially supporting the students and youth orchestras in Barquisimeto and Acarigua. This past summer they worked closely with Los Angeles Philharmonic, Longy School of Music and Bard College in the launching of the first national youth orchestra of El Sistema-inspired programs in the United States, called “National Take a Stand Festival”.
Boston String Academy is a non-profit organization inspired by El Sistema that provides a vibrant string orchestra program for inner-city young students, forging social integration through music by creating a path for young people to become sensitive, responsible and creative human beings. We offer many performance opportunities, master classes, lessons and ensemble settings, which will enable students to build self-confidence, discipline, commitment, social skills, and other fundamental values essential to every child’s development. As part of the efforts to expose our students to the highest level of musical expression, we provide them with opportunities to work with internationally acclaimed artists including Rictor Noren, Lynn Chang, David Ying, Martin Chalifour, Edicson Ruiz, Midori Goto, and world renowned conductors Gustavo Dudamel and Sir Simon Rattle.
Mona Rashad has dedicated her life to sharing her love of the violin with children from underrepresented and diverse communities. Ms. Rashad currently teaches violin in Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Intensive Community Program, and in the Lynn Public Schools. One of the founding violin teachers at the Conservatory Lab Charter School in Boston, Mona has had 16 years of extensive teaching experience, including holding teaching posts in the Boston, Holyoke, and Marlborough Schools, and at the Community Music Center of Boston, and the Indian Hill Music School.
She studied Violin Performance and Music Education at Rice University and the New England Conservatory where she was a student of Kenneth Goldsmith and James Buswell and studied Pedagogy with Marylou Speaker Churchill and Maria Benotti. Mona grew up in Houston, TX and began her violin studies as a Suzuki student in the public schools. At the age of 12, she was invited to Japan to participate in an International Suzuki Festival and play for Dr. Suzuki. As a teenager, she performed in Carnegie Hall and throughout concert halls in Europe as a member of the orchestra of the High School for Performing and Visual Arts and the Houston Youth Symphony.
She studied Suzuki pedagogy with Carol Sykes, and uses Dr. Suzuki’s child development philosophies to inspire her daily teaching. She believes that all children can be nurtured to become accomplished, creative, and poised musicians, and also develop into positive role models in their communities through their love of making music together.
Bio and photo coming soon!
Voting will open officially on Friday, February 17th and CLOSE on Sunday, February 19th!