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Music teacher honored for outstanding work by RPO

Staff Reports Posted 19 April 2016 at 12:00 am

Kelly Follman

ROCHESTER – A Waterport woman who teaches music in the City of Rochester was one of four teachers honored last week by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra for outstanding work in the classroom.

Kelly Follman is an instrumental and vocal teacher at Francis Parker School #23 in the Rochester City School District. Follman directs the Compass Choir and two bands, as well as directs and produces two elementary musicals each year.

She holds the position of Eastman Pathways program liaison between the city school district and the Eastman School of Music. This year, she is a recipient of the RCSD Board of Education “Yes We Can” Award for her work with children in urban education, specifically at Francis Parker School.

Follman is a woodwind specialist who performs in area pit orchestras and serves as costumer for community theater productions. She passionately believes that children in the city of Rochester should have access to the same music-making opportunities as their peers in surrounding communities, and works diligently to achieve this, according to a news release from the RPO.

Photo: RPO

The four teachers recognized by the RPO include, from left: Kathleen Sullivan of Pine Brooke Elementary School at Greece Central School District; Kelly Follman of Francis Parker School #23 in Rochester City School District; Brian Bohrer of Rush-Henrietta High School; and William Baldwin, Twelve Corners Middle School in Brighton Central School District.

She was recognized last Thursday during the 28th annual RPO Musicians’ Awards for Outstanding Music Educators. Founded in 1988, the Awards program works to strengthen the relationship between area music educators and the musicians of the RPO.

The awards commend those teaches who have shown both educational and musical excellence and who recognize the positive influence they have on musicians and audiences of the future. Administrators, educators, parents and students submit nominations that are then reviewed by a committee comprised of community educators and RPO musicians.

“We want to see how they engage students in the classroom, and how they are creating an atmosphere of excitement toward music,” explains Anna Steltenpohl, chair of the Awards committee and RPO oboe and English horn player. “We want to see how they are bringing music alive.”

For more on the awards, click here.