Mike Norman of the Hope College music faculty has been chosen to receive an Award of Merit from the Michigan Music Education Association (MMEA).

The award recognizes an individual who has given exemplary service to the MMEA and music education in Michigan.  It will be presented on Friday, Jan. 25, during the Michigan Music Conference taking place in Grand Rapids.

Norman is a part-time instructor in music at Hope and serves as music-education coordinator, working with both instrumental and vocal music-education students, including the Hope student chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). He has taught at the college since 2018.

He has been the band director for DeWitt Public Schools for 20 years.  He serves multiple professional organizations in the state, and created an instrumental clinic for the MMEA where there previously had been none.

Bill Vliek, president-elect of the MMEA, wrote: “Mike has been a champion of music education for as long as I've known him. As my mentor during my student teaching, his tutelage always centered around what was best for students and how to create lifelong musicians...  While he never asks for recognition, his tireless work for MMEA and music education in the state should be recognized.”

The MMEA is a professional organization that serves music educators, students, parents and community members through leadership in the advancement of music teaching and learning.  The MMEA offers professional-development workshops throughout the state, and performance opportunities for elementary, middle and high school students, and provides state and national advocacy/legislative support and outreach to pre-service, current and retired Michigan music educators of all experience levels. The MMEA is a state-affiliate of the National Association for Music Education.

The Michigan Music Conference, which this year is running Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 24-26, features school ensemble concerts, performances from honors choirs, all-state bands, and orchestras; sessions for in-service and pre-service teachers; professional development clinics; hands-on technology workshops; and association membership and business meetings. Approximately 9,000 teachers, administrators, students, speakers and guests attend.