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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Two FCPS Band Directors Recognized by Fairfax County Band Directors Association

Victor Bernhards, band director at Keene Mill Elementary School and Rolling Valley Elementary School, has been named the 2012-13 Elementary Band Director of the Year, and Jordanna Bergman, band director at Hughes Middle School, has been named the 2012-13 Secondary Band Director of the Year by the Fairfax County Band Directors Association (FCBDA).

This is the first year the FCBDA has recognized its colleagues for their effort, hard work, and success with FCPS band programs.

Bernhards is recognized for sharing a “treasure trove of knowledge and experience,” according to a nominator, and for serving as a mentor for his colleagues throughout his career. For over 30 years, he served as band director at Sandburg Middle and Irving Middle Schools, encouraging his students to perform challenging music, which earned them superior ratings in competitions. “To watch him work with his groups was like attending a clinic on rehearsal techniques for a band director,” says one nominator. Bernhards now teaches elementary music students, working with them “from the ground up” to prepare them for middle and high school. One fellow band director thanked him for nurturing his lifelong connection to band; he started playing the trumpet in Bernhards’ class in 1981.

Bergman has been band director at Hughes for six years. She is acknowledged for the work she has done in the South Lakes High School Pyramid to support and expand the band program. “If you attended VMEA (Virginia Music Educators Association) this year and saw the South Lakes High School band perform, you can probably attest to the musicality and success from those students that came from, not only their high school director but also from…Ms. Bergman,” states one nominator. “Former students come back to their elementary directors…frequently and enthusiastically proclaim that one of their main reasons for continuing their participation in band was because of Ms. Bergman,” adds one colleague. Bergman is also hailed for serving as a mentor and providing particular support to a first-year colleague who took over the band program at an elementary school mid-year.

Finalists for the 2012-13 Band Director of the Year award included Laura Creque, who teaches at Laurel Hill Elementary and Island Creek Elementary Schools, and Jane Morgan, who currently teaches at Stratford Landing Elementary and Waynewood Elementary Schools.

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Note: For more information, contact Michael Utell, FCBDA president, at 703-477-5430 or mputell@fcps.edu.