Bel Air woman wins music education award

March 12, 1995|By Sandra Ormsbee | Sandra Ormsbee,Contributing Writer

Rosa Crocker says music is a natural and important part of her life.

"I had a lot of advantage when I was growing up to hear all sorts of wonderful music," she says.

Mrs. Crocker has been spreading her love of music to youths through the School Concerts Committee of Harford County, a "volunteer booking agency" that has been setting up concerts in county schools since 1957.

"It seemed like such a wonderful opportunity to give children music they weren't getting any other way."

Mrs. Crocker has been honored for her work. The Maryland Music Educators Association chose her to receive the 1995 Corwin Taylor Music Education Leadership Award.

The annual award is presented to a community leader who has made a significant contribution to the music education of Maryland's youth, said Nancy Cook of the Maryland Music Educators Association.

It is given in memory of Dr. Corwin Taylor, a noted musician, composer, author and educator who was supervisor of instrumental music in the Baltimore public school system from 1945 to 1968.

Mrs. Crocker has brought to Harford students more than 2,500 programs of musicians and artists, Ms. Cook said.

"The committee auditions artists, publishes extensive lists of artistic offerings, writes grants, pays artists, bills schools and attends and prepares written evaluations of each program," she said.

"She has been an outstanding arts advocate in Harford County," Roger Folstrom, president of the Maryland Music Educators Association, said of Mrs. Crocker. "She fit the spirit of the award -- someone other than a music teacher who has dedicated their life to music education."

Mrs. Crocker, 74, was co-chairwoman of the committee for 33 years and is now artist liaison. She has supported music in the schools and community for about 37 years.

When she isn't devoting her time to instilling appreciation of music in others, Mrs. Crocker, a Bel Air resident, sings with the Harford Choral Society. She thinks classical music is an important part of life that may soon become extinct.

"When you look around you and hear what you hear, there's more noise than there is Bach or Beethoven," Mrs. Crocker said. Classical music "needs to be supported so it doesn't disappear."

That's exactly why she finds her volunteer work so rewarding.

"What I like best of all," she said, "is seeing the children enjoying the music. That's exciting."

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