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UF's Russell Robinson recognized with FMEA's 'Leadership Award'

The School of Music professor will be recognized at Florida Music Educators Association Conference (Tampa) in January

Dr. Russell Robinson, professor and Head of Music Education at the University of Florida College of Fine Arts School of Music, has been selected as the 2012 FMEA Leadership Award winner by the Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA) Awards Committee. The FMEA Leadership Award recognizes an individual who demonstrates outstanding and sustained skill in a leadership or an administrative capacity and who carries the mission of FMEA forward throughout the state and/or the nation. Dr. Robinson will be presented this award at the Annual FMEA Clinic Conference in January.

Dr. Russell L. Robinson has been on the faculty of the University of Florida since 1984 and has made over 300 appearances as a conductor, keynote speaker and presenter in North America, Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Dr. Robinson’s conducting venues have included Carnegie Hall, Washington’s National Cathedral, Boston’s Symphony Hall and Lincoln Center (March 2012). He is a published author, composer and arranger with over 250 choral publications, including choral compositions and arrangements, books and instructional DVD’s. Dr. Robinson’s past offices held include: President of FMEA, MENC National Collegiate Chair, UF Interim Associate Dean of Fine Arts, and MENC Choral Adviser.

2011 UF Music Education graduate, now Orchestra Director at Gotha Middle School in Orlando, Julie Nelson, nominated Dr. Robinson. She states in her nomination letter:

“After getting to know Dr. Robinson through the courses I took with him, I have never met a more genuinely passionate educator and person. Dr. Robinson is friendly, kind, and makes studying music education exciting and purposeful. He cares deeply about each of his students and is continually willing to help them both musically and personally. In addition, his mentoring does not end when his students graduate as he continues to guide them as they enter into the real world of teaching.

In addition to his vast credentials on a national and international scale, Dr. Robinson is truly concerned about his University’s program and the success of his individual students. He is a rare professor who sees abilities in each of his students that they often do not see in themselves.”

Ms. Nelson solicited outside letters of support as required by the FMEA Awards Committee. They included the following individuals, and excerpts from their letters are below:

Dr. Lynn Brinckmeyer, Immediate Past President of the Music Educators National Conference. She states in her letter:

“Anyone who knows Russ will agree that his leadership experience, global perspective and boundless energy are invaluable to the music educators, and to our profession. He is known as an individual who is consistently organized, positive and supportive. Music educators throughout the nation respect his work and the work of the graduate students he supervises.”

Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, Vice President of Education for Conn-Selmer, Inc./Steinway Music Instruments and Internationally Known Keynote Speaker states:

“Dr. Robinson has been a long-time colleague and friend. His stellar history of success as a Professor of Music at the University of Florida is a reflection of Dr. Robinson’s entire career. He is a headliner clinician for conventions around the globe, and his following of countless devotees serve as a clear testimony to his life-long work, passion, contribution. Simply put, he represents the epitome of a MASTER TEACHER.”

Dr. Charles Hoffer, UF Professor of Music Education, Past-President of the Music Educators National Conference and Hall of Fame Laureate for MENC, states:

“We both joined the faculty here in 1984. He has been a first-rate colleague and a joy to work with. In addition, he is an outstanding teacher, including winning several awards for his teaching and professional service. He has been an excellent area head for music education, the position that I held for more than a decade.”

Ronald Burrichter, professor of voice at UF, states:

“The impact of Dr. Robinson’s work on the world of music education should be well known to anyone in the field. His many compositions directed toward allowing young singers to experience masterworks through his arrangements for young and developing voices, his books and videos to aid teachers in their work, his frequent appearances as an honor choir conductor or workshop clinician at locations around the world, his journal writings, his caring and professional guidance of students in music education, his marvelous classroom skills and the list goes on and on all speak volumes to his enormous contributions always aimed at bringing forth the best from students and teachers alike.”

Dr. John A. Duff, Director of the UF School of Music, states:

“Dr. Robinson has over 250 choral arrangements in print from major publishing houses, which are performed worldwide by elementary, junior high, and high school choirs. His book, The Complete Choral Warm Up Book, is used by choral teachers internationally, as is his general music book, Songwriting Made Easy. His published instructional DVD’s on Creative Rehearsal Techniques, Jazz Style and Improvisation for Choirs, and Middle School Singers: Turning their Energy into Wonderful Choirs have assisted teachers in daily current teaching techniques, use of positive reinforcement in the classroom, thereby creative better attitude through behavior modification.

Dr. Robinson is a past-president of the FMEA and National Collegiate Advisor for the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Dr. Robinson received the UF College of Education’s University-wide award, Scholarship of Engagement Award, for his creative and scholarly effort that emphasized four categories as described in Ernest Boyer’s vision—discovery, integration, application and teaching. At the awards ceremony, it was said, Dr. Russell Robinson’s work looks for connections, builds bridges between theory and practice, and communicates knowledge effectively to students.”

For more information contact:
FMEA Awards Chair Debbie Fahmie -


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