On May 31, 2001, the National Music Council presented its American Eagle Awards to John Corigliano. Michael Kamen and Marian McPartland at the 20th Annual Awards Luncheon. Each year, the National Music Council presents the American Eagle Awards to individuals who have made significant contributions to American music and music education. The Awards Luncheon included presentations by Leonard Slatkin, Dave Brubeck, and Billy Taylor. Awards are made upon the recommendation of the National Music Council Board.
John Corigliano has been internationally celebrated as a leading composer of his generation. In 1991, Musical America named him their first Composer of the Year. In 2000, he won an Oscar for Best Original Film Score for The Red Violin. In April 2001, Corigliano was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Music for his Symphony No. 2.
Photo by Sandra Keenan Kamen
Michael Kamen has had an illustrious career as composer, arranger, conductor and collaborator. He has written music from rock ballads to compositions for the Joffrey Ballet, worked with diverse artists from Pavarotti to Pink Floyd, composed the scores for numerous films and has won three Grammy Awards. Kamen was commissioned by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra to compose The New Moon in the Old Moon’s Arms (Symphony for the Millennium). National Music Council Director Dr. David Sanders noted that the Board wanted to recognize Kamen’s work with the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which he founded, in addition to his “incredibly eclectic contribution to American music.”
Photo by James Salvano courtesy of the Baldwin Piano Company
Marian McPartland, host of NPR’s Piano Jazz, is a legendary jazz pianist, having spent more than 60 years in music. She has interviewed and performed with countless jazz musicians, recorded over 50 albums for the Concord Jazz label and was inducted into the International Association of Jazz Educators Hall of Fame in 1986. Ms. McPartland has authored several articles and books on jazz. In 2000, she received the ASCAP Foundation‘s Lifetime Achievement Award.
According to Sanders, the Board chose Marian McPartland in recognition of her work “bringing the art of jazz into the homes and hearts of Americans for over sixty years. In addition to her musicianship and her music, she has brought jazz to so many people in an educational format.”
The National Music Council was founded in 1940 to provide a forum for the free discussion of American musical affairs and to act as a clearing-house for the joint opinions and decisions of its members. It supports and promotes music education in American classrooms and works to strengthen the importance of music in our lives and culture. The Council was chartered by Congress in 1956; it is the official U.S. representative to the International Music Council.
Membership in the National Music Council is confined to music-related organizations. The membership of these constituent organizations amounts to millions of people. One of the upcoming projects of the Council is the creation of an email database that would be shared by the Council and its member organizations. This would allow the Council to directly address national legislative issues, for instance, without the extra time and effort required to get constituent member organizations to each do a mass mailing.
Another upcoming NMC initiative is the co-sponsorship with MENC of an event on Capitol Hill. “In the past, this event (which is as yet unnamed) has just involved the education community. We want to bring in the music community at large,” Sanders commented. The event will take place immediately preceding Arts Advocacy Day. “It will be good for the music community to have some positive dialogue with legislators in an informal setting.”
The council is also planning to produce several half-hour television programs on issues of importance to the music community. “They will be geared towards the general public, but also towards schools,” Sanders commented. Currently, the Council is discussing these plans with a national television programming distributor.