PORTLAND — At a conference of the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) earlier this month, Conners Emerson principal Barbara Neilly was awarded the MMEA Outstanding School Administrator Award. The award recognizes school administrators who have demonstrated active, ongoing support for balanced music programs.
Music programs launched during Neilly’s 24 years at Conners Emerson include grade 2 class violin, grade 3 tin whistle, grade 4 ukulele, grade 5 mountain dulcimer construction and playing, grade 6 keyboard lab and show choir. Her creative scheduling has allowed for the Swallowtail Fiddlers to practice during the school day. This year, the first Music Week was created. Eighteen electives were offered to the seventh and eighth grade students, allowing each student to select two workshops. She helps out backstage at school concerts and oversees class field trips to hear performing groups.