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KE Band Director Phil Aguglia Named Grammy Finalist

For the first time in his career, Kenmore East band director Phil Aguglia is one of 10 music teachers in the U.S. to be named a finalist for the 2023 Music Educator Award. The award, presented by the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, recognizes current educators who are committed to making a significant contribution to the music education field.

More than 1,200 nominations were sent in for this year’s award. Aguglia is one of three finalists from the state of New York and the only one from Western New York.

Aguglia began teaching at Kenmore East High School in 2002. He is part of a district-wide music department that’s been designated as a Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for 12 straight years. Throughout his career, Aguglia has been involved in dozens of collaborations, has received 30 nominations or awards for excellence in teaching (including a nomination for People Magazine’s Teacher of the Year in 2012), and has hosted more than 100 guest artists.

Throughout the year, Mr. Aguglia facilitates countless opportunities for his students to perform and enrich Kenmore East and the larger Ken-Ton community through their music. He has organized multiple band trips to New Orleans, their first of which received nationwide attention as they assisted with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he planned many creative ways to continue his students' progress including virtual collaborations and weekly concerts outside his home.

The award recipient will be announced during GRAMMY week and will receive a $10,000 honorarium and matching grant for their school’s music program. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium with matching school grants.

Click here to view the press release from the Recording Academy