Tenino band director Andrew Bowerly wins Music Educator of the Year, Dr. William P. Foster awards


The Tenino High School band is a favorite at Beaver sporting events and school concerts.

Now, the energy and fun brought to its music program by Andrew Bowerly is getting some pretty hefty notice.

Bowerly was recently honored with two awards: the Dr. William P. Foster National Award for Community Development and the Southwest Washington Music Educators Association (SWWMEA) Music Educator of the Year Award.

Bowerly has served as the band director in Tenino for 16 years. He attributes the recent recognition to the collective efforts of educators in Southwest Washington.

"We work with some fabulous educators in Southwest Washington, many that have been here for a long time," Bowerly said. "As part of the leadership of SWWMEA, I always have wanted to honor those that have come before and those that serve the organization to help make things outstanding for our educators and students."

Bowery said he typically nominates someone else, but this year didn't do a good enough job deflecting praise away from himself.

The Music Educator of the Year Award, presented every two years by the Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA), recognizes educators who demonstrate outstanding commitment and innovation in music education.

Bowerly's contributions to enhancing student participation in regional events and his efforts to promote small school representation were things the award to Bowerly highlighted.

"Projects I have been working on for the SWWMEA include managing middle school and high school festivals at Centralia College, serving as the webmaster, secretary and past president role with the SWWMEA, improving student participation in regional solo ensemble festival, creating a uniform evaluation form for festivals, and our current beast of a project, student recognition at solo ensemble with a focus on small school representation," Bowerly said.

The SWWMEA is working on presenting its ideas at the state level.

Current SWWMEA President Dave Stinley said Bowery had been the "wind beneath wings" on multiple occasions.

"I am honored to be recognized, but always go back to the kids and community that make our programs work in Tenino and trust me to get their kids to make some great music," Bowerly said.

Additionally, Bowerly's work in building community through music has been acknowledged with the Dr. William P. Foster National Award.

This honor, awarded by the Music Education Alliance, Music For All Foundation, National Band Association and College Band Directors National Association, celebrates educators who excel in creating opportunities for performance and engagement within their communities. Bowerly was honored at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, the largest band director clinic in the world.

"The award is given through nomination and filling out appropriate information requested about your program," Bowerly said. "In my write out, I spoke about creating opportunities to perform within our community, such as Oregon Trail Days, Railroad Days, Tumwater's Fourth of July parade, in addition to the events we've created to bring music to the area, like our jazz night or marching band festival."

By winning the award, Bowerly is getting sponsorships from instrument manufacturers Yamaha, King and Conn Selmer to cover various supplies for Tenino Students.

"I am thankful that my school district and superintendent Clint Endicott helped support my trip to the Midwest Clinic and the recognition," Bowerly said. "One of my highlights was, at our reception, one of my music education idols, "Dr. Tim" Lautenzheiser, was the master of ceremonies and talking about the award winners and my picture was on the screen behind him. The other educators I had the opportunity to interact with at the conference were also very special."