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YK music teacher headed to JUNOs, nominee for national award

A Yellowknife music teacher is one of five nominees for a 2021 MusiCounts Teacher of the Year Award.

Stephen Richardson, who teaches at St. Joseph Elementary School has been nominated for the award.

His elementary school bands have won Gold at the Yellowknife Music Festival and Stephen has also secured three federal arts album grants and multiple TV and movie music syncs.

All the nominees have been invited to attend the JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards on May 15 as a part of JUNO Week in Toronto. 

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“Stephen demonstrates daily his passion for teaching music,’’ said Tony Florio, Assistant Principal of St. Joseph School. ‘’He teaches band and music full-time in our school. At the same time, he also teaches full-time guitar lessons, mentors students in grant writing and recording. He also continues with his own recording and gigging schedule under his own music business. Stephen is a strong believer in music and brain-based learning research.’’

During his time teaching at St. Joseph, Richardson has invited traditional Indigenous musicians into his class. 

Richardson also runs various clubs focusing on traditional music genres and rhythms, including African djembe and Puerto Rican cajon.  He also includes mindfulness and brain-based research into his music lessons.

If he wins. Richardson will receive a $10,000 cash donation towards the music program of St. Joseph School, as well as a crystal statuette based on the JUNO Award design.

The MusiCounts Teacher of the Year award was established in 2005.

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