Ashland duet recognized by Maine Music Educators Association

Published: May. 22, 2021 at 5:05 PM EDT|Updated: May. 22, 2021 at 5:28 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Maine (WAGM) - Each year the Maine Music Educators association honors teachers and administrators throughout the state. Joel Hall, Principal of Ashland District school was named Outstanding Administrator of the Year. While colleague Jon Simonoff was named Music Educator of the Year.

“This school has a really rich tradition of music,” Simonoff said. “To be recognized in Ashland district school, for anyone that doesn’t know the story, well let’s just leave it at that. It’s a really rich, vibrant history of music and I was humbled to just be a part of that history. The first thing that hit me, it was just right in the heart. I was humbled and I was proud.”

The Hall family’s history of music in Ashland runs deep. Principal Hall’s father Larry passed away in 2018 and was a prominent member of the school’s music program. Hall says to have this award is special.

“My father of course helped build the program, the foundation of it,” Hall said. “To win an award like this from such a group that he was a part of… I think it carries on a little piece of his legacy that is important to both the town and the school, and to me and my family as well.

Hall says winning this award, takes an ensemble.

“We work as a team. This is a team award as far as I’m concerned. As people have congratulated me throughout the day, that’s been my response that it’s a team effort. I get the administrator, but it doesn’t happen without everybody working together.”

Simonoff says it’s a good feeling to end the school year, on a high note.

“It’s been such a different year for music. I mean all teachers, but music being a performing art and not being able to perform it’s been very very different. It’s been different for teachers, and the kids and the community. So, getting a little bit of a pick me up after surviving this year is totally welcomed.”

Students and staff at MSAD #1 were also recognized as this year’s Dale Huff Outstanding music program.

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