Orchestra director honored

Orchestra director Angela Ammerman accepting her award as orchestra director of the year.

Joan Fredericks

Orchestra director Angela Ammerman accepting her award as orchestra director of the year.

“I nearly started crying because I love what I do so much and have such great respect for other music teachers,” Ammerman said.

Angela Ammerman, was recently awarded the 2015-2016 Orchestra Director of the Year by the American String Teachers Association.

She was recognized for her outstanding work with students as well as other achievements, such as Benefit Concert Coordinator (raising over $10,000 for one of her students), Future Music Educators Camp Founder & Director, Music Major Night Coordinator (over five universities and 70 families attended this event from all over Northern Virginia), Annandale Full Symphony Co-Conductor, extensive publications and presentations on recruiting and retaining string students and for presenting at the International Society for Philosophy of Music Education last June in Germany. Ammerman is also the co-conductor of the Annandale Full Symphony.

“I am so honored to have been selected for this award,” Ammerman said. “I am determined to really earn this award.”

“She most definitely deserves this award,” senior Leif Jomuad said. “She pushes her students to do their best and you can tell she has a lot of passion for her job and exerts all of her effort into this program.”

Ammerman has been teaching in the public school system for nine years.

“There are so many things I enjoy about my job! There is something magical about making music together,” Ammerman said. “It is kind of like watching a story unfold right in front of you, one in which every student has an important role.”

She loves watching her students grow musically, academically and socially during their high school years. She started teaching kids when she was just 12 years old. When she was in middle school, her orchestra teacher asked her to start teaching lessons to elementary school students as a result of her diligent playing abilities.

“Teaching lessons at such a young age made a huge difference in my career path,” Ammerman said.

Although her love for music developed more during her middle years, she was always musically and creatively gifted prior to then.

“I started playing piano when I was a baby. I don’t even remember learning to play,” Ammerman said. “I could read musical notes before I could read letters and words. I have been a musician forever.”

In addition to learning how to play the piano at a young age, she started playing the violin in the fourth grade and eventually learned how to play the cello and other instruments.

Ammerman graduated from the College Conservatory of music in Cincinnati, got her masters in music education at Boston University and is continuing to work on her doctorate at local university, George Mason.

Over the years, she has passionately devoted her time to helping her students reach their highest potential, regardless of playing level.

“Ms. Ammerman is great because she has peculiar ways of teaching,” Jomuad said. “It’s different every day and very random; you’ll never know what to expect when you walk through the door.”

The classes where she has all of her different string instrument players together are her favorite because the sound is amazing.

She has many goals for this year, including performing on a cruise ship for a day, performing more in the community and recruiting more beginners into the orchestra program.

She wants the program to grow and she is very excited for the orchestra competitions.

AHS Orchestra’s next concert is Dec. 17 in the Auditorium. Be sure to check it out and see for yourself how amazing they are under Ammerman’s direction.