Sponsored by Jacobs Music Company, J.W. Pepper, and WRTI-90.1 FM

PHILADELPHIA (March 15, 2024) – PYO Music Institute (PYOMI) and its esteemed partners proudly announce the 11th Annual Ovation Award, celebrating excellence in music education. This award acknowledges outstanding music teachers who inspire and lead in their field.

Commencing March 15, 2024, PYOMI invites current and former students of all ages and locations to nominate the educator who made a profound impact on their lives through a 250-word essay. Nominations close on April 14, 2024, and can be submitted conveniently online at pyomusic.org.

Partnering annually with Jacobs Music Company, J.W. Pepper, and WRTI 90.1 FM, PYOMI acknowledges these organizations for their shared commitment to honoring exceptional music educators. Jacobs Music Company, renowned for its representation of new and authentically restored pianos, stands as a pillar in the music community alongside J.W. Pepper, a leading sheet music merchant, and WRTI 90.1 FM, broadcaster of the region’s most comprehensive classical and jazz radio programming. 

A distinguished panel comprising representatives from major music organizations and university music departments selects ten finalists, including the deserving award recipient. All finalists receive commendable prizes, with the Ovation Award recipient also receiving a $1,000 honorarium. Moreover, the nominator of the Ovation Award recipient will be awarded a $250 Visa gift card. Past nominations are encouraged for resubmission.

The eagerly anticipated announcement of the Ovation Award finalists and recipient will take place at the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra 84th Annual Festival Concert in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center on June 2, 2024.

Louis Scaglione, President and CEO of the PYO Music Institute, deeply respects music educators and finds joy in facilitating this platform for students to honor their mentors. He expressed, “Every year, we eagerly anticipate the heartfelt nominations that pour in, recognizing the remarkable contributions of music teachers. They are more than instructors; they are mentors who nurture students’ confidence and help them through all aspects of life. As an institution dedicated to music education, we deeply appreciate the unwavering dedication of these teachers and the profound impact they have on countless students annually. We extend our sincere appreciation to our partners who join us in celebrating these champions of music education.”

Chris Rinaldi, serving as President of Jacobs Music Company and a member of the PYO Music Institute Board of Trustees, expresses his satisfaction in Jacobs Music Company’s continued support of the PYO Music Institute Ovation Award. He emphasizes, “Music education equips students with invaluable life skills and enriches their personal growth through music-making. Dedicated music educators play a pivotal role in nurturing this pursuit of music. Jacobs Music Company is honored to remain involved in the Ovation Award, recognizing the profound impact of these educators on generations of young musicians.”

Lee Paynter, COO of J.W. Pepper & Son and also a member of the PYO Music Institute Board of Trustees, shares his pride in participating in this longstanding tradition. He remarks, “Many of us at Pepper, myself included, have personally experienced the transformative influence of great music teachers on their students. Supporting music educators is deeply ingrained in our company culture, and we are delighted to join the PYO Music Institute in expressing our gratitude through the Ovation Award.”

Bill Johnson, the general manager of WRTI 90.1 FM and a longstanding supporter of the PYO Music Institute, emphasizes the lifelong benefits of music engagement. He states, “The pursuit of music offers enduring rewards, fostering discipline, collaboration, and critical listening skills. Music students evolve into well-rounded adults who understand the significance of music education and the arts in leading a fulfilling life. We take pride in supporting their journey in collaboration with the remarkable leadership and team at the PYO Music Institute.”

For more information and to access the Ovation Award application, visit pyomusic.org, or email questions to the PYO Music Institute at ovationaward@pyomusic.org


About Jacobs Music Company: Established in 1900, Jacobs Music was selected by Steinway & Sons as its only dealer representative in Southeastern and South-Central Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware for sales, technical service and concert and artist service. The company has six showrooms in Philadelphia and Ephrata, PA and Cherry Hill, Princeton and Shrewsbury, NJ and Wilmington, DE.  Jacobs Music is one of the nation’s oldest and largest acoustic and digital piano retailers with new, certified, pre-owned and authentic factory restored Steinway & Sons pianos as well as Steinway’s Boston and Essex pianos. Jacobs also offers a vast selection of used instruments from manufacturers around the world and Roland digital pianos. For more information, call 215.568.7800 or visit www.jacobsmusic.com.

About J.W. Pepper: J.W. Pepper®, based in Exton, PA, was founded in Philadelphia and has grown to become the leading retailer of sheet music. In its 148th year, they serve customers through their website  and two distribution centers. Customer care is at the heart of their services for school music programs, church and community groups, private studios, and performing musicians. For more information, visit jwpepper.com.

About WRTI:  WRTI 90.1 FM is a member-supported, non-commercial, values-driven classical music and jazz public media station located in Philadelphia, with 14 frequencies serving listeners in PA, NJ, and DE. The mission of WRTI is to champion music as a vital cultural resource. WRTI’s core values include discovery, curation, performance, community, preservation, and education. A broadcast service of Temple University, WRTI is also an NPR member station. WRTI is on the radio at 90.1 FM, and 24-hour classical and jazz streams are available online at WRTI.org, on the WRTI Mobile App, and on Amazon and Google smart speakers.

About PYO Music Institute:  The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute is the tri-state region’s premier youth orchestra organization for gifted, young, classical musicians, and one of the oldest and most highly regarded youth orchestra organizations in the United States. For 84 years, the PYO Music Institute has been providing professional-caliber musical experiences to young instrumentalists, while thrilling audiences in the Greater Philadelphia region and across the globe. 

The organization has nine program divisions: Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), Young Musicians Debut Orchestra (YMDO), Bravo Brass, Prysm Strings, Pizzicato Players, Philadelphia Youth Jazz Orchestra (PYJO), Philadelphia Youth Symphonic Band (PYSB), and Tune Up Philly – Orchestral Pathways Program. Ranging in age from 5 to 21 years, the musicians of the PYO Music Institute come from a 70-mile radius of Philadelphia encompassing nearly 20 counties within Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Through advanced orchestra repertoire, students are challenged to perform at the highest levels, to strive for advanced musicianship, and to achieve superior technical, musical, and personal application. Former PYOMI musicians currently hold chairs in most of the top 20 professional orchestras in the United States, with 12 PYOMI alumni currently serving in The Philadelphia Orchestra.  For more information, please visit www.pyomusic.org

Prior Winners:
2014 – William Cain
2015 – Anthony Williams
2016 – Jennifer Jie Jin
2017 – Dmitri Kauriga
2018 – Shelley Beard Santore
2019 – Lee Snyder
2020 – Susan Ohrt

2021 – Charles Sallinger

2022 – Sergei Nuissl, Posthumously

2023 – Noelle Casella Grand