South HS Teacher Recognized as GRAMMY Contest Quarterfinalist

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Valley Stream South High School Director of Orchestras Elizabeth Pichichero has been selected as a quarterfinalist for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation. She is among only 290 quarterfinalists that were identified out of more than 3,300 nominees from across the country.

The Music Educator Award recognizes educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.

Ms. Pichichero has been teaching at South for 15 years and conducts the select Chamber Ensemble and advises the Tri-M Music Honor Society in addition to her role as junior and senior high school orchestra director. This year, she achieved a major career accomplishment when the Chamber Orchestra was invited to perform at Walt Disney World in Orlando. A first for the school and ensemble, the group performed at the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Park.

A musician herself since the age of four, Ms. Pichichero has performed at Carnegie Hall and participated in orchestras in Manhattan and Long Island. As an educator, Ms. Pichichero strives to ensure that her students understand the important role that music has in their lives. She leads students in outreach initiatives that benefit organizations and efforts such as the Harry Chapin Food Bank, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Sunrise Walk and the Autism Walk at Jones Beach. Ms. Pichichero also spearheaded the “Shro-Show” in 2011, a musical extravaganza that raised money for a student who was battling leukemia.  

Quarterfinalists now have the opportunity to advance to semifinalist status in September with the prospect of earning prizes. Eventually, ten finalists will be named, from which one grand winner will be selected and honored during GRAMMY Week 2017. Ms. Pichichero is honored to be nominated for this GRAMMY distinction and she thanks her students for the pride they bring to the school and community of Valley Stream.