Former Upper St. Clair resident Susan Forry Locke, 46, and her husband, Douglas, 49, have been selected to receive the 2013 Community Education Award from the Columbus Symphony.
The $2,500 grant can be used at their discretion on a wide range of music education options, such as being host to guest instructors, repairing instruments, taking professional development classes or purchasing new instruments, computer software and music.
"While we'll use the grant money for our Suzuki program, we don't know what restrictions there may be, so we can't be more specific at this time," Mrs. Locke said.
Adjunct professors at Otterbein University in Columbus, where they now live, the Lockes are the artistic/executive directors, founders and teachers of Suzuki Music Columbus and have performed with their student tour group in Estonia, China, Italy, and most recently, Peru, as well as in the American Southwest and Florida.
"The Suzuki Program teaches children music the way they learn language," Mrs. Locke said. "First, they listen to recordings of music they are going to play, much like a child listens to the words of its parent. Then they play what they hear and finally learn how to read music."
The Lockes were recommended for the award by the parents of their students and were informed they had been selected as grant recipients two weeks before Christmas. They will be presented with their award at a brunch March 3 at The Westin Hotel in Columbus, followed by a presentation on the stage of the Southern Theatre before a Columbus Symphony concert that afternoon.
Mrs. Locke grew up in Upper St. Clair, attending district schools and was involved in the music program from third grade until graduation. While living here, she studied under Albert Hirtz, former violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. She was inducted into the Upper St. Clair High School Arts Hall of Fame in 2006.
She and her husband attended The University of Hartford Hartt School of Music and graduated with bachelor's degrees in music performance and education. They received master's degrees in music performance and Suzuki pedagogy at Southern Illinois University.
In the Columbus area, the Lockes perform together as a duo and as part of a quartet and also perform with the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra, where Mr. Locke also serves as personnel manager.
"Our goal is to teach people beauty through music," Mrs. Locke said. "We hope that, with this grant, we can bring more music and more beauty to more people."
Dave Zuchowski, freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.