The Julia E. Crane Alumni Association recently honored both Jeffrey Vredenburg ’72 and Brenda Wheatley Vredenburg ’73 with the 2018 Helen M. Hosmer Excellence in Music Teaching Award at SUNY Potsdam’s Reunion Weekend.
The Helen M. Hosmer Excellence in Music Teaching Award is presented each year to alumni in public school music education who have demonstrated exemplary service in any of the areas of choral, instrumental or general music education. The Vredenburgs were honored for their love and dedication to music education, and their exemplary teaching careers.
About the recipient:
Jeffrey Vredenburg ’72 and Brenda Wheatley Vredenburg ’73 are both outstanding lifelong music educators and performing musicians. Jeff specializes in choral music, and Brenda in orchestral music.
The couple have always required the same standard of excellence from their music students that they themselves have applied to their teaching. In their work at Saratoga Springs High School, they set an example by creating a culture in which every student was expected to give their best effort every day. Their love for and commitment to teaching was the most important tool they used to impart a passion and aptitude for music to their students.
During their 33-year public school teaching careers, the Vredenburgs’ student music ensembles consistently received the highest ratings at New York State School Music Association competitions, and at national and international music festivals. As successful teachers and conductors, Jeff and Brenda have been invited to guest-conduct numerous Junior and Senior High School All-County Music and Area All-State festivals throughout New York State.
In addition to running a private piano/voice studio, Brenda accompanies many choirs and performs as church organist and soloist in many Capital District area churches. Jeff conducts the Mendelssohn Club of Albany, and has been a choral musician in Albany Pro Musica and the Burnt Hill Oratorio Society. In the spirit of giving back to the profession, they have both earned their NYSSMA adjudicator certification, and have been active adjudicators in NYSSMA’s major organization and solo festivals for years.
The Vredenburgs were honored for serving as a model of excellence in education. This was as true in their public school teacher roles, as it is today in their second careers as supervisors of Crane School of Music student teachers in the Capital District. Brenda and Jeff take special care in placing student teachers, ensuring a good match between the student teacher and sponsor teacher. Many of the student teachers they supervised have written to express gratitude for inspiring them to be the best teachers that they can be.
For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, please visit www.potsdam.edu/crane.
Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.