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2013 Teacher of the Year Award Winners


Outstanding Orchestra Teacher: Melissa Martin

MartinMelissa Martin, violist and violinist, is currently teaching orchestra at Moultrie Middle School, James B Edwards Elementary, Mount Pleasant Academy and Sullivan’s Island Elementary in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. Prior to teaching in Charleston County Schools, she taught 18 years at Lexington Middle School in Lexington, SC.

Ms. Martin earned a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina. Her Master of Education; Emphasis in Creative Arts in Learning degree was completed with Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ms. Martin has been guest conductor for the SC Upstate Region II Orchestra in 2005 and the SC Low Country Region Orchestra in 2006. She has also been guest artist and clinician for various arts programs including the Tri-District Arts Consortium in Columbia, GATEWAY program in Dorchester District Two, All-County orchestras in Berkeley County, Horry County and Richland One. Ms. Martin has served as Secretary, Treasurer and All-State Chair for the South Carolina Music Educators Conference and currently serves as a member of the following professional organizations: SCMEA, NAfME ASTA and PSTA. While in Lexington District One, she was selected as Teacher of the Year in 2007 and served on various leadership roles in the arts.

Orchestras under her direction have received superior ratings and various awards. Her performances include those with local rock and roll musicians, Lake Murray Symphony, Augusta and Long Bay Symphony (substitute), weddings, and special church services. When not performing or rehearsing, Ms. Martin enjoys the great outdoors, splashing in the ocean, soaking up the sun, and spending time with family and friends.


Outstanding Studio Teacher: Dr.  Craig Butterfield

ButterfieldCraig Butterfield is Associate Professor of Double Bass and Jazz Studies at the University of South Carolina, where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. American Record Guide has said “Craig Butterfield is nothing short of magnificent. I haven’t heard such expressive playing and virtuosic command since Gary Karr. His tone is gorgeous, his intonation rock-solid, and his phrasing expressive and flexible.” Soundboard magazine stated “Butterfield can make his instrument dance and sing with an effortless which is hard to credit. (He must have a bionic left forearm). Not only can he inhabit the range of a cello, but he can make it light and lyrical when needed.”

Comfortable in many styles of music, Mr. Butterfield has performed extensively as a jazz artist as well as a classical soloist and clinician. Most recently Butterfield performed with saxophone artist Greg Osby at the Taichung Jazz Festival, before an audience of 30,000. During 2004 and 2005, Craig toured with the legendary jazz trumpet player Maynard Ferguson. As a member of Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau band, he performed in some of the most famous venues in the world, including the Blue Note in New York, Ronnie Scott's in London, and the Bangkok Cultural Arts center as a special guest of the King of Thailand. A week at Ronnie Scott's in London was recorded and released as Maynard Ferguson’s final live CD release entitled MF Horn 6. He has been a guest artist at the San Miguel International jazz festival in Mexico as well as the Ollin Kan world music festival in Mexico City, and has toured as a performer and clinician throughout South Korea and Japan. Craig has been active in the studio as well, appearing on many jazz CDs as both a performer and as a producer.

In the classical field, Craig Butterfield has performed concertos and given masterclasses and recitals as a soloist in many concert halls and universities throughout the United States. Butterfield’s main performing ensemble, Dez Cordas, a duo with guitarist Matthew Slotkin, has released two CDs in the past two years. dances songs inventions is available on Centaur Records and Gone Away is available on Summit Records. A recording featuring the Franck Violin Sonata with pianist Charles Fugo was also published by Centaur Records in 2011. Butterfield has been invited to perform recitals as a guest artist at the semiannual International Society of Bassists convention, the American String Teachers Association, and the Violin Society of America.


Best Student Chapter: University of South Carolina, Columbia
Katie Lindler, student chapter president

The University of South Carolina Student ASTA chapter is made up of twenty music education and performance majors who are dedicated to advocating string education and bettering themselves as future professionals in the field of music. The chapter is involved in many events at the USC School of Music, the USC String Project and the surrounding community. Events include South Carolina Cello Choir, SC All-State, and Violin- Viola Choir. The chapter’s major event is Strings in Silhouette, an annual fundraiser held each year to raise money for its members to attend the National ASTA Conference. This year the chapter is under the advisement of Dr. William Terwilliger and run by President Katie Lindler, Treasurer Christine Nixon, and Vice-President/Fundraising Chair Molly Sgrecci.




Lifetime Achievement Award: Sylvia Howell

HowellSylvia Bodie Howell has devoted much of her life to teaching and sharing her love of music. She has been a music therapist, teacher of Braille music, and music teacher in private and public schools. In 1958-59, she filled a vacancy at Greensboro College teaching Music Education. Sylvia has been a violinist in the following symphony orchestras: Interlochen Arts Academy, Winston Salem, Tucson, Nashville, and has maintained a home studio, teaching music privately.

A graduate of Greensboro College in 1953 with a BM in Violin, she received a master of Music Degree from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and studied at Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. While living in Tallahassee, Florida, Sylvia and her husband organized a community orchestra and Artist Concert Series, still very active today.

After moving to Lexington, South Carolina, the Howell's founded the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra in 2004. They are musicians in the orchestra. Today, this is an excellent symphony orchestra of talented players, giving at least 8 concerts yearly.

She is also a graduate of the Realtor's Institute. For ten years, she had maintained real estate sales of 1 to 2 million dollars. Boards of directors include The Shepherd Center of Saint Andrews, and appointment by the Governor to the Board of Directors of Lexington County Mental Health Commission. She has served as state legislative chair for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and as a member of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Forensic Planning Committee.

Since college, she has remained active in church choirs and orchestras. Sylvia has a great passion for travel, particularly international travel, with emphasis on Spanish speaking countries. With her husband Ken, they have traveled to over 37 countries. They have worked on Medical Missions in foreign countries, and volunteer locally for Med-Missions, assisting the uninsured. They live in Lexington, South Carolina and have two children and one grandchild.


Outstanding Community Sponsor:
Bernhardt House of Violins – Joyce Miller and Alex Spainhour

JoyceBernhardt House of Violins was established in 2003 to meet the need in Greenville, SC, and surrounding counties of providing quality string instruments for beginning and advanced musicians, appraisal services for valuable instruments, and a workshop that offers professional repair and restoration for instruments and bows.

Eager to encourage young musicians to pursue the arts, BHV enjoys supporting local events and programs such as helping to fund a performance of the Turtle Island String Quartet at the Governor’s School, Mark Wood’s Electrify Your Strings program in Greenville and Spartanburg, the Greenville County Youth Orchestra, Carolina Youth Symphony, the GAMAC Concerto Competition; as well as, Regions, All State, Cello Choir, Violin/Viola Choir, the Endpin Festival, and All-County festivals.

Owners’ Joyce Miller and Alex Spainhour are passionate about offering the best in service and
believe that standard can only be maintained by hand selecting the instruments and bows they sell and lease to clientele. Doing so requires travel across the U. S. and Europe to study old instruments and meet with peers to discuss and learn more about the global instrument trade at conventions, auction houses and workshops.

AlexJoyce is a member of the Appraiser’s Association of America and is one of a few in the AAA that specializes in string instrument appraising. She is a professional musician and has played in several symphony and chamber orchestras in the Southeast and in Indiana and holds two Master’s degrees, one in secondary music from Jacksonville University and one in Viola performance from Bob Jones University. She has been a music educator in the classroom and studio and has over 20 years experience as a string instrument retailer; both of which have equipped her to understand the particular needs of string teachers and students.

Alex serves as Artistic and Orchestra Director of the Greater Anderson Musical Arts Consortium. He is a professional violinist, holding a M. M. in performance from Memphis State University (now the University of Memphis) where he studied with Dr. Robert Snyder. He was a music educator in Anderson, SC from 1970-1984 and was the a co-founder and co-conductor of the Anderson Symphony and Anderson String Quartet beginning in 1972, with whom he still performs. He has taught, conducted, and played in numerous orchestras across the region which has given him a unique insight into the local performer’s allowing him to aide them in choosing the instrument and bow best suited to their individual musical needs.