Each year, Buffalo State faculty and students collaborate with dozens of dedicated and talented music educators from around western New York. We choose to recognize a few colleagues each year who have made outstanding contributions to their students, their institution, and the field of music education.
Click here to nominate your favorite music teacher:
Holly Hudson is an educator and mentor for children on the West Side of Buffalo. She currently teaches general, vocal, and instrumental music to grades 7‐12 at the International Preparatory School at Grover (#198). She holds a Masters in Music Education from the University of Buffalo, and a Bachelors in Music Educa on from Buffalo State College. Holly is a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Board of Educa on, where she rou nely has her students involved in the yearly “West Side Connection” concert. There are more than 28 languages spoken at Mrs. Hudson’s school. Her students come from all over the world as refugees. They have extremely interesting stories that Holly helps them tell through music. Holly has also been involved in the West Side Community, most recently as a judge for the Young Miss Buffalo Pageant and a presenter for the ECMEA classroom workshop fes val.
Holly is a bassoonist and you may catch her playing with local orchestras, pitbands, or chamber groups throughout the year. When not teaching or creating music, Holly enjoys spending me with her family and menagerie of animals. (Dogs, cats and two Nigerian dwarf goats!) She resides in Alabama, NY, with her husband of 14 years (Jeremiah) and her two children, Gabriel (13) and Eleanor (5).
eather Lovelace has a degree in Music Educa on from SUNY Fredonia where she studied voice with Dr. Margaret Kuhl and Dr. Gerald Gray. She also has a Masters degree in Music Technology from Duquesne University (PA).
Heather has 10 years of education experience spanning grades K – 12. She is currently the director of choirs at Depew High School and founder of the Digital Music Production program. Her choirs have earned Gold at NYSSMA evaluations. Heather is also very active in promoting the use of technology in the music classroom. She has given presentations throughout Western New York at various schools, the NYSSMA state conference and the regional NYSCATE conference and has received special recognition from the Erie County Music Educators Association for her innovative teaching style.
In additon to her 20‐year membership in the CFPA Festival Chorus, which she has directed since 2012, Heather has performed with several choirs in Western New York. She was the founding director of the Genesee Children’s Chorus and has been a guest conductor for several All County Ensembles, in Genesee, Erie, Allegheny, and Franklin counties. She currently serves as the Director of Music at St. Katharine Drexel in Buffalo. Heather has also served as a member of the French Horn section of The Lockport Union Band AFM Local 98, as well as several community ensembles. Currently, Heather resides in Akron with her husband Marcus and their fur babies, Tucker and Holly.
Paula O’Connor received both her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Music Educa on from the University at Buffalo. She is the Band and Jazz Ensemble Director at East Aurora High School. She has been teaching in East Aurora for 18 years, with 6 years at the Middle School and is currently in her 12th year at the High School. Her jazz ensemble has won several first place awards at the Springville Pageant of Bands. Paula also conducts the Orchestra Pit for the musical, where EAHS was a Kenny Award Finalist in 2011, 2012, and 2015. Paula has had several student teachers from Buffalo State College during her tenure. She enjoys working at the High School level and inspiring students to have a passion for music, both inside and out of the classroom. Her professional affiliations include ECMEA, NYSSMA, NYSBDA and NAfME. Paula is very honored to be the recipient of the 2019 Buffalo State College Instrumental Music Educator award. Paula resides in Lancaster with her husband, Jason and sons, Ryan (11) and Patrick (8).
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