Friend of Music Award
March 1, 2016
The Georgia Music Educators Association presents the "Friend of Music Education" award to an individual who is not a current or retired member of the organization and has significantly contributed to the advancement of music education in Georgia. The concept behind the GMEA "Friend of Music Education" award is to recognize individuals who have provided a tremendous service to or greatly assisted the group's membership in a variety of ways.
Mr. Alvin Wilbanks, Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, was nominated for this award due to his unwavering patronage of music teachers, even through the toughest of financial times, as well as his commitment to offering students a wide array of music courses taught by highly qualified teachers. In an era when school systems cut both employees and elective offerings to balance budgets, Mr. Wilbanks was a tremendous force in keeping Gwinnett County's fine arts programs intact. Mr. Wilbanks does not simply say he supports music instruction for young people, he demonstrated his valuation of this instruction in the most visible, and sometimes difficult, manner possible. The award was presented to Mr. Wilbanks at the February board meeting by Cecil Wilder, Executive Director of the Georgia Music Educator's Association and David DuBose, Director of Fine Arts for Gwinnett County Public Schools.