Staff Reports

School Band and Orchestra magazine recently presented its annual list of 50 directors who make a difference for the past two decades, and Mt. Juliet High School’s Sherie Grossman was selected to represent Tennessee this year. 

The list is designed to focus a spotlight on one outstanding music educator from each state. Honored directors were nominated by students, colleagues, band parents, administrators, friends and sometimes even the spouse of a director who’s witnessed their ongoing dedication on a regular basis. This year, the magazine pored more than 880 nominations before it arrived at its final 50. 

Once the selections were made, each director was asked reflect back on their career and answer a host of questions. The following is what Grossman had to say about her 16 years of teaching.   

What is your proudest moment as an educator?

“I have had many proud moments, from former student successes to the current student playing a passage for the first time correctly,” Grossman said. “But something that makes me very proud is the startup and success of the orchestra program at Mt. Juliet High School. It is the only orchestra program in Wilson County, and I’m amazed at the students’ progress.”

How do you hope to make a difference in your students’ lives?

“I try hard to open as many doors of opportunity to my students by encouraging them to audition for outside music groups, take lessons and bring in guests to work with them,” Grossman said. “I want them to be inspired and instructed by more than just me and to have unique experiences in their music careers. I also want them to have high expectations and reach further than they think they can.”

What’s the most important lesson that you try to teach your students?

“I try to instill a love for music and a feeling of camaraderie within my students,” Grossman said. “I know they all won’t be professional musicians in the future, but I hope they will be consumers of music, appreciating all genres. I also teach them that this is the one and only time their particular group of people will ever get to create art together. Every group is unique, and we all need to appreciate that uniqueness.”

To see the full list of educators who made this year’s list, visit