Oswego High School band instructor wins CMA Music Teachers of Excellence award

Judy Hsu Image
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Suburban band instructor wins CMA Music Teachers of Excellence award
Oswego High School marching band teacher Stephanie San Roman is one of 30 CMA Music Teachers of Excellence winners this year.

OSWEGO, Ill. (WLS) -- Music molds moments.

Every note can create a new experience.

Teachers like Stephanie San Roman at Oswego High School use that magic to help open doors for their students.

This year, she's one of 30 teachers from all walks of life that can add 2023 CMA Music Teachers of Excellence to their resumes.

"So, we teach band periods one to six. Then, we get lunch and a plan period. Then, we come out and do marching band. We also have jazz band, pep band, small ensemble, musical pit. So, we are very busy," San Roman said.

Each year, the CMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association, recognizes educators who go above and beyond for their students using music. San Roman said she is so dedicated to her role because of the influence band had in her life.

The CMA Foundation honored Stephanie San Roman and more than two dozen other teachers, with the Music Teachers of Excellence Award.

"I had such a fantastic experience, especially in my high school band program. It's kind of why I'm doing what I'm doing. I want to recreate those moments and those experiences for these students," San Roman said.

Winners receive money to help make sure they have the necessary support and funding needed to create a thriving program within their school and community. San Roman said they'll get new band uniforms, and they'll diversify the band music library.

"There's a lot of new composers that are women and composers of color. And, for a long time, a lot of band music was mostly written by white men," San Roman said.

San Roman's students agree that she more than deserves the recognition.

"She's definitely the type of teacher that'll be there for you. Whenever there's something wrong or good, she'll always be there. She'll be one of the teachers I miss the most," said senior Sarah Bohne.

"I would say that she's developed a precision aspect that I haven't had before, the way that she conducts rehearsals. We already have the 90%, but it's that last 10% that she really pushes us toward. She says that all the time," said senior Charlie Snyder.

For San Roman, it's a labor of love.

"The biggest thing is we've created an environment and family kind of atmosphere, where people feel like they belong and they have value. That's what we do what we do," San Roman said.