Dr. Diane Orlofsky inducted into Alabama Music Educators Association Hall of Fame

Published 7:03 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

A music educator of over 45 years, Troy University Professor Emerita of music and music education Dr. Diane Orlofsky was recognized for her years of service and was officially inducted into the Alabama Music Educators Association Hall of Fame Friday evening in Claudia Crosby Theatre.

The AMEA Hall of Fame recognizes members for excellence in teaching or administration; contributions and improvements to the field of music education; the betterment of the profession through exemplary service or acts; professional offices, professional publications, awards, or performances; and those with exceptional professional ideals and academic integrity.

The award was presented during the Troy University Symphony Band 51st annual concert by Dr. Rob Lyda, AMEA president, and Dr. Phil Wilson, AMEA president elect, both former Trojans and students of Orlofsky.

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“It gives us both great pleasure to be able to come home tonight and honor our teacher,” Lyda said. “The first time I met Dr. Orlofsky, I must admit I was a little afraid of her because she had a reputation of being tough and challenging. She was the type of professor that would make you work, and work hard.

“I came to find her to be an exceptional professor that did challenge you, that did make you work hard, that made you think,” he added. “Throughout my career she has been a mentor—giving sage advice—a collaborator on research projects and a colleague, and now I can say a dear friend.”

Orlofsky began teaching music and music education classes at TROY in 1986. She served as the Director of Choirs from 2007-2022, was the Conductor of the Concert Chorale and Director of the vocal jazz ensemble, frequency, and is the current Graduate Music Education Program Coordinator/Advisor while teaching undergraduate and graduate music education classes. She earned degrees from Florida State University, Wright State University and Cedarville University.

“Someone recently asked me, ‘What has kept you going in music education for over 45 years?’” she said during her acceptance speech. “As simplistic as it sounds, there is magic in music, and if you have something you feel has power and reach and the ability to improve lives, why would you want to keep it to yourself? Thereis power and magic in music and in music-making together as a community. I hope all of you talented high school musicians remember that and stay active in music for the rest of your lives.”

Orlofsky is an active clinician, conductor, adjudicator and researcher and received the Lacey Powell Outstanding Music Educator award from the Alabama Music Education Association in 2016. She was the recipient of the Wallace D. Malone Distinguished Faculty Award, which recognizes outstanding scholarship, teaching, leadership and service, as well as the Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, the Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Scholar award, the A.A.T.E. Outstanding Teacher Educator Award and the Wright State University Music Alumni of the Year award. Orlofsky also received an American Fellow award from the American Association of University Women.

Orlofsky is best known for her research on learning theorist Jerome S. Bruner and for her articles on music teacher education, music education methods, learning theory, piano pedagogy, choral leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration. She is the co-creator of “A Joyous Exchange: The Art of Collaboration” (2018, supported by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts). She is currently writing a book on Bruner which focuses on his archival collection at Harvard University and serves as a Co-Chair for the Beginning and Mid- Career Teacher Development Taskforce for AMEA.

“To all my current and former students, you are the real heroes. Remember this always: helping others find their musical voices and identities is more than a job,” she said. “It is a profession, a calling, a privilege and a blessing that keeps giving. Much love to all who have or who are walking with me on your musical journeys. Thank you for sharing a bit of your lives, your intellects, your talents and your hearts with me. I am profoundly grateful. My sincere thanks to the Alabama Music Educators Association and the AMEA Governing Board for this high honor.”

Alabama Music Educators Association

The AMEA is the largest community of professional music educators in the state. Membership is open to all public, private, and post-secondary music educators as well as private teachers. The AMEA works with local administrators and elected officials in Montgomery and beyond, to ensure access to the best possible school music programs and advance music education as a profession. We support quality music instruction in Alabama from early childhood through college, and we work to foster a better understanding of music’s important role in development of the whole child.

AMEA Hall of Fame

Beginning with the Inaugural Class of 2008, the AMEA has recognized members for excellence in teaching or administration; contributions and improvements to the field of music education; betterment of our profession through exemplary service or acts; professional offices, professional publications, awards, or performances; and those with exceptional professional ideals and academic integrity. Nominations are accepted up to July 15 each year.