Music educator named finalist for special Grammy


It’s not everyday a local person is recognized for their work in education, especially in music education, where many school districts have had to cut programs, one Milwaukee school is building their music program and earning top recognition for it.

Reagan High School, an International Baccalaureate school on the Southside of Milwaukee, didn’t have a music program until 22-year-old recent college graduate Erica Breitbarth and band director Adam Murphy got it up and running.

(Photo of Erica Breitbarth)

Many of Reagan’s students come from low-income households and many students had never taken a music class before. Now more than 400 students at Reagan participate in some sort of music education.

Breitbarth’s dedication to building the music program at Reagan earned her the attention of the Grammy Foundation. She was named a finalist for a 2017 Grammy Music Educator Award. A winner will be announced in early February.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports

“Our philosophy was, we wanted a place for every student to be involved in music, no matter what that looked like,” Breitbarth said.

Today more than 400 of Reagan’s 1,300 students participate in music classes or clubs that focus on history, theory, performance, composition, DJ skills, radio production or musical theater.

For more on this special award, visit Milwaukee Journal Sentinel