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Edith Bowen Teacher Named Utah Outstanding Elementary Music Educator

Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014

Jill DeVilbiss, a music specialists at Edith Bowen School, with her award

Jill DeVilbiss was named the state's Outstanding Elementary Music Educator by the Utah Music Educators Association.

A Utah State University Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services music teacher in the Edith Bowen Laboratory School was named the state’s Outstanding Elementary Music Educator by the Utah Music Educators Association.

The award was presented to Jill DeVilbiss during UMEA’s mid-winter conference in St. George Feb. 7-8 where she was recognized for her passion in helping young voices and musicians start off on the right musical note. DeVilbiss has taught music to elementary school children for the past 21 years, 17 of which have been at USU’s Edith Bowen Elementary School.

“Jill is a remarkable teacher and colleague to all of us in the state of Utah,” said Sylvia Munsen, USU’s Beverly Taylor Sorenson endowed chair for elementary arts education. Those praises were echoed by UMEA President Sam Tsugawa, during his award presentation.

“She loves the sound of children’s voices,” Munsen said. “Her passion is helping young voices and young musicians grow.”

DeVilbiss has been a director with the Cache Children’s Choir for the past 22 years and is currently associate artistic director in collaboration with Munsen, artistic director of the seasoned Cache Valley-based children’s choir. The children’s choir also performed at this year’s UMEA conference.

At Edith Bowen, DeVilbiss conducts a before-school choir and an after-school string orchestra program. She was also part of a four-year research study with USU’s college of education on the effects of arts education on children problem solving and conflict management skills.

In addition to her elementary teaching and choir directing duties, she continues to teach elementary music education classes at USU. She is currently a candidate to represent the American Orff-Schulwek Association Western Region, and has served in several leadership positions with the Utah Chapter of Orff-Schulwerk. She has presented at state and national conferences on the child’s singing voice and integrating music into other core curricular areas.

She holds two degrees from USU in vocal performance and pedagogy and choral education. She has completed all three levels of the Kodaly Course for Children’s Music and all three levels of Orff Musicianship Training, including a summer course at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. 

UMEA membership includes hundreds of music educators in both public and private institutions from pre-kindergarten to college level throughout Utah. It is dedicated to improving existing music programs and creating opportunities for learning and growth in the field. 

Related links:

Edith Bowen Laboratory School

USU Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Contact: Jill DeVilbiss, 435-797-3085,

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