Phillips Riggs receiving 2016 Music Educator Award

Phillip Riggs, NC School of Science and Mathematics, Matt Hogge (Journeys), Joe Avila (Ford Fund) and Scott Goldman (Grammy Foundation)

Music Educator Award™ Recipient Phillip Riggs of NC School of Science and Mathematics Honored at Presentation by Ford Motor Company Fund, The Recording Academy® and the Grammy Foundation®

Durham, NC, April 11, 2016 — Phillip Riggs, 2016 Music Educator Award™ recipient, and North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, the Durham, N.C., school where Riggs is a music instructor, was honored by The Recording Academy® and the Grammy Foundation®. Joe Avila, manager of Ford Motor Company Fund; Scott Goldman, Vice President of the Grammy Foundation; and Matt Hogge, district manager of Journeys; presented Riggs with a $10,000 honorarium. North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics received a matching $10,000 grant.

A joint partnership of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, the Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. Riggs was recognized during the 58th Annual Grammy Awards® telecast by Grammy Foundation Honorary Chair Ryan Seacrest. A total of nine other music teachers from nine cities across nine states were finalists for the award. In total, more than 4,500 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for impacting students’ lives. The winner receives a $10,000 honorarium and matching school grant, and attends the Annual Grammy Awards ceremony as well as a range of Grammy Foundation events. The nine additional finalists receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all nine finalists receive matching grants. Fifteen semifinalists receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants. The honorariums and grants provided to the finalists and schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the Grammy Foundation’s Education Champions Ford Motor Company Fund, Converse, Disney Performing Arts and Journeys.

The application process adjusts each year to allow the broad array of effective teaching styles and methods used in the discipline to be recognized and awarded. The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves. Nominated teachers will be notified and invited to fill out an application.

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving. Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Next Generation Learning and other inspiring programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers, and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. Visit for more information.

The Grammy Foundation was established in 1988 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. For more information about the Music Educator Award, visit and