2011 Award Recipients

UP Choral Leadership Award Goes to Sheila Grazulis and Tony Beacco

The Marquette Choral Society is proud to announce the recipients of the 2011 Upper Peninsula Choral Leadership Award:  Sheila Leadbetter Grazulis of Marquette and Anthony Beacco of Negaunee.

These two Award-winning music educators will be featured at the upcoming Choral Society Spring Concerts on April 16 and 17 at Reynolds Recital Hall at NMU.

Sheila GrazulisSheila Grazulis currently teaches K-5 general music, middle school and high school chorus in the Ishpeming Public Schools.  The "Hematites in Harmony" sang at Carnegie Hall in 2007, and have been back invited to sing at The Lincoln Center in New York this April, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

Sheila's degree in Music Education is from Indiana University, and she earned a master's degree  with an emphasis on choral music education from Northern Michigan University.

Sheila has been Director of Music at St Peter Cathedral, and has directed numerous choirs for celebrations within the Catholic Diocese of Marquette.  Among them are two adult choirs (1994-1998), a children's choir (1994-2007), the diocesan choirs for the 1997 Mass at the Superior Dome celebrating the bicentennial of Bishop Baraga's birth, and for the Jubilee Year Mass in the year 2000 at Marquette's Lower Harbor Park.

She also prepared the chorus that sang "Main Paras Viaif (My Best Wife)" in the Gala Concert at FinnFest USA 1996.  She also directed the chorus at the Opening Ceremony of Finn Grand Fest 2005.

Sheila co-founded the Superior Harmony Children's Chorus in 1995, and now directs the program which provides a week-long Summer Children's Theater Camp in the Marquette area.  She is a popular singer and accompanist in the community.

Ms. Grazulis resides in Marquette with her husband Marius and their four children.

Tony BeaccoTony Beacco graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in music education in 1989, and has worked in the NICE Community School District ever since.  He also studied choral conducting and voice at Ball State University with Dr Douglas Amman, former Choral Society director, earning a Master of Arts degree.

His choral groups consistently receive high ratings at festivals, and the select ensemble "Voices in Motion" frequently performs at community events, serving as choral music ambassadors for the NICE School District.

He has been a soloist with the Marquette Choral Society, the Keweenaw Symphony, and the St Paul (Negaunee) Concert Choir, and performs in musical theater.

Tony has been tapped for other awards as well:  the NICE Teacher of the Year (2001), the Michigan School Board Association Excellence in Education Award (2008), and the Distinguished Service Award from the NICE School Board (2010).

He has worked for many years at Wolverine Music Camp and at NMU's Music Camp.  He manages the Michigan School Vocal Music Association UP Honors Choir. 

Mr Beacco has been the Director of Music at St Louis the King Catholic Church in Harvey, and currently is active in the music program at St Paul Catholic Church in Negaunee, accompanying the choir and serving as cantor.

The Award and the Concerts:
This is the 20th Year of the UP Choral Leadership Award which recognizes persons who have made significant contributions to choral music in the Upper Peninsula over at least a  ten-year period, demonstrating excellence in teaching, conducting or support for quality choral music.

The Marquette Choral Society 2011 Spring Concerts are on Saturday, April 16, at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 17 at 3 PM at Reynolds Recital Hall on the campus of Northern Michigan University.  Tickets are $10, and are available at NMU Tickets outlets, by calling 227-1032, or at the door.