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Heidi Welch Honored With Music Department’s Distinguished Alumni Award

Heidi Welch
Heidi Welch

The Keene State College Music Department has bestowed its Distinguished Alumni Award for 2022-23 to Heidi J. Welch, Class of 1996, who serves as the Director of Music Education at Castleton State University in Castleton, Vermont.

The Award was established in 2007 and is presented annually to an individual who, in the opinion of the college’s music faculty, has distinguished themself as a musician, music educator, or as a representative of Keene State College alumni.

“There are many successful music alumni who deserve our recognition, and the award serves to develop closer relationships with past graduates,” said Sandra Howard, chair of the college’s Music Department.

Welch earned a B.M. in Music Education from Keene State College, a M.A. Ed. In Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from New England College, and a Ph.D. in Education from Walden University.

Prior to joining Castleton State University in 2019, Welch served as adjunct faculty at Keene State and facilitated music student teacher placements at Ithaca College. For 20 years, she taught band, chorus, guitar, music theory, and music electives as Music Director at Hillsboro-Deering High School. She also taught grades K-5 general music, beginner band, and elementary chorus in Claremont, New Hampshire.

Welch is an active adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor throughout New Hampshire, and she serves as musical director for the Hillcat Summer Theatre, an educational theater program that is part of the Supervisory Administrative Unit of which Hillsborough-Deering is a part.

“I will forever be grateful for the home that Keene State College and especially the music department provided me 30 years ago as I entered as a Secondary English major who just wanted to play in Concert Band and sing in the Chorus.

“Little did I know that my life would be set on a very different path. I am so thankful for the education I received under the tutelage of Douglas Nelson, Gladys Johnsen, Jose Lezcano, Hubert Bird, Ray Rosenstock, Ted Mann, Carroll Lehman, Bill Pardus, and Don Baldini, and George Loring … among others. Keene State provided a strong foundation of music education for me and continues to provide that for students today.”

In addition to her work at Castleton State University, Welch is a NH Music Educators Association Past-President; Vermont Music Educators Association Collegiate Coordinator; and a member of the National Network of State Teachers of the Year.

She previously served as the NH Band Directors Association recording secretary.

In 2013, she was a New Hampshire Teacher of the Year and a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.

Welch is the 14th recipient of the award. The previous five honorees are Derek Shapiro, JoAnne Mead, Joseph Hartnett, Glen D’Eon and Ted Mann. She will receive the award when she delivers a guest lecture at Keene State in the spring, Howard said

For more information regarding the Distinguished Alumni Award, please contact the Music Department at 603.358.2177.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435