West Orange now has a Grammy Award winner in its community.
Dr. Jeffery Redding, director of choral activities at West Orange High School and the executive director of the Garden Choir, is the 2019 winner of the Grammy Music Educator Award, given to one teacher for his or her role in shaping students’ lives through music.
In the previous two years, Redding was nominated and reached the quarterfinal round.
The GME Award is presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Museum and supported by the NAMM Foundation, the National Association for Music Education and the National Education Association.
It was created to recognize current educators 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.
“I’m in shock,” Redding said when he was named a finalist. “I’m honored. I’m humbled by it greatly. But also it gives the message a platform that we’ve done it at West Orange High School. It’s more so about the people who supported me. It’s more so about the students I’ve taught and the administrations that allowed me to do what I do. It gives a greater platform to say, ‘Look what we’ve done.’”
Redding has been featured as a guest conductor at many prestigious venues, such as Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has given a TEDx Talk. In November and December, he serves as one of four conductors at Disney’s Candlelight Processional at Epcot.
He holds a doctoral degree in choral conducting and music education and a master’s degree in music education, both from the Florida State University, and a Bachelor of Science in music education from Florida A&M University. He is a graduate of Jones High School.
The choral director holds memberships in numerous musical organizations and has served as chairman and co-chair of multiple musical programs.
The Recording Academy represents the voices of performers, songwriters, producers, engineers and all music professionals. The Grammy is music's only peer-recognized accolade and is the highest achievement.