Astolfi receives Top Teacher Award
Piedmont College artist-in-residence and pianist Dr. Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi has been awarded the 2020 Steinway & Sons Top Teacher Award. The accolade, established in 2011, recognizes music educators for excellence in teaching and inspiring young people to study piano. In a commendation letter, Steinway recognized Astolfi’s resilience “throughout a difficult and restrictive year.” “Your commitment to reaching and inspiring your students in their study of piano music never faltered. We recognize that you rose to the challenge to find new and meaningful ways to connect with your students while maintaining safe practices and navigating the challenges of a global pandemic,” the letter stated. “For these efforts, we admire and commend you.” Originally from Canada, Astolfi has previously served on the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and at Henderson State University. She frequently serves as a piano clinician, coach, and master class instructor. An active member in various local, state, and national music associations, she is on the governing board of PianoArts, a North American piano competition, festival, and fellowship organization. As a music faculty member, Astolfi teaches in Piedmont’s recently completed Conservatory of Music. The facility houses 27 Steinway pianos. The hand-crafted instruments, widely considered the finest in the world, are synonymous with prestige and quality. The pianos and Piedmont’s designation as an All-Steinway School were made possible through a $1.5 million gift by an anonymous donor. More than 200 students, about 15 percent of the college’s undergraduate population, participate in music academic programs, ensembles, and performances.