Jeremy Bradstreet was one step away from being named winner of the 2019 Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum, but alas, he was not selected.
Bradstreet was one of 10 teachers nationwide who were finalists for the 2019 Music Educator Award. The winner will be announced during Grammy Week. The Grammy awards program will be broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10.
The Dublin Coffman High School band director said he enjoyed assembling videos he was required to submit for the competition because he was able to reconnect with alumni and reflect on what students and the band programs achieved in the classroom for the past 14 years.
Those achievements go beyond just playing instruments, he said.
Bradstreet said he believes the band classroom is where students learn life skills and have opportunities for leadership.
And whereas the classroom is filled with music fundamentals, "we're trying to also teach the kids commitment and discipline and leadership and hard work," attributes that are important for college and being a community member, Bradstreet said.
When Bradstreet reached semifinalist status in October, he received $500 and was awarded another $500 that was for Coffman, he said.
As a finalist, he received an additional $1,000 and $1,000 for Coffman.
Bradstreet said he plans to use Coffman's prize money to fund the school's efforts to join other high schools throughout the country that are looking to have a composer create music for concert bands.
"I'm just very proud to be a teacher at Dublin Coffman High School, and I'm very proud to be a member of our community," he said.
Bradstreet has taught at Coffman for 16 years and served as band director for 14 years.
His own introduction to band began in fifth grade at Olde Sawmill Elementary School, where he became a percussionist. As a student in the district, he learned how to play snare drum and xylophone and graduated as a member of the Dublin High School marching band in 1991.
When you're giving back to the school that gave you everything, "it makes it even more special," Bradstreet said.
Through social media, Bradstreet said, he has been able to keep in touch with a few Coffman graduates. One such graduate, Partha Unnava, got to participate in the videos Bradstreet had made as part of the Grammy competition.
"Leadership starts somewhere, and for him, it started in the band program," Bradstreet said.
Unnava, now 26, graduated from Coffman in 2010. He lives in Atlanta, where he started his own business, Lasso, that makes sports medicine products to prevent injury and improve athletic performance.
Unnava said his time in the Coffman marching band playing trumpet taught him the foundation of work ethic and the importance of consistency. His senior year he led the trumpet section.
Whereas Bradstreet is driven to help his marching band succeed, Unnava said, he also wants his students to learn how to be good people.
"He cares a lot about the students," Unnava said.