Nashville Symphony announces Metro schoolteacher Edwin Santiago as the 2012 Edwina Hefner Community Leadership Award winner. Each year, in conjunction with the Regions “Let Freedom Sing!” concert honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, the Nashville Symphony presents this award to a member of the community whose work exemplifies Dr. King’s legacy. The award was created in 2007 to recognize Edwina Hefner, an active volunteer with “Let Freedom Sing!” for 14 years, for her outstanding leadership and her numerous efforts throughout the Nashville community.
As the band and music teacher at McKissack Middle School, Santiago is a guiding light for his students, using music to inspire and to build community. His passion is contagious. An active participant in the Nashville Symphony’s One Note One Neighborhood music education program, he has helped to secure free after-school lessons with Symphony musicians for dozens of his students. Santiago also serves as the Music Director for the Church of Antioch. Conducting songs in Spanish, Swahili, French and Portuguese, he works tirelessly to connect with a richly diverse community. A skilled trumpeter, he also plays frequently as a freelance musician and co-leads the Latin jazz/world music septet El Movimiento.
Santiago’s dedication to improving the lives of his students makes him the ideal candidate for the 2012 Edwina Hefner Community Leadership Award. Past recipients have included Jonah Rabinowitz, Executive Director of the W.O. Smith Music School; Renata Soto, Executive Director of Conexión Américas; and Derek Young, President of Young Motivation Group.