Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for Encouragement of Teachers (2002)
2001-2002 Commencement Ceremony Excerpt
I am most pleased to announce that the winner of the Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for the Year 2002 is professor of music, Dr. Nancy Gamso.
Dr. Gamso earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in instrumental music education at the University of Alabama in 1982; she then went on to receive a Master of Music degree from Florida State University with a major in multiple winds performance in 1985; and then, in 1992, she earned a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of North Texas. Her major, while pursuing the doctorate, is described in abbreviated terms as woodwinds performance; in fact, that means clarinet, flute, saxophone, oboe, bassoon. It is fortunate that she has that broad expertise because, for the last ten years, Nancy has taught all of the woodwinds at Ohio Wesleyan. And she has done it with such consummate skill that she was quickly promoted to associate professor in 1995 and to full professor in 2002.
Dr. Gamso has been extremely active as a performer. She has served as principal clarinetist with the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and as a clarinetist touring many U.S. states and Japan with the New Sousa Band, the only re-creation Sousa band sanctioned by the John Phillip Sousa estate. She has also been a member of the orchestra of CAPA’s Broadway touring musicals, made both solo and chamber appearances at the Ohio Theatre and Riffe Center, and with many college and community orchestras and at community music festivals. And, of course, she has been both a solo and chamber performer at many OWU faculty recitals.
In addition to woodwinds methods, Dr. Gamso has taught music history (18th, 19th and 20th Century jazz) and music appreciation.
Dr. Gamso is, according to her students, and, again, in their words: “well- prepared,” “well-organized,” “informative,” “demanding,” “helpful,” “caring,” “friendly,” “enthusiastic,” “highly respected,” “inspirational,” “passionate,” “incredible,” “terrific,” “amazing,” “awesome.” One student said: “Her enthusiasm was infectious and made the class fun;” said another: “Dr. Gamso really loves what she teaches, I had a lot of fun in this class;” and yet another: “Dr. Gamso has so much enthusiasm and spunk that it makes you want to learn.”
Some comments were quite specific: “She has helped me gain confidence” one student said. Another added: “I love the way Dr. Gamso incorporates many different media into the class; she is enthusiastic and always positive.” In reference to a Music Appreciation course, one student said: “I took this class for a distribution credit and have acquired a genuine appreciation for the subject: Four Stars!” And one student probably explained Nancy’s enthusiasm: “She thrives off of seeing her students succeed!”
And one student also offered advice: “An excellent experience; don’t ever change!”