Dr. Amy Mason Sckipp, a ninth- and tenth-grade concert orchestra teacher at William Floyd High School, was selected as a guest conductor for the 2014 Westchester All County Orchestra, which is part of the Westchester County School Music Association (WCSMA). WCSMA is a county unit of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) and the National Association for Music Educators, which represents 450 music educators from 55 public, private and parochial school districts. The performance will take place in March.
“I am very excited about conducting this festival,” said Dr. Sckipp. “The success I have enjoyed with my students in William Floyd Music has been recognized by fellow music educators throughout New York State. It is a tremendous honor and I look forward to representing the William Floyd School District in Westchester County.”
“On behalf of the William Floyd School District, I would like to thank the Westchester County School Music Association for recognizing a very talented faculty member and orchestra teacher in Dr. Sckipp,” said Gordon Brosdal, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction and Administration and the Director of Fine Arts and Music for the William Floyd School District. “The fact that Westchester is recognizing one of our very own demonstrates that the quality of our program is widely known. We are very proud of Dr. Sckipp and celebrate with her in this honor.”
Under Dr. Sckipp’s direction, William Floyd orchestras participate each year in the NYSSMA major organization festivals and have received numerous “Gold with Distinction” awards. In addition, Dr. Sckipp’s orchestras have received many “superior” ratings in regional competitions. Dr. Sckipp is an active member of ASTA, MENC, NYSSMA, LISFA, and SCMEA. As a member of SCMEA she has served on the executive board for more than 10 years as the Orchestra Librarian.
Dr. Sckipp, a native of Pickens, South Carolina, began her musical studies with piano at age 7 and entered her public school’s orchestra program in the fifth grade. She studied Music Education at the University of South Carolina where she participated in the highly-acclaimed USC String Project. She worked closely with pedagogues, Ms. Pam Tellejohn-Hayes, Dr. Robert Jesselson and Dr. John Bauer and performed with the USC Symphony and Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Donald Portnoy.
Dr. Sckipp graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina in 1997, and was awarded the prestigious Peabody Award for Education. She received her MA in Liberal Arts from Stony Brook University; earned an EdM (Master of Education) at Teachers College, Columbia University, and received both an EdM and a Doctorate of Education in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her doctoral research described the perceptions of string orchestra teachers who do not claim orchestral string instruments as their primary instruments of performance. She hopes her research will benefit the public school string orchestra programs in America. In addition to teaching, Dr. Sckipp is a freelance violinist and violist and has served as a guest conductor for festivals throughout the state of New York.