Vandehey named Oregon Music Educator of Year

Patrick Vandehey has been instrumental in building up the music education major.For three decades, George Fox University’s Patrick Vandehey has committed himself to music education in the state of Oregon – a record of dedication that played a part in his selection as the Oregon Music Educators Association’s Music Educator of the Year for 2010.

Vandehey, director of the university’s band and music education programs, was presented the honor at the Music Educators National Conference's state convention the weekend of Jan. 16-17 in Eugene, Ore.

The 56-year-old Tigard, Ore., resident earned the award for his recent contributions to the George Fox music program, his years of instruction to high school and collegiate music students across the state, and his service to the OMEA board, on which he has served as past president, among other roles.

“I was honored and pleased (to win the award),” Vandehey said. “This certainly helps George Fox. I’m not sure I’m going to go out and trumpet it, but it certainly shows people that we’re doing some great things here.”

Vandehey arrived at George Fox in 2003 after teaching in the Beaverton School District for 23 years. His bands at Westview and Aloha high schools consistently earned high marks in state competitions, and by the time he transitioned to the college ranks his high school bands had earned four state championships.

Since his arrival at George Fox, Vandehey has been instrumental in leading the university’s bands to two appearances at MENC's All-Northwest Division Biennial Conference and one appearance at MENC’s state convention. The selection of both George Fox’s Symphonic Band and Concert Choir to appear at the 2007 MENC national conference was a first for the university and a coup for the institution. Only five colleges representing a six-state region were chosen by a national panel to perform at the event.

Vandehey also has transformed the music education major at George Fox, helping turn a program that enrolled two students when he arrived to one that boasts 40 students in the 2009-10 academic year. The music education major, modeled after a program at the University of Oklahoma, emphasizes social role development, taking freshman students and putting them in the role of a music teacher from year one. As students progress through the program, they take courses that ultimately result in them teaching in a classroom setting by their senior year.

“It’s a comprehensive music education program that’s very hands-on,” Vandehey said. “It takes a logical progression of courses that make students actively plan, set goals and implement those goals. We’ve had some great success stories, as many of our students graduate and immediately make an impact in our schools.”