Ellis C. Worthen, Granite District's associate director of music and visual arts, was recently named Utah's Outstanding Music Educator.
He and other several others received awards for "meritorious service" to students and the music profession at the Music Educators Association's 20th annual awards banquet in St. George.Other honorees: Richard Chatelain, instrumental music instructor at Skyline High School, Superior Accomplishment Award; Vanya Watkins, elementary music specialist at Lowell Elementary School, Salt Lake School District, Elementary Music Award; and Nathan Wright, vocal music instructor at Central Davis Junior School, Layton, Rookie of the Year Award, presented to a first-year teacher.
A Special Recognition Award was given to Donald H. Ripplinger, associate conductor of the Salt Lake Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and a Special Service Award to Gene Pack of KUER Radio.
Worthen has planned and organized tours of the Granite Youth Symphony, which has performed in 23 states, the District of Columbia and two Canadian provinces. In past years, the symphony has played at Symphony Hall, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. During this summer's tour, the orchestra will perform in Chicago, Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio. Chatelain is the principal conductor.
Worthen began teaching instrumental music in 1974 at Granger High School, joining the district staff a year later as a music administrator. He supervises the work of 14 elementary band and orchestra teachers, coordinates programs presented by the Utah Symphony, Ballet West, Utah Opera Company and Young Audiences and organizes many music festivals involving thousands of students each year.