In February, the Lawrence University Collegiate Music Education National Conference chapter at Lawrence received two “Chapter of Excellence” awards. CMENC groups across the nation contended for the award, which was given in recognition of exceptional activities in the last year. The local CMENC group is part of a larger consortium of student organizations under the umbrella of a national organization. According to its Web site, MENC is a group of “more than 75,000 active, retired and pre-service music teachers.” Schools in Alaska, Maine, Nevada and Hawaii also received “Chapter of Excellence” awards in other categories. Lawrence received the awards for student-spearheaded projects, including a music education program for lower-income schools and a professional development conference on teaching music to exceptional learners. Senior Daniel Parks led the music education program. After hearing a local elementary school teacher talk about a lack of exposure to classical instruments in local low-income elementary schools, Parks and a group of CMENC students put together a program to bring music to the school. Over midterm reading period last year, Parks and about 20 other students volunteered to give a performance at the school, including a 45-minute musical program that included a skit about instruments and a whole-school sing-along. Parks says he plans to continue with these programs during future reading periods. “It’s about trying to… build a bridge between the conservatory and the Appleton area,” said Parks. “The whole thing was super-fun.” The other award was for a professional development conference held last year at Lawrence, which was the brainchild of students Lindsay Schwartz and Schuyler Gardner. Schwartz said, “I realized there wasn’t a lot that Lawrence does to prepare music education majors for exceptional learners.” Schwartz and Gardner, along with Jaclyn Kottman, worked together with Lawrence University CMENC to put together the Education in Exceptional Learning Day. About 75 students from Wisconsin universities as well as teachers, administrators, parents and students with learning disabilities attended the conference. “It was very intense,” said Schwartz. The workshop ran the entire day and covered topics all across the exceptional learning spectrum, including a talk by a music teacher who has been very successful with exceptional students. Notes from the attendees called the conference “professional,” “well-organized” and “positive.” As for the awards, both Parks and Schwartz said they were very proud. “It’s nice to be recognized for something we really care about,” said Parks. The Lawrence University CMENC chapter holds meetings every other Tuesday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://sites.google.com/site/ lucmenc.