MSU Music Professor takes top honor from ITEA
Philip Sinder recognized for teaching excellence by International Tuba Euphonium Association.
Philip Sinder knew in high school that he wanted to be a teacher and public school band director. He also knew he wanted to teach the tuba.
Sinder’s decision to pursue a career focused on 25-pound-plus brass instruments and his ongoing successes were recently acknowledged by the International Tuba Euphonium Association. In late December, the MSU College of Music Professor of Tuba and Euphonium received the ITEA 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award—becoming the second teacher worldwide to be honored through the association's new award.
“I’m very grateful and honored that my colleagues would think I was worthy of this award,” says Sinder. “MSU and the College of Music has truly enabled my success and, more important, the success of my students.”
Founded in 1973, ITEA is dedicated to promoting and advancing tuba and euphonium instruments. Organization membership consists of performers, educators, students and amateurs of all backgrounds. The ITEA Teaching Award is presented annually to an association member who has taught at least 10 years. The recipient is selected based on recommendations from colleagues, students and others dedicated to music education and performance.
“Over his 35-year career at Michigan State University, Phil Sinder has consistently excelled as a teacher and as a performing artist,” says James Forger, dean of the College of Music. “The ongoing strength of his studio and the successes of his students is appropriately recognized through receipt of the ITEA 2017 Excellence in Teaching Award. I join his many students and my faculty colleagues in applauding Phil and the national distinction this award brings to him.”
MSU undergraduate Joe LeFevre says that the chance to study with Sinder was the main reason he chose MSU for his degree in tuba performance and music education. LeFevre says he had narrowed his choice down to two schools, but that Sinder’s teaching style and encouragement to “be his own musician” cinched his decision.
“He has definitely helped to shape the musician I’ve become,” says LeFevre. “I don’t think you’ll ever meet a more humble man than Professor Sinder. He is always soft spoken, but he and his students’ accomplishments speak for themselves. He definitely is and will be seen as one of the most influential figures of teaching and playing in the tuba world.”
Sinder joined the faculty of the MSU College of Music in 1982, and has taught countless tuba and euphonium majors. More than 20 of his students have gone on to become faculty members in higher education.
Sinder received the John and Dortha (Dottie) Withrow Excellence in Teaching Citation from MSU in 2009. He is a founding member of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, has coordinated the TUBA/ITEA Composition Contest, and served as an associate editor of the New Tuba Source Book published in 2006 by the Indiana University Press. He currently serves as chairman for the Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Festival, and has been a Valade Teaching Fellow at the Interlochen Arts Camp since 2005. Sinder earned a bachelor of music education degree and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music, and a master of music degree from Wichita State University.