Poly High School teacher Andrew Osman recently earned the Music Educator of the Year Award for the Long Beach, South Bay and Orange County region.
The second annual award went to Osman for his outstanding contributions to music education. He has taught for 27 years at Poly, where he is the school’s instrumental music director. Beginning at 6:50 a.m., he directs the symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra, string orchestra and jazz band.
From 1995 to 2006, Osman was the music curriculum leader for the Long Beach Unified School District while continuing to teach at Poly. In this position, he was an advocate for music education, going the extra mile to save music from budget cuts during many lean years, according to the recent award announcement by the Long Beach Camerata Singers. The Camerata group is a 45-voice ensemble that started in 1966 and advocates regularly for arts and music education.
Osman has worked with elementary, middle and high school programs to organize special events and activities including the All-District Band and Orchestra groups as well as the Concerts for Youth provided by the Long Beach Symphony.
A Poly graduate quoted in the awards announcement said, “I think the high standard he set for the musicians encouraged everyone, even those who didn’t take music that seriously, to bring themselves up to his level.”
The most rewarding aspect about winning the honor was receiving congratulatory messages from former students, Osman said.
“I received an e-mail from a student who was in the Class of ’89,” Osman said. “It was an appreciative note, letting me know that he’s still involved in music. Hearing from former students like that is the best part of this gig.”
Winning the inaugural award last year was James Petri, LBUSD’s music curriculum leader.