Weekly Feature



2018-04-11 / Local News

Amherst Central educator to receive music award


Justin Pomietlarz Justin Pomietlarz Justin Pomietlarz, the director of choral activities and the operetta producer/vocal music director at Amherst Central High School, has been recognized with the Award for Excellence in Music Education.

The award, presented jointly by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Erie County Music Educators Association, recognizes and honors music educators who have exhibited excellence nurturing their students in the musical arts.

He will receive the award at a reception and ceremony set for Saturday, May 5, at Kleinhans Music Hall. The ceremony will be followed by a BPO performance of “Viva Italia!” led by conductor JoAnn Falletta with Roberto Diaz on viola.

“I have known Justin for years and have witnessed his exceptional musical leadership and rapport with his students,” said Keith Ersing, chairman of the Excellence in Music Education Award. “He goes above and beyond the typical duties of a music educator. Without a doubt, he is most deserving of this award.”

Currently in his 13th year of teaching at Amherst Central High School, Pomietlarz was previously the recipient of the Amherst 2013 PTSA Outstanding HS Educator of the Year and has been selected as Teacher of the Month. He is also listed in “Who’s Who of American Teachers.”

“Justin’s pedagogical acumen is extensive, his content knowledge and delivery superior, and his professional comportment exemplary,” said Matt Pendrak, director of orchestral activities at ACHS. “He makes the students who he works with not only better musicians, but more conscientious students and inspires them to achieve goals that they never thought they could achieve. His inspiration to his students and those of us who work with him has helped create a culture of excellence and enthusiasm.”

As producer and vocal music director of the Amherst operetta, he has led productions that include “Phantom of the Opera,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Les Miserables,” “Urinetown: the Musical,” and “Into the Woods.”

Additionally, ACHS students recently nominated Pomietlarz for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University and presented each year by the Tony Awards.

This honor recognizes a kindergarten through grade 12 theater educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession. Award winners are expected to be announced later in the spring.

Under his direction, the Amherst Concert Chorale has appeared with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata di Sant’ Antonio, the Orchard Park Symphony and the Amherst Symphony Orchestra.

Pomietlarz is a 1997 and 2004 piano performance/music education graduate of SUNY Fredonia. He began his teaching career in the Rochester City School District and subsequently at Marion High School in Wayne County and at Hauppauge High School in Suffolk County, Long Island.

He resides with his wife, Kristen, and their daughter, Lillian, in Buffalo.

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