North Carolina Symphony Honors Outstanding Music Educators

Dr. Timothy Babb

2012 Maxine Swalin Award:

Dr. Timothy Babb, Mountain Heritage High School, Burnsville, N.C.

2012 Jackson Parkhurst Award:
David Deese, East Davidson High School, Thomasville, N.C.


Dr. Timothy Babb

The North Carolina Symphony awards the 2012 Maxine Swalin Award for Outstanding Music Educator to Burnsville, N.C., music teacher Dr. Timothy Babb, the organization announced today.

Babb has served 32 years as band director at Mountain Heritage High School in Burnsville. Displaying an extraordinary commitment to his school, he established numerous musical programs and inspired many of his students to pursue careers in music. He has opened up countless musical opportunities to students experiencing economic hardship and is a model for special education and inclusion in his own classroom.

Additionally, Babb has mentored colleagues through the prestigious National Board Certification process. Nominators described him as a “professional leader who inspires fellow teachers to expand their personal educational horizons.” Babb plans to retire from teaching at the end of this school year.

David Deese, band director at East Davidson High School in Thomasville, N.C., has been named winner of the 2012 Jackson Parkhurst Award for Special Achievement, given in years in when there is a particularly strong second candidate for the Swalin Award. Deese has transformed his high school band into one of national distinction and is a recognizable figure and force within his community. A fixture in the lives of his students, Deese displays a leadership and motivation that, in the words of one nominator, “speaks for itself through the individual and corporate success that [his students] achieve.”

The award for Outstanding Music Educator honors Maxine Swalin, who, together with her husband Dr. Benjamin Swalin, North Carolina Symphony Music Director from 1939-72, established the children’s concert division of the Symphony in 1945. Largely because of the Swalins’ efforts, Senate Bill No. 248 (“The Horn Tootin’ Bill”) passed, providing state fiscal support for the Symphony’s education program. More than sixty years later, the program still brings live symphonic music to children throughout North Carolina.

The Swalin Award and a $1,000 cash prize is presented annually to a North Carolina music teacher who serves the community as a role model in music education, instills a love for music in children and inspires students to reach appropriately high musical standards. Recipients are nominated by students, parents, colleagues and community members and selected by the Symphony’s education committee.

The Parkhurst Award is named in honor of Jackson Parkhurst, the Symphony’s former director of education, who helped shape and grow the orchestra’s education program. The award includes a $500 cash prize.

This year’s award recipients will be joined by their families and supporters to be honored at a private banquet during the North Carolina Symphony’s Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series performance “A Night in Paris,” at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre, Saturday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.

For complete information on the Symphony’s education programs, including how to attend or schedule an education concert in your area, visit or contact Jessica Nalbone at or 919.789.5461.


About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks.


Based in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington—as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year—and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.

By Triangle A&E

What about Bob Bob has over thirty years experience as Creative Director at notable advertising and marketing agencies in Manhattan and Raleigh Bob's creative has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Packaging Design Council, Magazine Design, Art Directors Club. In addition, Bob has been published in Graphic Design USA, American Graphic Design, and the Creativity Annual. In 2008, Bob was honored to Judge the Davey Awards for interactive and web design. Bob's passion for the arts has led him to utilize his talent and experience in support of the arts here in the Triangle by creating Triangle Arts and Entertainment.