Civic Music Association of Milwaukee
Press Release

Civic Music MKE to Honor Educators May 26


By - May 3rd, 2021 01:13 pm

CIVIC MUSIC MKE will honor its 2021 Educator Award recipients at CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC!, a new, fun-filled virtual event set for May 26 at 7:00 PM. Visit for more details.

CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC! will also feature young musicians currently in the program as well as some of Milwaukee’s best professional musicians. Sista Strings, MSO cellist Peter Thomas, trumpeter Philip Dizack and faculty from the Milwaukee Jazz Institute will perform. This FREE event will also offer a chance to support the organization through a silent auction and donation opportunities.


The 2021 Educational Administrator of the Year is Stephanie Blue, Director of Student Learning for the Mukwonago Area School District whose nominators highlighted her extensive efforts to ensure that music not be sacrificed during the pandemic.  Certificates of Excellence will go to Lauren King Driscoll, a General Music educator at Richards Elementary School, Whitefish Bay; violinist Elizabeth Warne, a Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra member who teaches from her home studio in Bay View; and Priscilla Nokovic, a retired Milwaukee Public Schools educator also from Bay View, now teaching through Arts@Large and the Arts and Science Literacy Camp at Tippecanoe Presbyterian Church.


Sisters Chauntee and Monique Ross, who are SistaStrings, are not only a popular string duo, they are also teachers for CIVIC MUSIC.  Both classically trained, they have allowed their love of music to transcend the expected – – classical meets R&B meets jazz meets hip hop. Chauntee calls it “bending boundaries.” A new CD with Peter Mulvey and many online and TV performances have kept them busy during the pandemic.

Peter Thomas is a cellist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra who has collaborated with his wife, fellow MSO cellist Madeleine Kabat, and many other musicians, creating outdoor and online performances during the pandemic. Readers may also know Peter as a member of the classically-influenced indie rock band “I’m Not a Pilot.”

A native of Milwaukee, Philip Dizack is a faculty member at University of North Texas College of Music and a busy performer. DownBeat magazine proclaims him as “one of the twenty-five Trumpet Players for the Future.” Dizack has released 3 solo albums and is frequently featured in the bands of other top name artists.

The Milwaukee Jazz Institute (MJI) began operation minutes before the pandemic closed so many doors one year ago. Pivoting seamlessly to virtual classes and events, they now have a wider audience than they had ever expected.  MJI, headed up by jazz pianist Mark Davis, is teaching and performing in Milwaukee to expand and diversify the local audience for jazz and create opportunities for professional and aspiring musicians.

Celebrating its 102nd season, CIVIC MUSIC supports young musicians in the greater Milwaukee area and supports their teachers. Through instruction, coaching, scholarships, performances and award programs, CIVIC MUSIC helps creative young people realize their dreams.  To become a CAN’T STOP THE MUSIC! sponsor or to find your way to the May 26th event, visit the website or contact CIVIC MUSIC directly at

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. It has not been verified for its accuracy or completeness.

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