George Jenkins High’s Shelby Montgomery is the winner of the 2022 Exemplary Model Program Award, presented by the Florida Music Education Association.
Montgomery, who teaches music, received the honor for GJHS’ Rockestra program. Rockestra was created in 2016 as an effort to include more popular music styles in the school’s general strings curriculum. It mixes traditional orchestral and rock instruments to perform pop and rock arrangements created by students.
“In Rockestra, players learn the skills needed to be in a rock band, all while enhancing their orchestral technique,” Montgomery said. She described Rockestra as “the only program of its kind in Central Florida … a unique experience.”
In announcing Montgomery’s award, officials from the Florida Music Education Association said, “There was a very high level of applicants and very high level of competition in this particular category, but you, Ms. Montgomery, stood out above the rest!”
Beth Cummings was quick to agree. Cummings, PCPS’ director of fine arts, said the Rockestra program “is quickly becoming a national phenomenon, as Ms. Montgomery is sharing what she has accomplished all over the United States.”
“Truly, her influence is spreading, and we could not be prouder!”