2015 Excellence in Research Award Recipient: Dr. Cecilia Wang

2015 Research Award Cecilia Wang (1)A weather related flight delay prevented one of our superstars from receiving her AOSA Excellence in Research Award in person. It prevented us from hearing her reflections from her own lips. And it prevented all of us from celebrating together, with resounding cheers, one of the most gifted and giving scholars we have among us in the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. And yet to meet with Cecilia Wang later in the afternoon, you would never know that her big day came and went without her. She was asking about all of us and what we are researching, what we are writing about, and, as usual, asking us with sincere interest and hope in our success.

Dr. Cecilia Wang is a marvelous processor and connector with a singular and global knowledge of our collective Orff Scholarship. She initiated the first ‘Webilography” of research that had been hidden in university archives and absent from major databases. In 2003, at the Louisville conference, along with her long time research colleague Dr.David Sogin, she presented a “state of the state” address called “Evidence-Based Research in Orff Schulwerk” to a large group of interested professors, graduate students, and others. She showed us 11 possible categories of research in Music Education, and she categorized and listed every known thesis and dissertation that pertained to the Schulwerk. She provided the data, passion, and motivation with a call for us to develop needed research in areas that had not been addressed. She called the community forth to position Orff Schulwerk on the map by creating useful, timely, and important research studies.

That is just one example of Dr. Wang’s compelling work which she couples with a collegial spirit and empowering passion. It would be impossible to list her accomplishments from her 20 page curriculum vitae, but I am sure it would be even harder to list the many persons she has influenced, nurtured, and set on the path of their own professional contributions.

Dr. Wang, we thank you for your tireless and generous work on our behalf. We thank you for your love of and dedication to the Schulwerk and to the family of educators and children who are embraced by it. We heard your latest call to action, spoken so eloquently by Dr.Nicola Mason, who read your acceptance speech on your behalf: “Orff Specialists in the classroom and university researchers need to collaborate to conduct meaningful research. Help us make these connections and address this task!”

Note:In 2013, GIA Publications released Orff Schulwerk: Reflections and Directions, an anthology of studies and articles edited by Dr. Wang.