Brian Endlein is one of 188 instructors across the country and the only candidate from Delaware nominated as a quarterfinalist for a 2019 Music Educator Grammy Award

While Middletown High School band director Brian Endlein is known for leading his students in making music, for the past month he had to endure the sound of silence.

Endlein is one of 188 instructors across the country and the only candidate from Delaware nominated as a quarterfinalist for a 2019 Music Educator Grammy Award – but he couldn’t tell anyone.

“I was honestly shocked and very humbled,” said Endlein. “I found out about my quarterfinalist status about a month ago but was sworn to secrecy until the actual press release went out from the Grammys.”

Appoquinimink School District officials received the news June 14.

“The Grammy Museum and The Recording Academy recognize that behind every great performer is a teacher who played a critical role in helping unleash their musical talent,” according to the press release from the school district. “That’s why they've created the Music Educator Award – to recognize current educators from kindergarten through college who are making a significant contribution to the field of music education, and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in schools.”

Endlein has been the band director at Middletown High since 2011 and a professional music educator since 2004. He teaches students in marching band, symphonic band, percussion ensemble, AP music theory, music technology, jazz band, indoor colorguard and indoor drumline.

Along with leading award-winning bands and programs, Endlein was also recognized by the Grammy Museum and The Recording Academy for developing strategic partnerships with Delaware State University, Wesley College, and the University of Delaware whose music faculty help mentor and train the high school students. He also established a connection with radio station WSTW which has provided real-world experience for music technology and production students.

Nominations for the Music Educator Grammy can come from students, parents, colleagues or others, but then the nominee has to fill out an application. From the applications, the selection committee whittles the field down to the quarterfinalists.

“Once I found out I was a quarterfinalist, I had to fill out a few more questions, an updated resume, and compile several videos of my teaching and testimonials from students, parents, and administrators,” Endlein said.

From the quarterfinalists, 15 semifinalists will be announced in September. They will receive a $500 honorarium and matching grants for their schools. Ten finalists will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 61st annual Grammy Awards in early 2019, where they'll receive a $1,000 honorarium and matching school grants. Then, during Grammy Week festivities, the 2019 winner of a $10,000 personal honorarium will be announced.

Endlein said the Grammy nomination has been part of “another amazing season” for the Cavalier bands.

“Our marching band was the Region IX Group 3 champion again and received its highest placement and rating at the Tournament of Band's Atlantic Coast Championships. The symphonic band and marching band both performed as part of the London New Year's Day Parade. Our Indoor Arts programs (two color guards and a drumline) won their respective championships this spring and we most recently found out that the Wind Ensemble will be the opening act for the University of Delaware Wind Ensemble this December,” he said.

Endlein talked about what’s most rewarding to him as a music educator.

“Graduation is always a special time for me. It's bittersweet because I say goodbye to students that I've watched grow over the past four years, but I love to see the young adults that they've become,” he said. “I love to watch our students take ownership over their music program. Our student leadership program is the key to our success because we've moved the decision making power to where the information is, our students! I provide them with intent and guidance but they truly help run and guide our programs. Finally, I love that our program has the opportunity to represent the MOT community. When your town's name is on the side of your school building, that carries with it an enormous responsibility and I hope that the Cavalier Band has always made Middletown proud!”

With help from an army of parents, volunteers and community members, Endlein and the Band Boosters ensure that no student is excluded from participating in the band program due to economic hardship.

In 2018, the music program at Middletown High was one of only 135 programs in the nation to be awarded the title, "School of Merit" by the NAMM Foundation. The Appoquinimink School District was also named Delaware's Best Community for Music Education for the third straight year by that group.

“My goal as a music educator is to help students learn the benefits of long term investment, discipline, commitment and hard work while developing their creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills,” said Endlein. “Fostering musical talent is as crucial today as it has ever been as our future depends on a creative generation.”

The 2018 Middletown High School Teacher of the Year has been selected in the "Top 50 High School Band Directors in America" and was recently recognized by his alma mater, West Chester University, as a "Distinguished Alumni." An accomplished musician, he’s performed on CDs, on television and even had a bit part in the film “Gods and Generals” as a bugler.

Endlein is also active in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he holds the rank of sergeant first class and serves as drum major and enlisted conductor for the nationally recognized 78th Army Band.