Ruth Cahn, senior instructor in percussion at the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS), has received the Lifetime Achievement in Education Award from The Percussive Arts Society. The award recognizes the contributions of the most highly regarded leaders in percussion education.
Established in 2002, the award honors recipients for demonstrating the highest ideals and professional integrity in percussion education and pedagogy. Recipients have a significant history of exceptional and innovative teaching practices.
Cahn, who was presented the award on Nov. 15 during the Society’s international convention in Indianapolis, has been an integral force in music education for nearly 30 years. Currently, she teaches a percussion studio of 29 students of varying ages at ECMS, directs four ECMS percussion ensembles, and oversees the ECMS summer Music Horizons program for gifted high school students. In 2001, Cahn was named Jack Frank Instructor of Percussion at ECMS.
Additionally, Cahn served as an artist-in-residence for the Rochester City School District for 27 years. In that role she presented and developed programs for students that linked music with school curriculums. Cahn has also participated as a mentor and coach for the American Symphony Orchestra League’s Youth Orchestra Festival.
On the collegiate level, Cahn teaches “The Joys and Opportunities of Studio Teaching” at the Eastman School of Music. She has also presented and performed as a guest artist at the University of Michigan School of Music for education and percussion.
Cahn has maintained other leadership roles in the arts. At the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, she served as a member of the Board of Directors, chaired the Musician’s Negotiation Committee, directed the Philharmonic League, served as development director, and mentored the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
As a percussionist, Cahn performed for 35 years as a full-time member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and 12 years as a member of the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. As a chamber music performer, she has presented recitals for the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester, Live from Hochstein, and the Eastman Women in Music Festival.
Cahn earned her Bachelor of Music degree in applied music and education and a Performer’s Certificate at the Eastman School of Music.
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