Magic Penny Award

2011: Joanne Hammil

We are pleased to announce that the honoree for the 2011 Magic Penny Award is Joanne Hammil, a nationally renowned music educator, performer, songwriter and choral director from Boston, and a major figure in community and children's music. She directs several Intergenerational and Children's Choruses in the greater Boston area and presents dynamic, participatory concerts and workshops across the country. Her songs have been performed and recorded by many artists and have been widely published, and her rounds have become standards in books and harmony circles. In addition, Joanne was one of the founding members of CMN and served on the board for many years, including president of the board from 1994-1997.

Originally from New Jersey, Joanne attended college in Massachusetts, and raised her two children in the Boston area. Her musical talents have been spread over a wide range of work for 30 years, centering on teaching, performing, songwriting and community choruses. Her two award-winning recordings of original children's songs, "Pizza Boogie" and "The World's Gonna Listen!", and her adult songs consistently receive the highest acclaim.

More recently Joanne produced two recordings and songbooks of 53 of her original Rounds & Partner Songs. Mostly for adults, but containing rounds and partner songs for all ages, these beautiful collections highlight her unique contribution to this genre.

Joanne's Children's Choruses are truly unique. Open to all children (no auditions) in grades 2 - 4, these groups are not "traditional" choruses, as they go well beyond that genre. Joanne's goals for her choruses are to truly explore music together and to grow personally as individuals through this challenging, and exciting musical experience. The children sing in parts and all have many turns for creative individual input as well as working on blending together as a group to achieve the expression that each song needs.

The Intergenerational Chorus is Joanne's dream-come-true. Advertised for ages 10 through 110, this is a true community group, galvanizing all ages and many different peoples into a very special, creative experience that both breaks down ageism and cultural barriers and builds up individual and group pride. The results of Joanne's unique approach that combines joyful encouragement and a high level of musical expectations are wonderfully rich. Her respect for each "voice" shines through both in weekly sessions and in concerts, and her wealth of exciting repertoire and experience inspires and elevates these non-auditioned groups to amazing musical achievements.

For all of her contributions to the world of children's music and specifically to the Children's Music Network we are proud to announce Joanne Hammil as the recipient for the 2011 Magic Penny Award. 

Photo: Presenting the awardPhoto: 2011 Magic Penny awardPhoto by Diane Lansing Photo: Magic Penny awardPhoto by Joanne Hammil

Jenny Heitler-Klevans presents the award to Joanne Hammil

Award designer: Francie Ginocchio – Rochester, MN