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Crest High Orchestra Director Named Best In Region

posted Feb 15, 2018, 3:13 PM by Greg Shull

In his 20th year of teaching, Peter Strickland teaches and conducts some of the top musicians in Cleveland County each day. In honor of his commitment to excellence and dedication to the profession, Strickland was recently named the NC Western Regional Orchestra Teacher of the Year and was recognized at a recent Cleveland County Board of Education meeting.

“I have worked with some amazing directors across the state and to receive this recognition from my peers was humbling, to say the least,” said Strickland.

His students have participated in all-county, regional, and all-state orchestra events while many have continued their education by majoring in music education, performance, composition, and production.

“The daily challenge for me as an educator is to provide my students an experience that is worthwhile and relevant to their present as well as their future,” added Strickland. “I am blessed with students who inspire me to do my best and provide them with unique experiences that will last a lifetime.”

Mr. Strickland’s students have performed at local events such as the opening ceremony for the Vietnam Memorial Moving Wall Exhibition in 2008, and alongside the Gardner-Webb University Orchestra, the Rutherford Symphony, the Carolina Brass, and Mark and Maggie O'Connor.

“Mr. Strickland provides exceptional educational experiences for his students, and we are most fortunate to have him directing orchestral music at Crest High,” said Greg Shull, the district arts coordinator, and director of communications.

A Little More About Peter Strickland

Peter Strickland has been teaching in the Cleveland County School System since 1997. He began his career as the founding director of the Burns and Crest Middle School Orchestra programs in 1997, continuing with the Crest High Orchestra program in 1999, and founding the Electronic Music/Recording program in 2006.

As a Gardner-Webb University graduate with degrees in Music Education and Composition, Strickland is an active composer and arranger and collaborates with local playwrights and ensembles. In 2010, Mr. Strickland transcribed and arranged Earl Scruggs’ bluegrass classic, “Flint Hill Special” for bluegrass band and orchestra as part of the Smithsonian’s American Roots concert series performed by the Gardner-Webb University Orchestra. In 2014, Mr. Strickland was the clinician and conductor for the inaugural All-County Middle School Orchestra of Cleveland County, returning again in 2017. He served as the clinician and conductor for the All-County High School Orchestra of Onslow County in 2016, and Buncombe County in 2017.

Mr. Strickland has been active at Crest High serving as Fine Arts Department chair, a member of the Scholarship committee, mentor to new teachers, and a cooperating teacher for student teachers. He received the Time-Warner Star Teacher Award in 2003 and 2008 and the Hoyt & Anne Dover Bailey Teaching Excellence Award in 2013. Mr. Strickland was selected as the Western Regional Orchestra Director of the Year in 2017. He was certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in 2007 which was renewed in 2017. Mr. Strickland and his wife Michelle have been married since 1998 and have two children.