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Three honored by American Music Therapy Association

Feb. 22, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Two members of Western Michigan University's School of Music and one former member of that faculty were honored at the American Music Therapy Association's 2007 conference this past November in Louisville, Ky.

Brian Wilson, professor and director of the Music Therapy Program, and Mary Scovel, a former associate professor and director of the Music Therapy Clinic, who left WMU in 1995, received the AMTA Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. David S. Smith, professor of music, received the association's Award of Merit.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the AMTA's most prestigious honor. It recognizes a lifetime of commitment and dedication to the profession of music therapy and is bestowed by the AMTA Board of Directors on individuals to signify their having a primary role in the establishment and continued growth of the profession. The merit award honors AMTA members who have contributed to the development of the profession in a unique and remarkable way.

During a national conference event, Wilson was recognized for his 39 years of contributions as a music therapy clinician and educator, as well as his service as director of WMU's Music Therapy Program, a position he has held since 1975.

A past AMTA president, he currently serves on the AMTA Executive Board and Assembly of Delegates and received the association's Distinguished Service Award in 2002. Wilson also is editor of Music Therapy Perspectives. He has been published in numerous music therapy textbooks and periodicals and is a frequent presenter at state, regional, and national conferences.

Smith, who is graduate advisor for the music education program, was recognized for his leadership as the AMTA's first president and his efforts in guiding the organization through a challenging formative time.

A specialist in secondary general music education and special learners, he has had his work published in a range of periodicals, including the Journal of Music Therapy, General Music Today and the Journal of the International Association of Music for the Handicapped. He received the Research Award from the Southeastern Chapter of the National Association for Music Therapy in 1990 for significant contributions to research with the elderly.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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