Havre de Grace High School's Richard Hauf is among the nation's elite in the running for the award and cash honorarium that will be presented during Grammy Awards Week 2015.
Hauf is a music teacher at Havre de Grace High School and director of the school's Warrior Marching Band.
He is one of 222 music teachers from 208 cities from 41 states who have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.
More than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states, according to the Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation.
"It's a tremendous honor; I'm really excited," Hauf said last week. "There are a lot of great music teachers out there and to be part of this group is very special."
Hauf said he was surprised to find out he made the quarterfinals. He was nominated by two of his students, sisters Emily and Allison Lewis, who found out about the competition from their grandmother.
"That was very sweet," Hauf said of the nomination.
Hauf said he received an email informing him of the nomination and was asked to submit information about himself, which he did.
He also said the recognition is great for Havre de Grace High, where Hauf completed his 21st year on Thursday, and for the supporters of the school's music programs and the band.
"We're a small school, so when you make a list like this, it's definitely a honor for all of us," he said.
The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made significant and lasting contributions to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools.
A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, the award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical Grammy Award) during Grammy Week 2015, Feb. 2-8, in Los Angeles.
The award was first announced at the 2014 Grammy ceremony.
Anyone could nominate a teacher - students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans and administrators. Teachers were also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers were notified and invited to fill out an application.
One recipient will be selected from 10 finalists each year and will be recognized for his/her remarkable impact on students' lives.
The winner will be flown to Los Angeles to accept the award, attend the Grammy Awards ceremony and receive a $10,000 honorarium.
The nine finalists will each receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists also will receive matching grants.
Though school let out for the summer on Thursday, Hauf said he wouldn't be getting any breather.
As always, the Warrior Band is slated to perform at all five area Independence Day celebrations in Darlington, Kingsville, Joppatowne-Edgewood, Bel Air and Havre de Grace, and Hauf noted they only have a couple weeks to prepare.