Longtime music educator recipient of George M. Irwin Lifetime Achievement Award

dan sherman lifetime achievement award presentation 2023 copy

Dan Sherman is flanked by Pam Potter, left, director of the Quincy Park Band, and Laura Sievers, executive director of Arts Quincy. | Photo courtesy of Arts Quincy

QUINCY — Music educator Dan Sherman was awarded the George M. Irwin Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in music and fine arts during the Quincy Park Band’s season opening concert on Monday in Madison Park. 

The award is in recognition of a lifetime of service and dedication to the entire arts and culture sector and excellence as a musician and educator throughout Quincy and the surrounding area. People  recognized are leaders, innovators and devoted artists and teachers. The award is sponsored by the business and individual members of Arts Quincy. 

“It’s our honor and privilege to acknowledge Mr. Sherman with our most prestigious honor,” Arts Quincy Executive Director Laura Sievert said in a press release. “Dan has made an incredible mark on Quincy’s young musicians and has created a positive impact on students, the school and the community during his years employed in the Quincy Public Schools, working to develop performing arts programs in the parochial schools, performing with countless community choirs and instrumental ensembles and so much more. He’s a constant and enthusiastic supporter of all the arts and a joyful person to work with.”  

Sherman was born in Chicago in 1941 and a 1959 graduate of Leo High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Quincy University and a master’s degree from Southern Illinois University. He completed post graduate studies at the University of Illinois and Western Illinois University. 

Sherman began teaching music and civics at Quincy Junior High in 1964. He moved to Quincy High School in 1969, where he served as director of choirs. As the choral director of the QHS Fall musicals, Sherman directed 41 musicals beginning with “My Fair Lady” in 1969.  During his tenure with Quincy Public School, Sherman also taught elementary general music, elementary choirs, special education music and was responsible for the beginning percussion program for many years. 

Sherman established the swing choir with its first performance in the New Faces variety show in 1970. The group performed for many local clubs, community events and school programs.

The madrigal choir was developed by Sherman at QHS. The ensemble performed at the University of Illinois Madrigal Symposium, the Illinois Music Education Conference and the Illinois American Choral Directors Association Conference.  He served as the District IV Choral Chairperson of the Illinois Music Educators Association for many years. 

In addition to his duties at QPS, Sherman also conducted the Parochial Music Organization Band and acted as its chairman from 1966 until his retirement. His wife, Pam, also taught with the PMO. 

Sherman retired in 2008 after 50 years of teaching and was celebrated by many former students and colleagues during a tribute concert at QHS in 2006. 

He has been a part of the following ensembles and organizations: 

  • Quincy Public Schools         
  • Quincy Park Band 
  • Quincy Community Band 
  • Illinois Music Educators Association 
  • American Choral Directors Association 
  • Percussive Arts Society 
  • Quincy Symphony Orchestra 
  • Quincy Symphony Chorus 
  • Quincy Community Theatre 

Arts Quincy was founded in 1947 as America’s first community arts council and is committed to increasing fine arts access for every resident in Adams County, IL and the surrounding area. 

For more on the Quincy Society of Fine Arts, visit www.artsquincy.org

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