Sutton Middle’s Natalie Colbert to serve as state president of American String Teachers Association

Sutton Middle School orchestra director Natalie Colbert has been tabbed to serve as the state president of the American String Teachers Association. She also has been elected as the Georgia Music Educators Association’s state orchestra division chairman for 2011-13.

“I am honored to work with awesome colleagues in APS and throughout the state,” Ms. Colbert said. “I will work hard to represent our school system and the students we all serve.”

Colbert has worked at Sutton Middle for 30 years. The Sutton Orchestra Program maintains an enrollment of 165 students. Each year, three Sutton orchestras attend the District Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE) for evaluation and have consistently earned Superior and Excellent ratings. The orchestra has performed in the All-American Music Festival in Orlando, Fla., earning Superior ratings for 10 consecutive years. They also have performed at the National Adjudicators Invitational, earning Superior ratings. In 2010, the orchestra was awarded “Most Outstanding Strings” and “Best Middle School Orchestra.”

Colbert has developed the orchestra program at Sutton to be one that is inclusive and reaches out to all students. An important aspect of the curriculum is chamber music and exposure to music of many cultures. In the orchestra program at Sutton, there is a Private Lesson Program, Mariachi Ensemble; a Jazz/Hip-Hop Orchestra is currently developing. The classroom has frequent professional coaching sessions, master classes and performances by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra members and community musicians.

She frequently serves as adjudicator and clinician throughout the state as well as in Tennessee and Alabama. She has also recently been elected as the GMEA State Orchestra Division Chairman for 2011 -2013.

Colbert is the current 2010-11 Teacher of the Year for Sutton Middle School.

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