(Montclair, NJ – January 7, 2013) Music legends Judy Collins, Paul Shaffer, and Theodore Bikel were honored with American Eagle Awards by the National Music Council at a symposium and luncheon event held at New York’s Hard Rock Café on Tuesday, November 27. The coveted American Eagle Award is presented annually to celebrate an individual’s long-term contribution to the nation’s musical culture and heritage. This year’s affair was the 30th anniversary celebration of the American Eagle awards.
The presentations included tributes to the honorees by a host of musical greats including Ben E. King, Martha Wash, Merima Kljuço, Sheldon Harnick and Peter Yarrow. The Council's annual Leadership in Music Symposium preceded the awards and featured an interview and question and answer session with the honorees. Additional awards were given to children’s television icon Sonny Fox for his lifetime support of music and arts access for children and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store for its active support of country music for over forty years.
Dr. David Sanders, director of the National Music Council, notes that the individual recipients were being honored, “not just for the incredible gifts they have given generations of music lovers throughout the world with their creative output… but also for their dedication to encouraging young musicians – and potential musicians – through their great support and commitment to music education.”
The event also debuted an animation created by the NMC and the Music Publishers Association of the United States as part of a primary school lesson plan that encourages kids to think about the ramifications of taking other people’s creative work. Sanders introduced the work as “part of a world-wide effort by creators to change the narrative in terms of fostering an understanding that the online protection of creative work enhances freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas, rather than encroaching on them.“
Past American Eagle Award recipients include Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Clive Davis, Van Cliburn, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie, Morton Gould, Dave Brubeck, Marian Anderson, Max Roach, Lena Horne, Roy Clark, Elliott Carter, Roberta Peters, Odetta, Leonard Slatkin, Stephen Sondheim, Sesame Street, Peter Yarrow, Hard Rock Cafe and VH1 Save the Music Foundation.
Through the cooperative work of its member organizations, the National Music Council promotes and supports music and music education as an integral part of the curricula in the schools of our nation, and in the lives of its citizens. The Council provides for the exchange of information and coordination of efforts among its member organizations and speaks with one voice for the music community whenever an authoritative expression of opinion is desirable.
The National Music Council is celebrating its 72nd Anniversary as a forum for the free discussion of this country’s national music affairs and challenges. Founded in 1940 to act as a clearinghouse for the joint opinion and decision of its members and to work to strengthen the importance of music in our life and culture, the Council’s initial membership of 13 has grown to almost 50 national music organizations, encompassing every important form of professional and commercial musical activity.