Band Director Tim Heichelheim has been nominated for a Grammy Music Educator Award for the second consecutive year, earning legacy candidate status.
Heichelheim has directed Alki Middle School and Skyview High School’s bands since 2013. The program now includes an award-winning wind ensemble, concert band, symphonic band, jazz band, marching band, winter percussion unit, percussion class, musical pit orchestra and full symphony orchestra. The Skyview band program has almost doubled in size during Heichelheim’s tenure and has earned awards in the Starlight Parade, Clackamas Community College Band Festival, Northwest Association for Performing Arts Marching Band Championship, West Salem Jazz Festival and several more competitions.
In addition to directing the bands, Heichelheim manages a full marching band staff, clinician schedule, instrumental coaching staff and nonprofit booster organization.
His work also serves students beyond Alki and Skyview. Heichelheim helped develop band curriculum adopted across the district. To build student awareness of the music field, he helped create a pathway for students to earn graduation credits by taking music classes.
“I am passionate about creating structure and access to quality music education for all of our students in VPS,” he said.
“One of the best things about Tim Heichelheim is that he is not only passionate toward music, but to people—specifically his students,” said Eben A. Fernando Heldreth, band assistant instructor. “A lot of times we as music educators get wrapped up in learning notes and building musical excellence—which he does—but sometimes we forget that it’s about the kids. He is one that never forgets. He’s always showing he cares.”
Students praise his positive, welcoming approach. “He nurtures our musicality and treats us like musicians. He’s always giving us the tools we need to become better musicians,” said Rebecca.
“Mr. H. has made a really big impact on my life,” said Zac. “He’s actually the reason I’ve stayed in band for the seven years I’ve been in it.”
The Grammy Music Educator Award recognizes public and private school educators who make a remarkable impact on their students. Ten finalists, including one winner, are selected to receive honorariums. The 2021 recipient will also be recognized during Grammy Week early next year.