Music Director Elizabeth Hankins Named Grammy Finalist

Music director Elizabeth Hankins, MAEd '03 was one of 10 finalists for the 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Award.

Outstanding music director, BW alumna, recognized by Grammys, Yale and more

May 12, 2017

Music Director Elizabeth Hankins Named Grammy FinalistWith more than 27 years of cultivating love for music, Elizabeth Hankins, MAEd '03 received one of the highest recognitions in music education this year.

As a top 10 finalist out of 3,300 teachers nationwide, Hankins was a nominee for the 2017 GRAMMY Music Educator Award presented by the Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation.

This award was established to recognize current educators who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music.

Supportive Community Fuels Success

Hankins is currently the orchestra director at Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Ohio, where she leads several ensembles. She is also the director of the Lakewood Project, the world’s first high school rock orchestra.

"This honor is a tribute to my wonderful students and this extremely supportive community," Hankins told the Lakewood Observer. "Being able to share my passion for music with Lakewood’s amazing children in itself is a daily award. Being recognized by the Grammy Foundation is a memorable moment on an already amazing journey."

Distinguished Talent

Hankins continues to innovate and earn recognition. Other awards include 2013 and 2015 Yale Distinguished Music Educator, 2013 Oberlin Conservatory Distinguished Alumni Award and 2015 Outstanding Educator Award at Baldwin Wallace University.

Rock On

Hankins earned a master’s degree in education from BW after completing a bachelor of music education from the Oberlin Conservatory; and she’s not done yet.

Hankins will graduate on May 21 with a doctorate in music education from Case Western Reserve University. In addition to her studies, she and The Lakewood Project will be rocking Lakewood with several upcoming concerts. For more information, visit