A believer that music has the ability to effortlessly move people, Judy Strecker has dedicated her life and career to sharing and teaching music to those around her. “Music can change someone’s mood in an instant, turning moments of sadness, frustration and despair into instances of joy and hope. It can inspire people to dream big and, more importantly, chase after those big dreams,” she says, adding that she has witnessed these instantaneous transformations time and time again throughout her career.
Although retired since 2008, Dr. Strecker is a part-time music teacher for Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan., and continues in her work as an adjudicator with the National Guild of Piano Teachers, which is known as the largest non-profit organization for piano teachers in the country. Dr. Strecker formerly served as chair of the music department at Frank Phillips College. Known by colleagues and students for her evident passion for music and talents as a musician herself, she thrived in this role for 16 years, assuming responsibilities outside of simply teaching.
Dr. Strecker established her reputation of excellence early in her career by holding notable positions, including chair of the music department at St. Mary of the Plains College, director of music at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Greenwell Springs, La., and chair of the music department at the University of the Incarnate World in San Antonio. Dr. Strecker was also an organist for the First United Methodist Church of Pampa, Texas.
Dr. Strecker’s love of music began during her childhood. She was inspired greatly by both of her parents, especially her father who was a jazz clarinet and saxophone player during the big band era in the 1940s. Knowing that she too wanted a career in music, Dr. Strecker pursued an education that would allow her to develop her talents and utilize them in a way that was significant in the music industry. To prepare for her career, Dr. Strecker earned a Bachelor of Music from the University of the Incarnate World in 1965, a Master of Arts from Eastman School of Music in 1971 and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado in 1979.
When asked of the highlight of her career, Dr. Strecker reflects on the various opportunities she experienced at Frank Phillips College. Under Dr. Strecker’s direction, the community choir at was invited twice to perform at Carnegie Hall; it was a life-changing event for the students who experienced this moment. They were also invited to perform on the Mexican Riviera Cruise Line, which was another proud moment for her. In recognition of her professional excellence in her career, Dr. Strecker was the recipient of a NISOD Excellence Award from The University of Texas at Austin and a fellowship award from the Eastman School of Music.
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