MADAWASKA, Maine — Canada’s music education charity, MusiCounts, has named a Madawaska native the recipient of its 2016 Teacher of the Year Award.
Don Bosse, 57, originally from Madawaska but now a music teacher at Fredericton High School in Fredericton, New Brunswick, was presented the award last week in Toronto.
Members of iconic Canadian rock band Rush — Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson — surprised Bosse, who is a fan of the group, with the award.
The band, members of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, joined forces with MusiCounts as the sole sponsor of this year’s award, which recognizes teachers for their outstanding dedication to the musical growth of Canadian youths.
Bosse has been teaching at Fredericton High School for 22 years.
During the surprise presentation to Bosse, Lee and Lifeson spoke about the reasons they chose to support this award, according to a news release issued March 14 by MusiCounts.
“When everything you have in life has come from the fountain of music, you want to spread that around and you want to encourage others,” Lee said.
Bosse will receive $10,000, and another $10,000 contribution will be made to his school’s music program as part of the award.
In addition, he will be attending the JUNO Awards, presented to the best Canadian musical artists and bands by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, later this month in Calgary, Alberta.
“The experience of receiving the MusiCounts Teacher of the Year award from MusiCounts and Rush was truly amazing. It is a day I will never forget,” Bosse said in the release. “The award means a lot because it validates the importance of what we do as music educators and teachers and the positive impact we have in the lives of our students.”
The son of Dora and the late Fernand Bosse of Madawaska, Don Bosse has been head of the fine arts department at Fredericton High School for the last 20 years. He has demonstrated his passion for music and teaching by incorporating technology into his music lessons to assist students with learning difficulties and to challenge those who have advanced skills, according to the MusiCounts release.
Also, with the help of a sizeable provincial grant several years ago, he was able to create a recording studio and develop a course option at his school called, Recording & Sound Design 120.
In addition, in March of last year, Bosse was presented with the 2015 Lieutenant-Governor’s New Brunswick Youth Orchestra Award.