Music educator, Dan Sherman, was awarded the 2023 George M. Irwin Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Music and Fine Arts. The presentation took place during the Quincy Park Band’s opening season concert in Madison Park.
Dan Sherman is beloved by area residents as a music educator and his contributions to local music have had a positive impact throughout the tri-states. The award is in recognition of a lifetime of service and dedication to the entire arts and culture sector and excellence as a musician and educator throughout Quincy and the surrounding area.
“It’s our honor and privilege to acknowledge Mr. Sherman with our most prestigious honor, a George M. Irwin Lifetime Achievement Award,” says Arts Quincy Executive Director Laura Sievert “Dan has made an incredible mark on Quincy’s young musicians and has created a positive impact on students, the school and the community during his years employed in the Quincy Public Schools, working to develop performing arts programs in the parochial schools, performing with countless community choirs and instrumental ensembles and so much more. He’s a constant and enthusiastic supporter of all the arts and a joyful person to work with.”
The George M. Irwin Lifetime Achievement Award celebrates decades-long commitment to the arts in any discipline. Individuals recognized are leaders, innovators and devoted artists and teachers. The award is sponsored by the business and individual members of Arts Quincy.
Born in Chicago in 1941 and a 1959 graduate of Leo High School, Mr. Sherman holds a B.S. degree from Quincy University and an M.S. degree from Southern Illinois University. He completed post graduate studies at the University of Illinois and Western Illinois University. Sherman began teaching music and civics at Quincy Junior High in 1964. In 1969, he moved to Quincy Senior High where he served as Director of Choirs. As the choral director of the QHS Fall musicals, Sherman directed 41 musicals beginning with “My Fair Lady” in 1969. During his tenure at QPS, Mr. Sherman also taught elementary general music, elementary choirs, special education music and was responsible for the Beginning Percussion program for many years.
Sherman established the Swing Choir with its first performance in the New Faces variety show in 1970. The group performed for many local clubs, community events and school programs.
Mr. Sherman was key to the development of the Madrigal Choir at Quincy Senior High. The ensemble performed at the University of Illinois Madrigal Symposium, the Illinois Music Education Conference and the Illinois American Choral Directors Association Conference. Sherman served as the District IV Choral Chairperson of the Illinois Music Educators Association for many years.
In addition to his duties at QPS, Mr. Sherman also conducted the Parochial Music Organization Band and acted as its chairman from 1966 until his retirement. Pam Sherman also taught with the PMO.
In 2008, Sherman retired after 50 years of teaching and was celebrated by many former students and colleagues during a Tribute Concert at QHS in 2006.
Below is a list of just some the ensembles and organizations of which Sherman has been a part of:
Quincy Public Schools
Quincy Park Band
Quincy Community Band
Illinois Music Educators Association
American Choral Directors Association
Percussive Arts Society
Quincy Symphony Orchestra
Quincy Symphony Chorus
Quincy Community Theatre
Dan and his supportive wife Pam continue to support all the arts in Quincy through service and activities. In addition, they spend time with their family and enjoy following their grandchildren in their activities and endeavors.