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El Sistema USA is proud to announce the 2023 Teacher of the Year Award to Dr. Tia Harvey of Member Program Accent Pontiac. She embodies excellence in teaching, high artistic standards, and a dedication to her community. She demonstrates a superior commitment to youth voice and holistic development of her students. Please join us on Friday, March 10 at 9:00am to honor her at the ESUSA National Symposium opening plenary.

Dr. Tia Harvey

2023 Teacher of the Year

Dr. Tia Harvey is a musician and educator in Pontiac, MI. She is the Education Director and Lead Percussion Teacher at Accent Pontiac, a social change through music program in her community. She has been in this role since February 2023 and was the Program Director/Lead Percussion Teacher and founding bucket band teacher at Accent Pontiac previously. She has been working in Pontiac with this organization since 2017. Dr. Tia, as her students call her, focuses on increasing the agency of young musicians through music creation and collective composition therein empowering our youth. Her pedagogical work specifically centers upon racial and gender based inequities in music and society. Additionally, Dr. Tia aims to be an advocate for the young musicians of Accent Pontiac across all levels of the organization and for arts education opportunities more broadly for youth within her city.

Her performing career centers upon her band, Consuming Arts, with flutist Dr. Chelsea Koziatek and bassist/vocalist Taylor Harvey. They bring together traditions of popular and contemporary classical music through concert experiences as well as multi-course dinners collaborating with local chefs to pair music and food and explore the relationship between the musical and culinary arts. As a percussionist, Dr. Tia is passionate about creating and performing music in non-traditional venues, writing new works and songs, and collaborating across genres with DJs, songwriters, and more in Consuming Arts.

Dr. Tia holds degrees (M.A., M.M., D.M.A.) from Michigan State University and the University of Central Florida (B.M.). Dr. Tia lives in Pontiac, MI with her husband, Erik, and cats, Ezra and Momaru where she is a member of the Pontiac Arts Commission, and runs a small bakery business, Dr. Tia’s Bakeshop.

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