Wade Baker has been nominated for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award. The winners will be invited to the 2020 GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles.
Baker is the Director of Bands at Olney Central College. This is his second consecutive nomination for the GRAMMY Educator Award.  
He said, “The development of this department has occurred so incredibly quickly it feels as though that I’m riding this roller coaster on a day to day basis along with the students.”
In less than two years, the music program has added four new ensembles, and an almost weekly concert series at Bobalou’s in Olney.
Under Baker’s direction, unprecedented opportunities have surfaced for music OCC music students. One such opportunity is the Concert Band’s upcoming summer performance at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Baker said, “ … Almost every musician dreams of being able to perform on major stages, like Carnegie hall …  It really is an honor and something to be proud of to say that a group from Olney has graced the hallowed grounds of Carnegie Hall.”
Additionally, the Contemporary, Jazz Combo, and Honor’s Jazz Ensembles have been invited to record in a Nashville music studio.
Baker said, “The rapid development and growth in this program, along with the ever changing personnel and personalities of the students within it, has forced me to learn and adapt my styles of relating the material to these young people.”
Baker knows that being an effective teacher requires being a permanent student, remaining adaptable and open to growth.
He said, “I could have one lesson with a farmer’s son where I relate trumpet playing to building a pole bard followed by a lesson with an adult who plays out professionally where I relate improvising to chasing around her toddler son.”
“… Creating music is a mystical experience.  We all have it within us, it’s finding ways to unlock that hidden potential that is my true joy.”
Baker attributes the efficacy of his teaching methods to the ongoing study of psychology and the power of the mind.
As a teacher, he feels he must not only know the material, but also know infinite ways of conveying lessons in digestible form for students.  
“I’m learning how to be better at this process daily,” he said.   
Baker is thankful to the OCC music students, who he says have grown along with him, “gracefully and graciously.”
“I’d to thank their parents for raising such amazing young people … for their belief in me to prepare their children for what’s to come … I’d like to thank our Dean Mike Conn and President Rodney Raines who gave a guy with very little experience in this type of job a chance to prove himself as well as the undying support they give me in all that I ask from them.”
Baker also extends his gratitude to the OCC Foundation, the Glover Family, Jan Loeb, and the countless other donors that have helped the music program reach new heights.
The Director has a long list of people from within the community for which he has great gratitude. Among them are:
Monte Skelton and Chris Parker (my adjuncts) for their extremely hard work, love, dedication and passion to the students.  
Guy Ash and Bobalou’s for giving the students a home to play outside of school.  
Jamie Taylor and her children Jaylen Gillihan and Levi Mitchell for being understanding
Christi Urfer for always being there for … many things OCC.  
…Thank the community for all of the support they are showing these kids in the forms of donations, concert attendance, etc.