Someone You Should Know: Roosevelt Teacher Awarded for Music Education

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.– A local music teacher is getting national attention from the country music world all while inspiring her students.

Choir class at Roosevelt High School is Robyn Starks Holcomb’s stage. She expresses her passion for music and the arts through teaching.     

“The arts were just so much a part of my upbringing and shaping who I was. I was heavily influenced by teachers in my life that I knew that I wanted to be that influence to someone else,” said Starks Holcomb.

She’s been a choir director with the Sioux Falls School District for nine years, but music has always been her life.

“I’ve toured with professional theater companies, I’ve taught years of dance, I worked full time for a church ministry for a number of years, and have just kind of picked up all kinds of wonderful experiences along the way that I apply now in everything that I do on a daily basis,” said Starks Holcomb.

The heart and soul she’s put into the Roosevelt’s vocal music program has caught the attention of the Country Music Association Foundation. It’s a non-profit that supports music education. She is one of ten music educators who received the Music Teachers of Excellence Award. Last week she was in Nashville for the award ceremony hosted by country singer Dierks Bentley.

“We were given kind of the full, wonderful CMA red carpet treatment and met a lot of artists and media and CMA dignitaries and yeah they really showered their appreciation,” said Starks Holcomb.

The ceremony honored teachers who’ve made a big impact on their students through music. For Starks Holcomb, music class is more than just music.

“Our room is a pillow to them, where its okay to jump and it’s okay to try and fly, and if they fall they just get up and they try again. It’s also a place that accepts them for who they are.

Starks Holcomb feels proud to represent all music teachers.

“We’re all in this together and we all want what’s best for our kids and we’re all making a difference the same way. I’m just the lucky one that got to go this time,” said Starks Holcomb.

The CMA Foundation also gave Starks Holcomb $2,500 to use for her show choir program.


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