Islander Alumnus in Running for Grammy Music Educator Award

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Islander alumnus Matthew Trevino is only a decade removed from his days at the Island University, but the San Antonio-based elementary school music instructor is already in the running for a Grammy Music Educator Award. The 2008 graduate learned in early October he was one of 25 semifinalists vying to move on to the final round, which whittles the field down to 10 music teachers from over 2,800 nominations from across the U.S.

The winner, who will be selected by the Recording Academy and Grammy Museum and announced during Grammy Week 2019 in February, will attend the 61st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles as well as other related events and receive a $10,000 honorarium along with a custom award.

Trevino said his wife, Melissa, nominated him for the honor unbeknownst to him.

The Corpus Christi native said his foundation for a pathway to a musical education career began early in life. He attended the now-shuttered Chula Vista Academy of Fine Arts where he began playing the violin in first grade and the saxophone in the fourth grade as well as Wynn Seale Academy of Fine Arts. Trevino graduated from Carroll High School in 2002.

“I was pretty lucky; I got to take two courses of music in elementary school every day,” Trevino said.

At Del Mar College, Trevino became a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and served as the music fraternity’s chapter president. Upon arrival at A&M University-Corpus Christi, however, he discovered a group of students were in the formative stages of launching a Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity chapter.

“When I transferred to the Island University, I discovered that there was a Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia colony, which is part of the process to become a chapter,” he said. “Because of my leadership experience at Del Mar, I was able to help the young men in the colony get their charter. I also became the first president of the newly chartered Rho Epsilon chapter at the University.”

Trevino was a student teacher at King High School and Oak Park Elementary School before graduating from the Island University with a Bachelor of Music and a Teacher Certification. He began teaching in the San Antonio area in spring 2009. 

Today, Trevino is in his fourth year as a music specialist at Roan Forest Elementary School in North East ISD. In addition to the music class Trevino teaches, students can also sign up for choir in the fall and a percussion club called Sonido in the spring. Such supplemental ensembles allow students to further develop their budding musical skills, he said.  

“The Roan Forest community was very hungry for music over here. The parents are very vocal in their support,” he said. 

Dr. Diana Sipes, A&M-Corpus Christi associate dean and professor of music, says Trevino possesses a great combination of a strong work ethic and musical talent coupled with a great sense of humor.

“Matthew loves sharing his love of music with his students at the school where he works and helping them in profound ways beyond what they do in the classroom,” Sipes said. “I’m happy that he’s having such a positive impact on so many students and their families.”

In addition to his academic work, Trevino also performed live and recorded an album as a member of a South Texas-area band with Dr. Mark Hartlaub, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Hartlaub says he is pleased to hear that Matthew is in the running for such a prestigious award.

“Matthew Trevino continues to be one of our outstanding alumni,” Hartlaub said. “I had the privilege of playing in a local band, IdentityCC, with Matthew for several years while he was going to school here. Besides being an excellent musician, he was a loyal and good friend. I am very proud of all he has accomplished since he left the Island University.”

Win or lose, Trevino says he is pleased to be part of a prestigious award ceremony best known for its recognition of legendary recording artists and music-makers whose hits are known the world over.

“The Grammys are huge; Michael Jackson won a Grammy for ‘Thriller,’” he said, referring to the late pop star’s best-selling 1982 album. “And the fact that they have a Grammy for music educators-that’s just really exciting.”