Music Hall of Fame

DeKalb Music Boosters has opened a third category in the DeKalb Music Hall of Fame, the Virtuoso Award, which will honor former DeKalb High School music students who have further distinguished themselves as musicians, music educators or music advocates.

This award will be presented in addition to the Muse Award, which honors music advocates who have made a significant impact in fostering the growth of DeKalb school music programs, and the Maestro Award, which honors former district teachers.

Past recipients of the Hall of Fame Award include Dee Palmer and Ann Montzka Smelser for the Muse Award and Judy O’Connor for the Maestro Award.

According to Kris Carpenter, chair of the recognition committee, “We are thrilled to be adding this additional award opportunity to the DeKalb Music Hall of Fame. Offering the Virtuoso Award, as well as the Maestro and Muse Awards, at our annual Hats, Horses, and Harmony fundraiser, allows us to recognize a variety of contributors to DeKalb’s rich music history. We look forward to continuing to grow our Hall of Fame with worthy recipients.”

Any individual or organization may make a nomination by completing the nomination form and returning it to the Music Boosters by January 31.


DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Muse Nomination

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Maestro Nomination

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Virtuoso Nomination

Questions regarding the application process can be directed to

DeKalb Music Boosters is a 501(c)3 which serves and assists the music performance programs and their directors. Its overall purpose is to bring students an appreciation of making music as a lifelong activity.




We are proud to announce we have named Ann Montzka Smelser and Judy O’Connor to the district’s Music Hall of Fame. They will be recognized at the Hats, Horses and Harmony fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. on May 3rd at River Heights Golf Course clubhouse.

Ann Montzka Smelser will receive the Muse Award for work as an outstanding music advocate who has had significant influence in developing and fostering the growth of music programs, according to the release. She’s worked in the music community for more than 30 years and is the director of the Community School of Arts Suzuki Strings program.

Receiving the inaugural Maestro Award, Judy O’Connor will be honored as a retired music teacher who has had a significant effect in developing and fostering the growth of DeKalb middle school or high school music programs.

The 2018-2019 Music Hall of Fame nominations are now open!!! Be sure to nominate a retired music teacher or staff member from the district that you feel should be honored in our Music Hall of Fame as a Maestro Award Winner and/or nominate a music advocate that has had a significant impact on developing and supporting our district music programs that you feel should be honored in our Music Hall of Fame as a Muse Award Winner.

Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 7, 2019, and the application forms can be accessed at the links below:

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Maestro Nomination

DeKalb Music Hall of Fame Muse Nomination

Completed application forms can be emailed to, or they can be mailed to us at Dekalb Music Boosters, P.O. Box 249, Dekalb, IL 60115.

The chosen recipients of the awards will be announced in February and will be inducted into the Music Hall of Fame at our Annual Hats, Horses and Harmony fundraising event on May 3, 2019!


To learn about the 2017-2018 recipient of the Dekalb Music Hall of Fame Muse Award, W. Dee Palmer, see the links below:


%d bloggers like this: