The Helen Kemp Award
for Lifetime Commitment to Excellence in Choral Music
The Helen Kemp Award, initiated in 2010 and named in honor of its first awardee, honors an individual who, through teaching, performing, and sharing, exhibits a lifelong passion and commitment to the choral art.
2012 Awardee: Amy Story
Amy Story has taught choral music for 32 years, beginning at Arkport Central School (NY) where she taught vocal and general music. She continued her career at Northside Blodgett Middle School (Corning – Painted Post School District) and Canandaigua Middle School. For the past eleven years, she has served as vocal director for Canandaigua Academy in Canandaigua, New York.
At Canandaigua Academy, Amy conducts the Academy Mixed Chorus, Women’s Choir, Madrigal Choir and Jazz Choir. Under her direction, the Canandaigua Academy Choirs have all received “Superior” ratings at invitational music festivals and have performed annually with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. The choirs have been part of collaborations with Rochester’s vocal group Madrigalia, and have also actively commissioned new music. Her ensembles have worked with visiting conductors and composers including Eric Whitacre, Paul Basler, Bill Cutter and Cyril Stretansky. Students of Canandaigua Academy have consistently been selected to participate in All-State and American Choral Director Association honor choirs.
In addition to her choral ensembles, Amy is also the director of the annual Madrigal Dinner and Pop Night at the Bistro. Her Madrigal Choir has been invited to present teaching seminars to college music majors on madrigal dinners. She has been the music director for the past ten Academy Player’s musical productions, many of which have been awarded the Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s Stars of Tomorrow Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Singing Ensemble honors.
Amy has conducted Area All-State and All-County choral ensembles in Pennsylvania and New York and serves as a New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) vocal adjudicator. For the past three years, Amy has been co-director of the Festival High School Chorale which performs with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on their Gala Holiday Pops series, Jeff Tyzik, conductor.
She is listed in Who’s Who in America and was named a Paul Harris fellow by Rotary International for service to her community. She was honored with the 2007 Rochester Philharmonic Musicians’ Award for Outstanding Music Educator in the category of Choral Director. In 2010, she was an Athena nominee, recognizing leadership qualities in women, by her community. In 2011, she and her husband were inducted into the Music Honor Roll of Mansfield University, recognizing distinguished achievement in the profession of music.
Amy serves the Finger Lakes Music Educators Association as vocal librarian. She is a past president of the Steuben County Music Teachers Association, and a member of American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, and the New York State School Music Association. Amy and her husband Brian have two children, Matthew and Kathryn, and reside in Canandaigua, New York.