Elizabeth Lupton is this year’s winner of the Arts Educator Award presented by the Penticton & District Community Arts Council.
Lupton, a native of Manitoba, with many years of teaching experience, was honoured by the recognition, but didn’t think she would get the nod given the excellence of the other nominees in the category.
“I am very honoured and humbled,” said Lupton.
“The people on the (nomination) list are all most deserving.
“I was totally surprised, I didn’t even recognize my name.”
In the same breath, Lupton tipped her hat to the arts council for their efforts on behalf of all segments of the arts community in the South Okanagan and for making the awards evening a special event.
“It’s totally amazing how the arts council managed to put it together,” she said. “They’re a wonderful organization.”
Teaching music is in Lupton’s blood as it is her mother who began to teach her to play piano when she was just three years old.
Although she enjoys playing the piano, her passion for the violin was kindled when she heard Mendelsshon’s Violin Concerto on the radio.
“After that I really wanted to play the violin,” said Lupton.
For Lupton, who earned a music degree from Brandon University, teaching music is more than a matter of scales, bars and notes, it is about building relationships, guiding her students of all ages to build relationships with the music they are learning, but also developing relationships with her students.
“It’s wonderful to build a relationship with the families,” she said. “I enjoy introducing the students to music, and coaching them through learning to experience music.”
In addition to teaching at her home, Lupton also guides musicians aged 10 to 15 in a group called The Fiddle Kidz, helps lead a string camp called Strings the Thing at the Shatford Centre and plays violin with the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra. She previously played with symphony orchestras in Winnipeg, Toronto and the Netherlands.