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Fox Chapel Area's Craig Cannon receives lifetime achievement award for music

Tawnya Panizzi
| Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 10:24 a.m.
Craig Cannon of O'Hara instructs the Pittsburgh Boy Choir.
submitted
Craig Cannon of O'Hara instructs the Pittsburgh Boy Choir.
Craig Cannon, conductor.
Submitted
The Herald
Craig Cannon, conductor. Submitted

Retired Fox Chapel Area Choral Director Craig Cannon was honored with a lifetime achievement award from his peers on Nov. 10.

Cannon, of O'Hara, accepted the Elaine Brown Award — the highest honor for choral music excellence from the American Choral Directors Association — during its fall conference at Susquehanna University.

“I'm amazed at the large number of high quality Pennsylvania conductors whose careers are worthy of recognition,” said Cannon, who served 34 years in the Fox Chapel Area School District before retiring in 2013 and founding the intergenerational female choir, Belle Voci. “I am really proud of our state.”

Cannon is a longtime member of the directors association, and it was during his tenure as president in the late 1990s that the group developed the Elaine Brown Award to recognize “choral forefathers.” Never in his “wildest dreams” did he imagine that he would be nominated 20 years later. Cannon was nominated by colleague Marvin Huls of Seton Hill University, who described his colleague's contributions to choral music as multi-level, including high school, college, community, youth and faith-based.

Huls said Cannon's legacy is that he's been influential in so many lives.

Cannon retired this year after serving a decade as adjunct professor of music education at Duquesne University. And while retired from teaching, Cannon doesn't rest when it comes to contributing to local music education.

He serves as artistic and musical director of Belle Voci of Pittsburgh and artistic director of the North Hills-based Pittsburgh Boy Choir. He is also artistic adviser of Perform International LLC.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or @tawnyatrib.

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