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Basalt teacher a quarterfinalist for Grammy national educator award

Nick Lenio, the band director at Basalt middle and high schools, is one of 290 teachers nationwide being considered for the Music Educator Award, presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. He is one of two teachers in Colorado in that group.

"Nick has worked so hard and brings his passion and enthusiasm for music into the classroom," said BMS principal Jennifer Ellsperman, in a press release. "When you talk to kids and parents about the band program, you hear about how fun band is and how much they're learning.”

Lenio said that there isn’t much that will change should he win the award.


“There isn’t anything too specific that we’d be able to do that we couldn’t do before, other than say that we’re a Grammy award-winning band program,” said Lenio. “People know that name and know that award, so it means something.”


And although it is his name that would be on the award, Lenio said in an interview last week that it is more indicative of what the program and his students are doing, rather than what he is doing.


“It’s really about the whole picture,” he said.



Patrick Fort grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, nurturing a love for ice hockey and deli sandwiches. After moving to Colorado in 2010 to attend the University of Colorado to study music, Patrick discovered his love for journalism. In 2013, Patrick created and hosted the award-winning radio program Colorado Stories, a news program that covered CU and the surrounding community. An avid mountain and road cyclist, Patrick also referees youth ice hockey. He loves '60s pop bands and and trying new recipes ranging from milk-braised carnitas to flourless cakes.