Mr. T: Grammy Nominee

June 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- SPFHS music teacher Vincent Turturiello is one of 222 quarterfinalists for the second annual Grammy Award to honor the educators behind professional musicians.

For every performer who makes it to the Grammy stage, there was a teacher who played a critical role in getting them there. The special Music Educator Award is open to current, full-time, educators in the U.S., who teach music in public or private schools from kindergarten through college.

“Mr. T,” as he is fondly known by his students, has been teaching in the Scotch Plains-Fanwood Public School District for more than three decades. During his tenure he has served as the Fine Arts Supervisor, High School Marching Band director, Wind Ensemble Director, and Jazz Band Director.  In 2004, he was named Master Music Teacher for the State of New Jersey. 

Sign Up for E-News

A graduate of Belleville High School, he received his Bachelors and Masters of Art degrees from New Jersey City University in music education. He studied clarinet under David Dworkin of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and saxophone under Charlie “Leeds” Liebowitz. He credits much of his teaching success to Nick Cerratto, the Wind Symphony Director and percussion professor at New Jersey City University.

In 1978, Mr. T began his teaching career at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School. At that time the music program’s enrollment was 145 students. By 1987, it had grown to 530 students with a 280 member marching band and a chorus of 250 students. As supervisor of the program he worked to recruit students and encourage parents to develop students’ talents in music.

“I care for my students like they are my own children. I hope my teaching goes beyond the trophies and awards,” the Grammy quarterfinalist said. “I try to teach my students to respect the hard work of their peers, to care for each member of their band, to work hard and be dedicated, and maybe they will not only become good musicians but good people as well.”

“I am in awe at the amount of former students contacting me from when they had my dad as a band director in the year 1978,” said his daughter, Kristen Turturiello.  “My dad is truly an inspiration to not just my family, but also to all former students, staff, and  student teachers that have had the privilege to work with him. Some of these students explain that my dad has saved and changed their lives for the better. As a teacher myself, my dad is my role model and has always been my biggest cheerleader and best friend.”

Mr. T is perhaps best known these days as the director of the award-winning Moonglowers jazz band.  Some of his students have gone on to perform for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Saturday Night Live, as well as numerous Broadway and Off Broadway productions. 

"Mr. Turturiello has provided outstanding leadership to our Music Department. He is most deserving of this honor," said Dr. David Heisey, principal of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.
 
"I am proud to be nominated, although I feel like I have won more than I deserve just by everyone who has reached out to me regarding the nomination," said Mr. T, who would use any financial support from the Grammys to upgrade the music program and offer scholarships to help students who cannot afford music workshops.
 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Plainfield Resident Arrested, Charged in Connection with Thursday Night Death

January 14, 2017

PLAINFIELD, NJ - A Plainfield resident has been arrested and charged for his alleged role in an altercation that resulted in the death of 34-year-old Oscar Isaac Ramos Lopez  this week, acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park announced Saturday.

Jamie Castillo Castro, 24, is charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter in connection with the killing.

Plainfield Police ...

New Jersey Wins Under Lance Mental Health Law

January 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. ---  Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) announced that New Jersey has been selected to participate in a demonstration program to expand access to community mental health services and strengthen the quality of care for those living with mental and behavioral health issues. The demonstration program was created under Lance’s Excellence in Mental Health Act, which was ...

5 Questions to Ask at an Open House

When you go to your next open house, ask the listing agent these key questions to help you make an informed decision. When a property is hot, a public open house may be your best opportunity for due diligence before submitting an offer. While the hosting agent may not be able to answer all of your questions, there is a lot you can learn.

1. How long has it been on the market?  You may ...

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 12, 2017

Dear Editor:

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address some two of the major ...

Homes That Sold This Week in Scotch Plains-Fanwood

January 15, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Brought to you by Keller Williams Realty, the following is a list of homes that have sold this week in the towns of Fanwood, Scotch Plains and Westfield. (See table below.) This information includes sales that were listed in the Garden State MLS.

Check this weekly update to stay informed about your local real estate market.

The Sold Sisters are a real estate ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, January 16, 1:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

The Voting Rights Act: Then and Now A Martin ...

Government Law & Justice

Carousel_image_da7af9902b013e70ea14_raw_bar_wednesday

Wed, January 18, 3:00 PM

Grillestone Restaurant Bar Private Event Space, Scotch Plains

Raw Bar Wednesday

Food & Drink

Wed, January 18, 7:00 PM

Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA, Scotch Plains

Ladies Night Out

Community Calendar