Making music in Mystic pays off for choral director

MYSTIC -- Music teacher Ellen Gilbert is getting used to students and teachers singing her praises.

Gilbert, who has worked at Mystic Middle School for nearly 20 years, was recently named the American Choral Directors Association Teacher of the year for Connecticut. It is an award that has always gone to high school and college level instructors, so Gilbert says she was especially honored.

"It's a team effort," she said. "I think the best part is to bring awareness to middle school choral music."

Greg Keith, the principal at Mystic Middle School said the award has the school on a high note since a number of student choral groups finished their holiday performances.

"The quality of products that come out is stellar year after year so it's nice for her to be recognized and it brings the whole school community together," Gilbert added. "To give the gift of music, that's the most important thing, that's the coolest thing."