Mrs. Jennifer Van Petten, a graduate of the University of Maryland, has established herself as one of the premier music educators in the region. As an instrumental music teacher with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Mrs. Van Petten was the recipient of the Nancy Dworkin Award for “Outstanding Service to Youth” as well as a finalist for the “Agnes Meyer Teaching Award.” Additionally, Jennifer was a finalist in the 2010-2011 Gazette’s “My Favorite Teacher” award.
Known for her charisma, enthusiasm, energy and attention to musical detail, Mrs. Van Petten has served as conductor for the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra’s Chamber Strings and Young Artists Orchestra. She has served as conductor of the Montgomery County Junior Honors Orchestra from 2011-2016. Additionally, Mrs. Van Petten has served as guest conductor and clinician throughout the state of Maryland including the Tri-County Junior Honors Orchestra in Southern Maryland, Anne Arundel County Honors Orchestra and Cecil County All County Orchestra.
After an 11-year tenure as the Instrumental Music Director at Rosa Parks Middle School, Mrs. Van Petten recently took leave to raise her three young children. While at Rosa Parks her bands and orchestras consistently earned superior ratings at both the county and state level. Additionally, the 2012 Rosa Parks Symphonic Band was featured at the Maryland Music Educators spring conference. Mrs. Van Petten continues to inspire our region’s young musicians serving as the Sinfonia conductor for the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestras. Recently Mrs. Van Petten was added to the National Philharmonic Summer String Institute staff as the director and conductor for the Prep Institute for grades 4-6.
Mrs. Van Petten is an active member of the Maryland Music Educators Association and American String Teachers Association. She has served as Member-at-Large in the Maryland Orchestra Directors Association, as well as an adjudicator for the District and State honors ensembles. She frequently adjudicates regional band and orchestra festivals in Maryland. Additional she is widely sought out as a clinician and mentor to educators throughout the state of Maryland. She maintains a private studio in Olney, where she resides with her family.