SAN MARCOS, CA ― Two adjunct faculty members in Palomar College’s Music Department have won recent awards for their work, including a performance at the college that was a semifinalist for the American Prize Ernst Bacon Memorial Award.

Heather Barclay, who teaches Applied Percussion at the college, last week received the American Prize recognition based on a videotaped performance by the Palomar/Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (YPO) Percussion Ensemble.

“These honors tell us that the faculty here, in our music area, are at the very top of their profession,” said Music Professor and Palomar Symphony Orchestra Director Ellen Weller. “They’re active in the professional world, and our students get to come into contact with that very high level of artistry.”

Ruth Weber, who teaches Piano and serves as the Applied Music Coordinator at Palomar, won a Clouzine International Music Award with her daughter, Emilia Lopez-Yañez, for their children’s album, “The Spaceship That Fell in My Backyard.”

“Putting out a children’s album is very inspiring to some of our students who may not have considered something like that,” Weller said.

Meanwhile, Barclay’s career as a conductor makes her a role model for female musicians at Palomar and beyond.

“There are very few top-level female conductors, and she’s really extraordinary,” Weller said. “Both of these instructors push our students to excel as musicians, push them to expand their personal boundaries as artists.”

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