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Sonja Zeithamel, National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Milestone Award

By November 6, 2019 No Comments

Sonja Zeithamel, Director of Preucil School of Music has been honored with the National Guild for Community Arts Education’s Milestone Award for her long-standing, exceptional service to the field of arts education.

The Milestone Award Program recognizes leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to supporting and advancing community arts education for more than 20 years. Sonja will be presented the award during the Annual Conference for Community Arts Education in Austin, TX on November 1st.

“The Guild is proud to honor this year’s Milestone Awardees,” said Jonathan Herman, CEO of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. “They have demonstrated dedication to ensuring their communities reach their creative potential, and their contributions have helped to advance the field of arts education substantially. We are proud to count them and their organizations among the Guild’s members.”

Sonja Zeithamel graduated with honors from the University of Iowa’s School of Music. She joined the Preucil School of Music (PSM) in 1975 as String Faculty and Assistant Director and in 1997 was named Director. In addition to her director’s responsibilities, she teaches violin and viola, coaches chamber music and conducts a string orchestra. In 2001, she spearheaded a successful Capital Campaign to fund the second PSM campus that houses the Preucil Preschool and provides additional studio and performance space. She has been involved in nine international orchestra tours to Europe and Asia, serving as everything from chaperone, advisor, conductor, tour organizer and leader. Sonja is a registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA). She has also served on the SAA Board of Directors. She has two grown sons that studied at PSM growing up and two grandchildren that are current PSM students.

The National Guild for Community Arts Education ensures all people have opportunities to maximize their creative potential by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and advocating for community arts education. Through these strategies, the Guild aims to address the country’s widening opportunity gap which leaves millions of individuals with little or no access to the creative resources they need to reach their full potential. Together, the Guild’s national network of 400+ members serves 2.5 million students annually, employs 16,000 teaching artists, and reaches 8 million people through performances and exhibits. For more information see

The Preucil School of Music is dedicated to the development of ability in all children. Students are taught according to the philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki, who has proven that particular talents are not inborn, and that all children can develop their abilities in music and other areas to a high level if they learn in the manner that they learned to speak their “mother tongue.”

The Preucil School believes music training is life training, of equal importance to all children regardless of economic status. It aims to keep tuition affordable, and offers aid to those students in need of assistance who demonstrate a desire to learn.

News Release


Contact: Tom Birkenholz

Preucil School of Music

524 N. Johnson St.

Iowa City, IA 52245