UConn Magazine: A Grammy for Professor Fuchs

For UConn's Kenneth Fuchs, the road to winning music's most cherished prize began in a humble church choir.

Kenneth Fuchs teaches a music composition class at UConn.

Ken Fuch, professor of music, teaches a class on music arranging for music educators at the Music Building on March 12, 2019. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo)

Higher education has its share of prestigious awards, but not many faculty members can say they’ve won a coveted statuette from The Recording Academy – the gramophone-shaped award known around the world as a Grammy.

But that’s just what happened to Professor of Music Composition Kenneth Fuchs last February, when he took home the award in the Classical Compendium category for his album “Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’/Poems of Life/Glacier/Rush.”

As prestigious as that award is, it’s just another of many laurels for Fuchs, widely considered one of the country’s finest composers, whose music has been performed on three continents and who has worked with everyone from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lanford Wilson to the engineers in the fabled Abbey Road Studio in London, where the Beatles made some of their most famous recordings.

And as dazzling as these accomplishments are, they come from a love of music that began in the humble environment of his childhood church choir, and was nourished as a musician in the band at Piper High School in Sunrise, Fla. Fuchs credits his band teacher from those days, Bentley Shellahamer, with nurturing the talent of the young man, and now, as a university professor, Fuchs strives to do the same for his students.

For more about Kenneth Fuchs’ journey to Grammy winner, read on.