Bethany Hardwick is the Director of Orchestras and Electives Department Head at Downing Middle School in Flower Mound, TX. She holds degrees from the University of North Texas and Boston University. Known to her students as "Ms. Hardy Party," Ms. Hardwick’s orchestras have earned consistent Sweepstakes awards in UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest, as well as “Best in Class” and “Overall Outstanding” in numerous music contests. In 2017, Ms. Hardwick teamed up with her Special Education partner, Jennifer Rodgers, to form Downing Gives Bach, a service-oriented orchestra program based on Richard Meyer’s Giving Bach model that has evolved into the district’s first full-time orchestra inclusion class. Special Education students in this inclusion class learn to play string instruments alongside their general education peers with a modified curriculum, and participate in every one of the concerts and social events. Now, Downing Gives Bach has 100% enrollment from the Academic Life Skills Special Education students at Downing Middle School, and the Downing Gives Bach Orchestra has performed at various community events in the area.
Ms. Hardwick has received numerous accolades including Quarterfinalist for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award (2015, 2019), Campus Teacher of the Year (2016), Winston Churchill Distinguished Alumni in the Arts (2018), and the Cain Sczepanski Foundation in Special Education Award of Excellence (2019). Also in 2019, Ms. Hardwick was named a Semifinalist for the GRAMMY Music Educator Award, placing her in the top 25 in the country! Ms. Hardwick performs regularly in the DFW area with string quartets, rock bands, and for community theatre. In her free time, Ms. Hardwick loves to travel, hike with her dogs Zooey and Penny Lane, read and watch movies!