Gilda Barson, Judi Gowe Bagnato, and Paul Landefeld
The Creating Learning Community awards are designed to celebrate significant contributions by individuals or groups who have contributed to the support of Dr. Suzuki’s ideas and the Suzuki community.
Judi Bagnato, a Music Education and Suzuki Editor at Alfred Music Publishing, definitely fits that description. She is the person who unfailingly supports the dissemination of Dr. Suzuki’s ideas and serves the Suzuki community through the publication of the Suzuki Core Materials (books and recordings) and Suzuki-related materials. She is the person behind the books.
Judi Gowe was hired by Warner Bros. Publications as an Administrative Assistant to Lynn Sengstack in March of 1989. This was at the time when Warner purchased the Summy-Birchard catalog. When Warner later purchased CPP-Belwin, Judi moved to the Miami office from Secaucus, New Jersey (1994) and was promoted to Editor, Music Education/Suzuki. During her tenure, she married Robert Bagnato. When Warner was purchased by Alfred Music Publishing in 2005, Judi and her husband moved to South Carolina and she became a telecommuter.
Judi Bagnato is the Suzuki Movement’s link to the publisher. She is responsible for all of the Suzuki publications with the exception of keyboard works. It is Judi who works with the ISA Instrument Committees to insure that all of the publications are as we prepare them. She sets the publication schedules, arranges for recording sessions, prepares the budget, manages all of the reprints and generally advocates for the Suzuki Method with Alfred. She has always been extremely responsive to all of our needs and requests. If we need it, she sees that we get it. She is fiercely loyal to the Suzuki movement and she is a strong advocate for the Suzuki community.
I have worked with Judi since the cello book revisions of volumes 4-8. I knew her name, but got to know her personally at a recording session with Tsyoshi Tsutsumi and Seizo Azuma in Orlando, Florida in 2002. The Cello Committee supervised the recording and Judi arranged everything to meet our needs. Tsyoshi, Seizo and the committee worked very hard, but also had a great time.
Subsequent to that recording, I worked with her as the ISA Board liaison to the Violin Committee. Warner Brothers Publications at the time was out of stock of Violin Book 1 and needed to print new editions. Judi worked with the committee to facilitate the new editing and also arranged for recording sessions. When the first set of recordings did not serve the needs of the violin community, she advocated for a new recording session which subsequently produced recordings that were to the liking of the violin committee. She arranged for subsequent sessions as well.
Over the last several years, Judi has overseen the re-editing and re-engraving of countless Suzuki method books. In addition to the revised cello and violin books, Judi has published the harp books, string bass books, viola books, flute books and recorder books. She is also working with the Suzuki association on the voice books. Judi often deals with requests for local language versions of the Suzuki core materials. This is an additional process, necessitating communicating and coordinating with a local publishing company. Editions have been prepared in many European countries as well as in Asia.
Judi also oversees the publication of any Suzuki-related materials. She is always responsive to the needs of the Suzuki community. She consults regularly with the SAA, teachers and authors to be sure that we get the materials that we need.
Speaker Paul Landefeld, CEO of the International Suzuki Association, detailed Judi’s role in the step-by-step process for publishing new Suzuki materials.