Alumni Awards: Christopher Kendall Award

2024 Recipient

Kristen Pellegrino (MM ’93, violin; PhD ’10, music education)

Kristen Pellegrino headshot outdoors wearing dark blue and purple; lawn and trees in background

Kristen Pellegrino is a professor of music education at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and immediate past-president of American String Teachers Association (ASTA); she served a six-year presidential term, 2018–24). Pellegrino’s degrees are from the University of Michigan (PhD, music education; MM, violin, chamber music ) and the Eastman School of Music (BM, music education, violin).

Pellegrino has 40 scholarly publications. In addition to international and national research journal articles and book chapters, she was co-editor of The Oxford Handbook on Preservice Music Teacher Education in the United States (2019) and the Oxford University Press’s Teaching Instrumental Music: Contemporary Perspectives and Pedagogies (2023). She is co-authoring Conway Publications’ Journeys of Becoming and Being Music Teachers (2025), based on a seven-year longitudinal study that is written for college music education majors. Pellegrino was awarded ASTA’s String Researcher Award (2016), AERA’s Outstanding Early Career Paper Award in Music Education (2014), and three Internal Research Award Grants from UTSA. She has presented over 125 sessions/research posters at international, national, state, and regional conferences and workshops, including being a featured clinician at various MEA conferences. Pellegrino continues to perform as part of Rhode Island’s Music on the Hill Chamber Music Festival.

Past Recipients


Janeece Freeman Clark


Gabriela Lena Frank


Damien Crutcher


Ryan Hourigan


Vulfpeck (Jack Stratton, Theo Katzman, Woody Goss, and Joe Dart)


Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (Shannon McGinnis, Nicholas Hutchinson, and Nicholas Phan)


Christopher Koelsch


PRISM Quartet