Two well known artists in the Wenatchee Valley have been honored with Stanley Lifetime Achievement Awards for their contribution to  the performing arts.

The Numerica Performing Arts Center announced Matthew Pippin and Tom McNair as the 2023 Stanley Lifetime Achievement Award winners at the Festival of Trees Holiday Spice on November 30 & December 1.

A news release said Pippin was selected in the professional division and McNair was chosen to receive the award in the volunteer division.

The Stanley Lifetime Achievement Awards were conceived in 2002 to honor the life-long arts and cultural commitment of  the late Bob Stanley.

Matthew Pippin is a native of Wenatchee. He’s a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. He’s been involved with numerous productions including Hot August Nights, Music Theatre of Wenatchee, Full Circle Theatre, The Levelers, The Radar Dames, Mission Creek Players, Leavenworth Summer Theatre, Snowy Owl Theatre, and both Wenatchee and Eastmont High School productions.  In 2023, he authored his book Nine Strangers and plans a sequel in May of 2024. It is astonishing that the Stanley Lifetime Achievement honor is the first acting award Pippin has ever received!

Tom McNair hails from Riegelwood, a small town in North Carolina, where he was  introduced to the piano and trombone. McNair took up the guitar in college and played well enough to record an album with two friends in Nashville. By 1981, McNair had moved to Wenatchee and was directing an adult choir at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church where he still serves as the school choir music director.

He brought his trombone skills to the Wenatchee Big Band and several community theater bands as well.  In 1993,   he helped organize the Wenatchee Don Lanphere Jazz Fest that attracted top jazz musicians from around the country in the mid-nineties.

Tom McNair was also one of the early supporters of development of a community performing arts center that has become the Numerica PAC.  McNair is a former President and board member of the Supporters of the Center Board.

He also performs as principal trombonist for the Wenatchee Valley Symphony and serves as the current board president. McNair still plays jazz with a group called Jazz Jam that can be heard at local venues.

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