The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has announced the results of its thirteenth annual "Best Communities for Music Education" survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education in schools. This is the seventh time West Genesee has been recognized for this honor.
This year, 2,484 West Genesee students, grades 3-12, chose to participate in one of the bands, choruses, orchestras. This represents 51% of our district is enrolled in just the performing ensembles, over a 5% increase in just one year. The total district wide enrollment in music classes and performing groups is 3,606. We are thrilled that it represents 74.0% of the entire school district population. Our middle school band, orchestra, and choral programs have their largest combined enrollment in our documented history (since 1980) of 841 students. In West Genesee High School, 431 students are enrolled in our performing ensembles. That represents 26% of our entire high school population that choose to learn and perform with us. Even as our total district enrollment declines, our music enrollment numbers have increased from past years!
Additional extracurricular opportunities exist in jazz bands, fiddle improvisation groups, small ensembles, musical productions, "Wildcat" Marching Band, and community group performance opportunites.
In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation is joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts.org, League of American Orchestras (www.americanorchestras.org), The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (www.mhopus.org), Music for All (www.musicforall.org), Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org), National Guild For Community Arts Education (www.nationalguild.org), Yamaha Corporation of America (www.yamaha.com), Young Audiences (http://www.youngaudiences.org/), and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.vh1savethemusic.com).
The complete list and a press release can be read at the NAMM Foundation web site located at http://www.nammfoundation.org/press-room/namm-foundation-176-programs-earn-distinction-best-community-music-education.
The music teachers responsible for this impressive program are: Tony Alvaro, Christine Astafan, Tracy Berner, Greg Borsz, Tracy Cheney, Marcia DeMartini, Kevin Dimmel, Deanna Fitzpatrick, Steve Frackenpohl, Martha Grener, Christy Knowlton, Bill Mercer, Andrew Perry, Andrea Scerbo, Donald Schuuessler, Rosemarie Speich, Mike Stachnik, and Deaetta Szulis.
Director of Fine Arts Bill Davern noted, "We are so very proud of West Genesee students and teachers being recognized for this honor. This competitive award is proof positive that outstanding instruction, in concert with positive administrative, community, and Board of Education support, produces recognized quality at a national level for all of our children."
Superintendent Brown stated, "We are very fortunate that even during challenging economic times the West Genesee Central School District can provide a music program worthy of such distinction. We are very proud to be a part of something special."