The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has announced the results of its fifteenth 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 ninth time West Genesee has been recognized for this honor, and sixth consecutive year.
This year, 2,555 West Genesee students, grades 3-12, chose to participate in one of the bands, choruses, orchestras. This represents 52.8% of our district is enrolled in just the performing ensembles. The total district wide enrollment in music classes and performing groups is 3,479. We are thrilled that it represents 71.95% of the entire school district population. Our middle school band, orchestra, and choral programs have their largest combined enrollment (91%+) in our documented history (since 1980) of 1107 unduplcated students. In West Genesee High School, 404 students are enrolled in our performing ensembles. That represents 25% 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 in every area!
Additional extracurricular opportunities exist in jazz bands, fiddle improvisation groups, small ensembles, musical productions, community group performance opportunites, and our State and National champion "Wildcat" Marching Band.
Now in its 15th year, the BCME program evaluates schools and districts based on funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards, and access to music instruction. The NAMM Foundation with the assistance of researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) evaluate participants on these factors. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and greater access to music education.
The complete list and a press release can be read at the NAMM
Foundation web site located at
Thank you to the following music teachers responsible for this impressive program: Anthony Alvaro, Christine Astafan, Tracy Berner, Gregory Borsz, Leah Causer, Tracy Cheney, Marcia DeMartini, Kevin Dimmel, Deanna Fitzpatrick, Martha Grener, Emily Guarino, Christy Knowlton, Erin McConnell, William Mercer, Margaret Mercer, Andrew Perry, Andrea Scerbo, Donald Schuessler, Rosemarie Speich, and Michael Stachnik.
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. We continue to push the envelope of excellence!"
Superintendent Brown stated, "We could not be more proud of our students and staff for working so hard to receive this accolade once again."