West Genesee Music Education Program Receives National Recognition–Again

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has announced the results of its 23rd annual “Best Communities for Music Education” (BCME) survey, which acknowledges schools and districts across the U.S. for their commitment and support of music education in schools.

This is the fourteenth consecutive year, seventeenth time overall, that West Genesee has been recognized for this honor.

Returning to a more typical school day following the COVID disruption, in terms of our curricular music program, has been exciting for staff and students alike. In addition to weekly general music classes at the K-5 level, almost 100% of our 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders all participate in chorus this year! Our instrumental program starts in 4th grade and includes instruction in both band and orchestral instruments. At 7th and 8th grade, students have the opportunity to join band, chorus, or orchestra. At the high school level, there are a variety of curricular ensembles for students to choose from (Concert Choir, Chorale, Orchestra, Symphony, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble) as well as Music Theory and AP Music Theory courses.

Additional extracurricular opportunities continued to exist in jazz bands, string ensembles, small ensembles, middle level select chorus, musical productions, and our State and National champion “Wildcat” Marching Band.

Now in its 23rd 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 evaluates 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 additional information can be read at the NAMM Foundation website located at www.nammfoundation.org.

Thank you to the following music teachers responsible for this impressive program: Anthony Alvaro, Christine Astafan, Gregory Borsz, Leah Causer, Tracy Cheney, Marcia DeMartini, Kevin Dimmel, Tracy Emerson, Deanna Fitzpatrick, Martha Grener, Christy Knowlton, Erin McConnell, William Mercer, Margret Mercer, Colin Reardon, Andrea Scerbo, Donald Schuessler, Rosemarie Speich, and Michael Stachnik.

Director of Fine Arts Sarah Gentile noted, “This national award would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of our supportive administration, Board of Education, overall community, and outstanding music educators. This year’s recognition is especially fulfilling as it highlights the flexibility and work the staff has done over the past two years to continue the exceptional music programming here at West Genesee. The strength and resilience of the students and staff underscores the social-emotional benefits of music education. I could not be prouder to serve our staff and student musicians!”