West Genesee Music Education Program Receives National Recognition–Again!

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The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has announced the results of its 22nd 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 thirteenth consecutive year, sixteenth time overall, that West Genesee has been recognized for this honor.

We have taken an inventive approach in our response to the challenges of the pandemic, creating what we called “Festival Wednesday,” to provide an ensemble experience for our grade 5-8 students on the “Virtual” Wednesday since ensembles did not fit into the “hybrid” school day schedule. The challenges and constraints amidst the COVID restrictions have taken a toll on our music ensemble enrollment throughout the district. We look forward to the 2021-22 school year, bringing back our beginner instrumental programs, elementary ensembles and full middle/high school musical offerings! It is our hope that families that decided not to have their children participate in music groups during the pandemic return to our award winning and critical social/emotional support outlets, more commonly known as band, orchestra, and chorus!

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 22nd 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 a additional information can be read at the NAMM Foundation web site located at www.nammfoundation.org.

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, Christy Knowlton, Erin McConnell, William Mercer, Margret Mercer, Andrew Perry, Kristen Reichert, Andrea Scerbo, Donald Schuessler, Rosemarie Speich, Michael Stachnik, and Kathryn Ta.

Director of Fine Arts Bill Davern noted, “I am so very proud of our West Genesee students and teachers being recognized for this honor. The documented proof that music education improves student performance in every area and supports positive mental health at every age is undeniable! 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!”