The Newark Central School District has been designated this year as one of 307 Best Communities for Music Education in the United States by the NAMM Foundation.
The NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of advancing active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs from the international music products industry.
NAMM’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation recognizes collaborative efforts of teachers, administrators, students, parents in school districts who continually work to keep comprehensive music education as an integral part of the core curriculum.
The Newark Central School District received this prestigious designation after District Music Supervisor Dave Schwind, an instrumental music teacher at Newark High School, completed a comprehensive survey about the district’s music program.
Now in its 14th year, the BCME program requires each school district provide very detailed information about graduation requirements, music courses, class participation and instruction time; facilities, funding, staffing, commitment to standards, and much, much more. This year, nearly 2000 schools and school districts participated in the survey.
Responses are reviewed by researchers at The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service of Lawrence, Kansas (an affiliate of the University of Kansas) and the NAMM Foundation to calculate the designated districts and awarded schools.
Newark was one of 48 school districts in New York State to receive NAMM’s BCME designation. Wayne Central School District in Wayne County also received the designation as did the Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District in Ontario County.
Five Monroe County school districts _ Hilton Central, Penfield Central, Rush-Henrietta, Spencerport Central and Webster Central _ also received received NAMM’s BCME designation.
Schwind is thrilled Newark Central School District received the NAMM BCME designation.
“Music and music education is such a vital part of a Newark student’s education It enriches their lives and provides opportunities to be creative and expressive, but also reinforces many other skills taught throughout our schools,” he said. “This award is such a testament to the quality and dedication of our current, and former, music staff, as well as the support, for many, many years, of our current and former school district administrations, Board of Education members and community who all have long demonstrated their appreciation of not only music education and the many events and activities related to it, but also how many lives it touches. We are very blessed and very grateful.”
NAMM Foundation Executive Director Mary Luehrsen said: “There is overwhelming research tying music education to higher overall student success in school and in life. This (BCME) designation recognizes communities for their commitment to music education and strengthens support for these programs.”
Schwind commended the entire music department staff for its great work. The staff and their responsibilities include:
• Schwind: Also directs Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Marching Band. He directs the Pit Band for the NHS musicals; and gives grades 9-12 instrumental lessons.
• Jean Bendix: NHS vocal music teacher who also directs Mixed Chorus, Concert Choir and Vocal Jazz. She gives grades 9-12 vocal lessons and is the musical director for the NHS musicals.
• Mike Ciranni: NHS television production teacher who also teaches Music In Our Lives, music theory, audio production and teaches general music at Newark Middle School and gives instrumental lessons there.
* Rebekah Valerio: NMS instrumental music teacher who directs sixth, seventh and eighth grade band and jazz band; gives grades 6-8 instrumental lessons and directs the school musical.
• Kate Flock: NMS Vocal Music teacher who directs sixth, seventh and eighth grade chorus and teaches grades six-through eight general music.
• Cindy Briggs: Kelley School instrumental music teacher who directs Beginning Band, Continuing Band; gives grades 4-5 instrumental lessons and teaches General Music at Kelley
• Christine Santino: Kelley School vocal music teacher who directs fourth and fifth grade chorus; teaches grades 3-5 general music and teaches general music at Perkins School.
• Mary Lou Bonnell: Lincoln School and Perkins School general music teacher who also provides K-12 music therapy.
• Maria Walton: Perkins School general music teacher.
In addition to music instruction provided daily by music staff and many music performances throughout the school year, Schwind noted some of the music-related activities the NCSD Music Department is connected with:
• The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Holiday performance each December
• The ELENBE awards for the Performing Arts that are presented in May
• Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, Kiddie Day parades in the community
• The Kelley School Veteran’s Day Celebration each November
Rotary Club performances
The Newark High School & Newark Middle School musicals each Spring
• The Lincoln School Second Grade Holiday Performance
• The Lincoln School Field Day
• Lincoln School “Farewell Fridays”
• ‘The Young Americans’’ outreach tour and group workshops at NCSD every three years
The Winter Jazz Guest Artist Performance
• Cabaret Night
• Chamber of Commerce performances
Newark students participating in the RPO Holiday Pops Festival Chorus
The Rochester International Jazz Festival performance
• RPO Tiny Tots concerts for Lincoln and Perkins children
• Kelley School RPO field trips to the Eastman Theatre.
Newarkfest/Family Festival performances each year.
Representation in All-County
Representation in Area All-State
Representation at the state level in Conference All-State
• Representation at the Regional level in All-Eastern
• Participation in local and state sponsored solo festivals
Evaluation of ensembles at the State level
“I am so pleased that Newark has received the NAMM Foundation designation as one of the Best Communities for Music Education. It has officially recognized what so many of us in this community have appreciated for so many years,” said Superintendent Henry Hann. “I think one of the things that really sets our program apart is how deeply it involves our community, not only in terms of attendance at events outside the classroom, but in terms of community support of the program and the tremendous involvement of so many parents and other volunteers who contribute in so many different ways to help make the program such a success. Their efforts augment the fine work done each year by our entire Music Department.”