Mount Morris Central School Photograph Members of the Mount Morris Central School Band are shown during a rehearsal in the last school year, before the pandemic.

Mount Morris Junior-Senior High School has been recognized by the NAMM Foundation for the school’s outstanding commitment to music education.

NAMM has award Mount Morris its “SupportMusic Merit Award,” which recognizes individual schools that demonstrate achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Mount Morris is one of 148 schools nationwide recognized in 2020.

“We are very proud of this accomplishment. Receiving an honor such as this is directly related to the support from all of our school stakeholders,” said High School Principal Jesse Hamilton. “This award is a result of the dedication to music education from our school board, the community Mr. (Aaron) Knopp, Mr. (Carl) Irwin and most importantly our students.”

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, schools must meet specific criteria about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for the music-making programs. The results are then reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Our students earned this recognition as they consistently seek out as many learning opportunities as possible and advocate to ensure that those opportunities address their individual passions at a high-quality level,” said Mount Morris Band Director Carl Irwin.

Mount Morris offers general music and eight other music programs. About 35 percent of the district’s junior-senior high school students participate in the additional music offerings. These include concert band, jazz lab, jazz band, marching band, pep band, the school musical, music therapy and chorus. Students also compete in the digital media festival and in all-county and New York State School Music Association competitions.

Music teacher Arron Knopp noted that music “is the most multi-disciplinary subject there is.”

“In music class, we engage our minds and bodies in ways that address standards of education not only in music, but also in math, science, literacy, social studies (including cultural and historical), physical education, technology and more, Knopp said.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants. The foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.

The Foundation annually names a list of “Best Communities in Music Education.” This year, Honeoye Falls-Lima and Livonia Central schools were among those named.

Districts that have been recognized by the NAMM Foundation are often held up as models for other educators looking to boost their own music education programs.

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