Winning refrain: Fredonia earns music honors for 12th straight year

Submitted Photos Pictured in the photos above and below are some of the 80% of students at FCSD participating in its music program. The Fredonia Central School District was recognized with the designation of one of the Best Communities for Music Education through NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, for the 12th straight year.

Winning an award once is characterized as an achievement. Two consecutive wins is referred to as successfully defending a title, or going back-to-back. Three straight wins is called a three-peat.

Fredonia needs a new word to define its excellence in the music department.

For the 12th consecutive year, Fredonia was recognized with the designation of one of the Best Communities for Music Education through NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants. Only 7% of schools nationwide receive the honor that Fredonia has made a tradition for over a decade.

Andy Bennett, Fredonia Music Department Instructional Leader, previously called the designation “a true honor for all of us.”

Now in its 25th year, the honor recognizes school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as part of their district curriculum. The designation is meant to highlight the importance of supporting and expanding music education opportunities in schools.

Every year, NAMM collects data regarding student participation in curricular and extracurricular music, as well as student and staff achievements, community engagement, and district support. NAMM and the Center for Music Research at the University of Kansas compare the data across districts nationwide to select the schools deserving of the designation.

“The faculty, students, and families that are part of our music program are fantastic. It is evident that the quality, participation, and community outreach of our programs exceed expectations,” said Fredonia Superintendent Dr. Brad Zilliox. “Our instructors hold themselves to the highest standard and find ways to involve all students in the life-long learning process of making music. This has resulted in a record high number of students who are enrolled in a music course offering.”

Under the direction of Bennett, Fredonia continues to see a rise in participation in music programs throughout all levels of the District. Bennett recently noted that more than 80% of the District’s students are enrolled in music courses at Fredonia, accounting for more than 1,100 of the 1,401 students in the District.

The District also fosters a peer mentorship program across multiple grade levels, referred to as “buddies”, which featured more than 60 students participating this past year.

“It goes without saying, but it’s worth repeating. We are very proud of our students and grateful to our district and community,” Bennett said previously. “This is a wonderful place to live and work, and I’m just so grateful that we support music and that there is such a desire for it.”

The Fredonia Central School District stated that after two years of music education, research found that music education participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers. Students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training, and added social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

“I always look forward to attending our concerts, musicals, and related events to see the talent of our students and instructors on display,” Zilliox said. “I extend a heartfelt congratulations to all involved in supporting and growing this impressive program here at Fredonia.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today