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Mission Statement:
Empower each individual to make responsible choices, meet challenges, achieve personal success, and contribute to a global society.

April 23, 2015

District's Music Education Program Receives National Recognition

Niskayuna Schools named a Best Community for Music for 2nd year running

picture from the orchestra festival
Niskayuna music students delighted the audience at the District Orchestra Festival on March 25 at Proctor's.

The Niskayuna Central School District has been recognized for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation by the NAMM Foundation, or National Association of Music Merchants. Our district joins 387 others across the country in receiving the prestigious distinction in 2015.

Now in its 16th year, Best Communities for Music Education affirms school districts that have demonstrated exceptional efforts toward maintaining music education as a key part of the student experience.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instructional time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Center for Public Partnerships and Research, an affiliate of the University of Kansas.

The Best Communities for Music Education program brings national attention to the importance of keeping music education as part of schools' core education and music's vital role in student success in school.

Community music programs have been drawing increased attention this school year because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in community music programs and academic success in subjects such as reading.

Beyond the Northwestern study, other reports indicate that learning to play music can boost academic and social skills, such as processing math and learning to cooperate in group settings.

Niskayuna's commitment to excellence in music education is well known across the region and beyond. The district is well represented at state and regional festivals each year and Niskayuna students regularly receive high marks for their participation at New York State School Music Association performances and events. With the support of Niskayuna Friends of Music, students regularly learn from and play with music professionals through workshops, guest lectures, and multi-day artist-in-residence visits. Niskayuna student-musicians delight audiences in our community with 30-plus concerts across all levels each year, including an annual music festival held at the prestigious Proctor's Theatre.

Music Director Matt Cremisio announced the Best Communities for Music Education distinction to the audience at this year's Orchestra Festival, held on March 25.

"Designations are made to districts across the country that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment to music education and are keeping music education alive in our schools," Cremisio said. "Niskayuna was selected as one of only 388 districts across the United States to receive this prestigious distinction in 2015. It is with great pride and honor to recognize the Niskayuna Music Faculty, students, and school community. Congratulations!"

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its nearly 9,200 members around the world. The Foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit