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Amherst Central Named 2021 Best Community for Music Education

Once again, the Amherst Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation in 2021 from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.


To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Amherst answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.


“This award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the curriculum,” said Matthew Pendrak, ACHS Music Department Chair and Director of Orchestral Activities. “Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. Our application was submitted with input from all music teachers, and included information about class sizes, extra-curricular offerings, budget, instrumental, choral, and general music curricular offerings, staffing, daily, weekly, and monthly instructional time, as well as parental and community support.”


He thanked the music teachers, as their daily perseverance and collegial collaboration create sound, professional, proactive, reflective, and thoughtful classroom and extra-curricular instruction that in turn awards our students and parents with the very best that the field of Music Education has to offer. Thanks go to parents for support of the Music program within the district, of the professional music educators in the district, and to our administration and Board of Education who provide our teachers and students with the tools they need to make our district successful.


"Most materially and importantly, congratulations to the students of the Amherst Central School District, whose dedication to learning music and efforts on a daily basis form the backbone of strong performance throughout the district," said Pendrak. "Their commitment to our curricular ensembles, general music classes, extra-curricular bands, orchestras, and choirs, musicals, the Amherst Operetta Association, and countless other ensembles is truly astonishing and is a major reason why Amherst is such an extraordinary place to work and to live."