South Country Named a Top Music Education Community

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The NAMM Foundation has designated the district as one of the nation’s 2019 Best Communities for Music Education for its demonstration of exceptionally high commitment to music education and access to music instruction for all district students.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants to advance active participation in music. The district music program was analyzed for funding, staffing of qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

The district is proud of its music program which offers instruction in orchestra and band instruments, piano, chorus and music theory. Elementary instruction begins in kindergarten and third grade students may join the chorus, followed by orchestra or band in fourth grade. As students reach the high school level, they have opportunities to perform with the freshman orchestra, string orchestra for grades 10-12, or to audition for membership in the concert orchestra. There is also a high school wind ensemble and symphonic band for students who play band instruments, as well as membership in the school’s mixed chorus. Piano I and II is offered, as well as Music Theory I and Advanced Placement Music Theory for those planning on continuing their education in music on the college level. The district’s various ensembles also compete in the Suffolk County Music Educators’ Association All-County festival, the Long Island String Festival Association festival, and the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education All-County festival. Opportunities to perform and compete also include the New York State School Music Association’s Ensemble and Solo and Majors Organization festivals. The district’s most talented student-musicians also apply to participate in NYSSMA’s All-State festival.

Music Chairperson James Uzzi explained that South Country supports the music program in ways other districts do not. “Because of support from Central Administration, the Board of Education and the community, we have the resources to do what it takes to make the music program visible and one that serves all interested students,” he said.