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Brighton Named a Best Community for Music Education for 12th Year

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For the 12th straight year, Brighton Central School District was honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. Brighton is one of just 686 districts across the nation receiving the prestigious award in 2021.

“This award recognizes the importance that our entire Brighton community places on educating the whole child and the high priority that is placed on supporting the arts for every child,” said Dr. Mike Liener, Director of Innovative Student Learning. “I am blessed to work with such a dedicated staff that works tirelessly to make music come alive with our children in every grade and rehearsal hall.” 

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.

“Receiving this award for 12 straight years demonstrates a tradition of excellence in the music department that I am so proud,” said Mike Struzik, instrumental music teacher and Music Facilitator for grades 6-12. "This year has brought so many challenges with the pandemic. I feel that these circumstances brought out the very best in all of us. The music department created new learning opportunities, be it through Zoom, apps, or even occasionally in person! I am so proud to be a part of such a caring group of people.”

Over 1,800 students participate in the grade 4-12 choral and instrumental program, which includes multiple grade levels of choir, band, orchestra, jazz ensembles, chamber groups, and instrumental lessons. Brighton’s music students continue to be recognized on a county, state, and national level for their accomplishments.

“Winning this award during these challenging times clearly shows the legacy our music teachers have established in creating this distinguished program in every building of our District,” said Deborah Parker, instrumental music teacher and Music Facilitator for grades K-5. “Simply put, students and faculty have learned many new ways to get the music played. From Zoom to apps, from sidewalks to front porches, music continues to play an important part of every Brighton student’s education.”

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