• April 13, 2020

    USC music program earns national recognition 

    Best Community for Music Education For the fifth consecutive year, Upper St. Clair School District has been named among the nation’s Best Communities for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation. Upper St. Clair is one of only 18 school districts in Allegheny County, 115 in Pennsylvania and 754 from across the country to earn the distinction in 2020.

    “We are extremely proud of this national recognition of our district’s music program,” Dr. John Rozzo, superintendent of schools, said.

    In its 21st 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. In addition to boosting academic achievement, studies have also indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.

    “Our USC music program provides a comprehensive music education with diverse musical opportunities for all students,” Dr. John Seybert, performing arts curriculum leader, said. “The USC music program’s commitment to excellence is evident from our elementary programs to our middle and high school concerts and productions. Our students and ensembles also perform throughout the country in nationally recognized festivals.”

    According to the NAMM Foundation, this award recognizes that Upper St. Clair School District is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children. 

    To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Upper St. Clair officials answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.

    Among the strengths of the district’s music program is having a music faculty with diverse experiences in music and education.

    “All of our faculty are actively involved in advancing music education in our community,” Dr. Seybert said. “In addition to enhancing our district programs, our faculty direct university, professional, and community ensembles; research and teach courses for pre-service and current educators, and consult other district music programs; as well as perform with internationally renowned ensembles.”

    Other Allegheny County school districts named 2020 Best Communities for Music Education include: Avonworth, Baldwin-Whitehall, Bethel Park, Chartiers Valley, Clairton City, East Allegheny, Fox Chapel, Gateway, Moon Area, Mt. Lebanon, North Allegheny, North Hills, Plum Borough, Riverview, Shaler Area, West Allegheny and Woodland Hills school districts.

    The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 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 www.nammfoundation.org.