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"Best Communities in Music Education" Recognizes CHCCS District

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools was recently recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) as one of the 2019 Best Communities for Music Education in the country, one of only three districts in North Carolina to win the award. For parents, students and community members who attend the numerous CHCCS musical performances throughout the year, the honor should come as no surprise.

FPG guest drummer Kumbaa Now in its 20th year, the Best Communities for Music Education award is given to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in their efforts to provide superior music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, arts educators were required to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs.

Arts Education Coordinator, Dr. Brenda Whiteman, worked many hours to assemble the portfolio for CHCCS. She said, “We are honored to be named a 2019 Best Community for Music Education.  This recognition honors our wonderful teachers, our supportive parents and administrators, our accomplished students, our outstanding instructional practices, and our arts-rich community.”

"The instrumental music teachers in the CHCCS district are honored to be recognized as a Best Community for Music Education," said Ann Daaleman, orchestra director at Phillips Middle School. "We appreciate the support we have from our district and the involvement of our community partners such as Public School Foundation, SKJAJA, UNC Musical Empowerment and other non-profits in the area. With the help of these groups, we are now able to truly be able to provide instrumental music education to any student. "

Ryan Ellefsen, band and orchestra director at East Chapel Hill High School (ECHHS), said, “Having taught here in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School District since 2005, it's nice to be recognized on a national level for something I've known all along. The application process for this award is incredibly rigorous, the recognition is well deserved and a big "Thank You" must go out to the community of Chapel Hill for being so supportive of our wonderful arts programs that serve ALL students."

His colleague at ECHHS, Desiree Davis-Omburo, choral teacher, said, “Working for this school system the past 23 years has been deeply rewarding. I can credit my longevity to three different sources: students, parents and staff. Not a day passes that I don't have students thank me for teaching them and inspiring me with their talent and dedication. Their parents have raised them with these qualities and show their love with their time and actions, volunteering for field trips, fundraisers and anything I request. My fellow staff members are not only easy to work with, but also inspiring, be it a secretary placing an order for some crazy prop we need, my principal agreeing to sing the solo in "Bohemian Rhapsody" on the Spring Concert, or my fellow band director driving the bus for our field trips. The human resources are what make this school system a special place to work!”

During the spring concert season, please take time to attend a performance, and to thank our wonderful music educators!