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HASD lauded for music education

School district only one in Blair to receive honor

For the eighth consecutive year, Hollidaysburg Area School District has been designated as one of the Best Communities for Music Education.

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera announced 92 of Pennsy­l­vania’s 500 school districts were recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants Found­ation. It was the only Blair County district to be recognized.

The Pennsylvania school districts are among 623 throughout the country to receive the NAMM Found­ation’s designation for Best Communities for Music Education, now in its 20th year.

To qualify for the designation, school districts were required to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities and support for music programs. The NAMM Foundation, in partnership with The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, verified district responses with school officials prior to making a designation.

The Hollidaysburg Area music program reaches over 50 percent of the student body and is well-supported by administration, faculty, support staff, parents and communities, said Scott Sheehan, Hollidays­burg Area Senior High School director of bands and music department chairman.

“For many students, music is the reason they come to school,” he wrote in an email. “We are very honored to have this distinction for the hard work and accomplishments of our students and in recognition of the support and passion that exists in our school district for music education.”

Hollidaysburg Area offers students music experiences not only in the traditional elementary general music classes and the band, choir, and orchestra programs, but Sheehan also offers a variety of other electives and opportunities, such as music theory and composition, guitar courses, African drumming, chamber music, jazz and a new high school course called Rock, Rap, and Revolution.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.

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