Press Release – Spotlight Will Shine on School Music Programs in March

Spotlight Will Shine on School Music Programs in March—Music In Our Schools Month® 2007


Public Invited to Vote for Finalists in the 2007 Music In Our Schools Showcase


RESTON, VA (January 22, 2007) — MENC: The National Association for Music Education announced the finalists in the 2007 Music In Our Schools Showcase. The Showcase is a program designed to spotlight school music programs, recognize superior performances, and promote the importance of music education during March, Music In Our Schools Month®. MENC members at K-12th grade schools were invited to participate by submitting videos, and nine outstanding examples were selected as finalists, with one honorable mention. Members of the public will be encouraged to vote for their favorite at the elementary, middle school and high school levels and for their favorite overall beginning March 1. The entries receiving the most votes at each level and the favorite overall will be announced later in March.

To participate in the Showcase, MENC members, who are our nation’s school music teachers, submitted video recordings of their school musical groups performing one song from a short list designated by MENC. Each video was to include an introduction featuring a principal, superintendent, or local decision maker stressing the importance of music education and pride in the local program. A panel of MENC members chose three finalists at each level (elementary, middle, and high school).

“We believe the Music In Our Schools Showcase is a program teachers can use for advocacy in the most creative, proactive sense—partnering with decision makers, spotlighting student performances and achievement, and creating media attention,” said MENC president Lynn M. Brinckmeyer. MENC members can help raise awareness about MIOSM and school music by encouraging students and their parents to view the videos online and then cast their ballots during March. “We strongly encourage members whose videos were not chosen as finalists to still use their videos for advocacy within their communities by contacting local radio and TV stations to produce stories and use video footage during MIOSM.”

The finalists were chosen for submitting videos that combined a strong advocacy message, musicality, and originality. The nine schools are:

High School
Seneca Valley High School, Harmony, PA (Bobi-Jean Alexander, music teacher)
Green Bay East High School, Green Bay, WI (Kimberly Seidl, music teacher)
Firestone High School, Akron, OH (Pamela W. Fiocca, music teacher)

Middle School
St. John Lalande Middle School, Blue Springs, MO (Michael Walsh, music teacher)
Western Branch Middle School, Chesapeake, VA (Linda Darden Boles, music teacher)
Centerville Junior High School, Centerville, UT (Sherryl Cazier, music teacher)

Elementary School
Buffalo Ridge Elementary School, Cheyenne, WY (Mary Ann Fritz, music teacher)
Crestwood Elementary School, Rockford, MI (K. D’Anne Ibarra, music teacher)
Lake Highland Preparatory School, Orlando, FL (Cheryl Sims, music teacher)

While it was not chosen as one of the finalists, James E. Allen Junior/Senior High School, Long Island, NY (Tracy Souhrada, music teacher), a school for students with special needs, was deemed by the MENC panel as worthy of honorable mention as the only video of its kind to be submitted, and applauded for showing a vibrant music program at that school. It will be eligible for favorite overall video along with the nine finalists.

For more information, visit the MIOSM Web site.

MENC: The National Association for Music Education, the world’s largest arts education organization, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. More than 130,000 members represent all levels of teaching from preschool to graduate school. Since 1907, MENC has worked to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. MENC’s activities and resources have been largely responsible for the establishment of music education as a profession, for the promotion and guidance of music study as an integral part of the school curriculum, and for the development of the National Standards for Arts Education.