Photo: Performers at the “Bandarama” concert in December 2014.
Belmont is known as the “Town of Homes.” It should also be called a community of music.
For what has been an annual event for the past decade, Belmont has been named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” in the US by the NAMM Foundation.
Communities are selected for this honor based on the level of comprehensive music education offered to students at all grade levels, the willingness of the school district devote instructional time and resources to music education, and the community’s commitment to providing their children with a well-rounded educational experience the schools.
Belmont is just one of 388 school districts nationwide and one of 14 in Massachusetts to earn this distinction.
“To me, this says as much about our community as it does about our music program,” Arto Asadoorian, Belmont School’s director of Fine & Performing Arts, told the Belmontonian.
“When communities support music, art and theater programs in their schools, it says a lot about their values and the kinds of experiences they provide for their children. This is the reason why I felt so fortunate for the opportunity to come to work here in 2006, and it’s why my wife and I chose to move to Belmont and raise our children here,” he said.
Asadoorian said the award also recognizes “the outstanding work of the teachers in our music department.”
“They are among the most dedicated and accomplished music educators in the state, and they deserve a great deal of recognition for helping Belmont earn its distinction,” he said.
Those teachers are:
- Kate Hayashi (Winn Brook, PreK-4 Music)
- Vicki Livermore (Burbank, K-4 Music)
- Craig McMahan (Wellington, K-4 Music)
- Rosanne Mili (Butler, K-4 Music)
- Laura Messina (Elementary Strings)
- Morgan Scagliotti-Driban (Elementary Strings)
- Nate Haywood (CMS Music)
- John McLellan (CMS Band, Elementary Instrumental Music)
- Christine Moser (CMS Chorus Director)
- Sharon Phipps (CMS Band, Elementary Instrumental Music)
- Paul Ketchen (BHS Band, Elementary Instrumental Music)
- Sean Landers (BHS Chorus Director)
- Margot Reavey (BHS & CMS Orchestra Director)
In what has been a difficult budget year, it is important and encouraging to remember that Belmont is a community that has always valued music and art education as an important component of our core curriculum, said Asadoorian.
“As much as this is an award for excellence in music education, it is also recognition of a community that provides a wide range of high-quality educational experiences and makes them available to all students. It is a distinction that should serve as a source of pride for our entire school district and for our community,” he said.