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Ken-Ton Earns 'Best Community for Music Education' for 14th Year

For the 14th year in a row, the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District has been designated as a Best Community for Music Education by the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Foundation. Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement for providing music access and education to all students. Ken-Ton was one of just 975 school districts across the country to receive this designation.

Each year, the NAMM Foundation singles out school districts across the U.S. for the efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students, Board of Education members, and community leaders to make music education part of the core curriculum. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the Ken-Ton School District answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified by school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“Our music programs are second to none,” Ken-Ton Superintendent of Schools Sabatino Cimato said. “Our music educators have the mindset of not only going above and beyond, but developing individualized music education programs for all of their students.”

In Ken-Ton Schools, music is an extremely important part of the curriculum at all grade levels. Music education begins in kindergarten for every student with band, chorus, and orchestra ensembles beginning in fourth grade. There are a wide variety of different band, jazz, orchestra, and vocal ensembles of varying sizes, compositions, and skill levels, as well as many music electives that students can take advantage of, including Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) music classes.

Many Ken-Ton music teachers are accomplished performers and count themselves among the most talented members of the regional music community. They routinely bring their student ensembles out into the community, performing at a variety of venues all across Western New York. Ken-Ton students and ensembles routinely perform exceptionally in regional and state competitions. In recent years, hundreds of students have earned a place in All-County, Area All-State, and Conference All-State festivals as well as other highly selective regional, national, and even international ensembles. Additionally, numerous Ken-Ton graduates have gone on to the nation’s elite music colleges and are now professional musicians.