April 19, 2018
Led by Gloria Ramirez (left), Langham Creek director of bands, the Lobos are among the many award-winning performing arts organizations in CFISD. The wind ensemble was selected as a Commended Winner in the 2016 Mark of Excellence awards.
April 19, 2018—Cypress-Fairbanks ISD has been recognized nationally for its support of music education, as the district received a 2018 Best Communities for Music Education Award from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. The award recognizes CFISD’s commitment and dedication to music and the arts as innovative learning opportunities for a well-rounded education.
The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. CFISD joined 582 school districts across the nation in earning the distinction.
The Yeager Elementary School choir performs during the school’s Veterans Day extravaganza Nov. 10.
“We are thrilled to once again be named a ‘Best Community for Music Education,’” said Mary Running, CFISD director of fine arts. “We are very fortunate to have the support of outstanding parents, administrators and school Board members. Over 70,000 students are part of our music programs in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and our teachers believe in opportunity for all.”
To qualify for the designation, school districts completed a survey, answering 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 with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“This is a fantastic acknowledgement of the outstanding work of our music students and community and the commitment to music education at the highest level,” said John Morrison, CFISD coordinator of secondary music.
Among the numerous opportunities to see CFISD marching ensembles is during the Battle at the Berry Marching Contest. The third annual edition was held Oct. 14 at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium, with 11 CFISD bands participating and Cy-Fair High School claiming the grand champion award.
The award recognizes that CFISD continues to lead the way with opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of studies by Northwestern University scientists and researchers, a link was found between students in community music programs and life-long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance. In another Northwestern University study, it was discovered that benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that last into adulthood.
Choirs from Cypress Falls, Cypress Ranch and Cypress Woods high schools joined the Houston Choral Society for a combined performance at the Foundry Church in November.
A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for children as part of the school curriculum.
While CFISD’s curriculum offers secondary classroom instruction for band, choir, orchestra and music theory (high school), music opportunities are available for students at every grade level. Part of the $1.2 billion Bond passed in 2014 included acoustical shell systems now in use at the district’s 12 comprehensive high schools.
In addition, CFISD has continued a program to replace band and orchestra instruments at the secondary campuses that are beyond their life expectancy, affording our students the opportunity to continue to perform on quality musical instruments.
Acoustical shell systems were delivered to the district’s 12 comprehensive high schools between October 2017 and December 2017 as part of the $1.2 billion Bond passed in 2014.
School ensembles are highly visible, not only performing at their respective campuses, but also at district-wide and community functions.
“This recognition is wonderful validation for the committed music teachers in CFISD said Loretta Bourn, coordinator of elementary music. “It is a privilege to be a part of a district and community that values and supports music education.”
CFISD performing arts ensembles are routinely highly visible in and around the community. The Campbell Middle School choir, band and orchestra were all part of the campus’ 40th anniversary celebration in January.
The NAMM Foundation helps advance active music participation by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. Visit www.nammfoundation.org for more information.