Rome music education program receives national recognition


ROME — The Rome City School District has once again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Rome joins 738 districts across the country in receiving the award in 2022.

It is the seventh year in a row that the district’s music education program has received this distinction.

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students, according to the announcement by district officials.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Rome’s music department was assessed on several factors, such as funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. These factors evolve over time, officials said, so this recognition also honors the work of music educators and administrators from years past.

Current Rome music faculty members include:

Elementary staff — Stephanie Mahoney, Bellamy; Christian Arthur, Bellamy, Clough and Stokes; Tracie Cook, Bellamy, Joy, and Stokes; Aaron Decker, Joy and Gansevoort; Emily Gillander, Gansevoort, Ridge Mills and Denti; Sarah Anderson, Denti; Erica McMyler, Stokes; Stephen Russell, Bellamy; Matthew Thornton, Gansevoort; Robert Verminski, Gansevoort, Ridge Mills, and Stokes; Diane Vicik, Joy; Shelby Yerrick, Denti; and Allison Young, Ridge Mills.

Strough Middle School — Linda Baker, orchestra; Anne Gannon, band; Beth Bushaw, general music and chorus; and Cooper Klares, general music and chorus.

Rome Free Academy — Leanna Guerrieri, choral and general music; Michelle Madonia-Rushford, choral and general music; Jacob Meiss, band, music electives; and Erica Oshier, orchestra, music electives.

“I’m proud of the exceptional work of our students and staff, as they are really deserving of this honor,” said Superintendent Peter C. Blake.

The Rome City School district has a proud tradition of music education stretching back nearly a century, district officials said. Many of the current music faculty are themselves products of this legacy. The district regularly has students accepted into Area All State, Conference All State, All Eastern, and All National music ensembles.

In addition, each year Rome ensembles earn high marks from adjudicators at Marching Band competitions, Choir Festivals, and the New York State School Music Association Major Organizations festival, officials added.


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