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September 20, 2018

Sounds of Success: Phoenix School Music Program Thrives


While March is officially designated as Music in Our Schools Month, musical talent is on display throughout the entire year in the Phoenix Central School District.

The JCB Jazz Band takes the stage during a recent concert. The group is one component of the Phoenix Central School District’s successful music program, which celebrates Music in Our Schools Month with a variety of events in March.

The JCB Jazz Band takes the stage during a recent concert. The group is one component of the Phoenix Central School District’s successful music program, which celebrates Music in Our Schools Month with a variety of events in March.

From fall choral performances to summer color guard practices, each season is filled with concerts and competitions that have propelled the Phoenix music program to elite status.

In fact, the district has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants as one of the country’s Best Communities for Music Education.

The distinction, which has been given to the PCSD for four consecutive years, acknowledges schools and districts across the United States for their commitment to and support for music education.

“We’re fortunate to be in a community that supports so many students in our music program and in other activities as well,” said John C. Birdlebough High School music teacher Joanna Young.

Echoing his colleague’s sentiments, music teacher Dave Frateschi noted that the school district and the community have worked in tandem to create a culture rich in music education.

“Everyone here supports our music program — parents, boosters, the administration, the board of education, the superintendent and the community,” Frateschi said. “We all work together to create a recipe for success and excellence in music.”

That winning recipe has played out again this year, with dozens of students earning recognition and groups receiving top honors at various events.

Recent successes include the varsity jazz band’s performance at the New Hartford Jazz Festival (Gold Rating, five All Star awards and the best trombone section); a first-place finish by the winter drum line in Pennsylvania; a first-place finish by the winter guard in Central Square; and numerous students earning selection to the All-County music competitions.

“Hats off to these kids, they put in a lot of hours,” Frateschi said. “The results are not just average, they’re above average. We are consistently among the top schools – no matter how many other schools compete.”

In addition to excelling in competition, students are also able to showcase their musical abilities through concerts and plays.

The month of March is booked with plenty of events to highlight Phoenix’s talented musicians.

For a complete schedule of upcoming concerts and other events, visit www.phoenixcsd.org

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