It's an Encore! Vestal's Music Department receives national recognition

For the second consecutive year, the Vestal Central School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Vestal received the honor for the first time in 2017, and this year is one of only 583 school districts nationwide recognized.

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. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Vestal 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 with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“The Best Communities for Music Education designation is an acknowledgment of the daily dedication of our music students and music teachers,” said Gregory Harris, the District’s Music Department Chair. “It also recognizes our K – 12 staff, administrators and community members in the Vestal Central School District for their continued support and insistence that music remain a vital part of the education of our students.

Vestal’s Music Education program regularly sees students selected for the New York State Schools Music Association (NYSSMA) festivals each year. In the fall, five Vestal High School students were invited to perform during the New York State School Music Association’s Winter Festival, and next week our students participate in NYSSMA’s Major Organizational Festival. In previous years, Vestal High School’s Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and the Vestal Voices each were awarded a Level 6 “Gold with Distinction” designation by NYSSMA, and the Concert Band received a Level 3 Gold award. And in 2016, the Vestal Golden Bears Marching Band was proud to earn the school district’s first-ever New York State Field Band Championship!

For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit its website at

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