From participation in widely known parades across the country and beyond to performances at major events and a host of honors for students and staff, there is no doubt Cobb Schools has earned a reputation for a commitment to music education. In fact, this year marks the 20th year the NAMM Foundation has designated Cobb Schools among the Best Communities for Music Education in the nation.
That honor is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students.
“We are so proud of the students and teachers for being recognized by the NAMM Foundation for the 20th time. This achievement speaks to the commitment, quality, and support of our music educators, students, parents, and community stakeholders in the Cobb County School District. Music education is an essential part of a complete education for students, and we thank the Cobb County School District for making it a priority each and every day,” said Chris Ferrell, the Cobb Schools Supervisor of Instrumental Music.
This year’s awards program for the Best Communities for Music Education was designed to celebrate schools and districts adapting, innovating, and persevering in the face of change. Researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, in conjunction with The NAMM Foundation, created a new way for districts and schools to address the inroads and setbacks impacted by the pandemic, as well as goals for equity and access to music education for all students and national standards for music education in a short, qualitative survey.
“Music educators, administrators, and communities truly rallied to support and sustain music education through a period of intense change and adaptation. These districts and schools persevered in serving their students and communities and assured that music education was part of curriculum offerings,” shares Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The NAMM Foundation. “We applaud the commitment and efforts of all music educators, school administrators, and community members in providing students the opportunity to explore their creativity through music.”
Some other recent accolades and honors for Cobb Schools include:
- 80 Cobb students represented the District in the GMEA All-State Bands
- 52 Cobb students represented the District in the GMEA All-State Orchestras
- Awtrey Middle School, 8th Grade Band, was selected to perform at the Georgia State University Music For All Southeastern Concert Festival
- East Cobb Middle School Honors Band guest band performance at University of Georgia MidFest
- Harrison High School Chorus performed at GMEA inservice Conference
- Hillgrove High School Orchestra performed at Carnegie Hall, New York.
- Georgia Music Educators Association 2022 Performance - Kennesaw Mountain High School Wind Symphony
- North Cobb High School Wind Symphony selected to perform at the Georgia State University Music For All Southeastern Concert Festival
- John Philip Sousa Foundation Bandworld Legion of Honor - Andy Esserwein, Sprayberry High School
- Sunny Kim, Walton High School Orchestra violin, selected for National Youth Orchestra
- John Philip Sousa Foundation Bandworld Legion of Honor - John Palmer, Walton High School
- National Band Association Citation of Excellence - John Palmer, Walton High School
- National Band Association Citation of Excellence - Chris Johns, Walton High School
- Walton High School Marching Raider Band performed in the 2022 National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade.
- Walton High School Chamber Orchestra, 2021 and 2022 Invitation to Midwest Clinic
- Wheeler High School performed in the National Vietnam Veterans Day Parade in Hawaii.
Although nearing the end of the school year, school music programs still provide opportunities for their students to demonstrate musical talents. For example, the District 12 Honors Jazz Ensemble, which includes Cobb and Marietta students, will be performing with guest trumpet artist John Faddis inside the Campbell High School Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on April 30. The Fair Oaks Elementary School chorus and the Rocky Mount Elementary School chorus are singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at an Atlanta Braves game on May 15.
It is no surprise to Cobb’s music educators that the District is recognized year after year for a commitment to music education.
“I have known about Cobb music programs all of my career, even when I was in Florida, because of the reputations that they have for excellence and the sheer size and support that Cobb County gives the music programs,” said Allatoona High School orchestra director Jim Palmer, who has been teaching for more than 30 years.