West Branch Local School District has been awarded a national prize for its efforts in music education.

The district received the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation. Now in its 22nd year, the designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify, West Branch answered detailed questions from National Association of Music Merchants 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 district’s robust music education program includes Elementary General Music, Middle School Choir, Middle School Band, History of Rock ‘n Roll class, High School Marching Band including majorette squad and colorguard squad, High School Concert Band, High School Jazz Band, High School Concert Choir and High School Women’s Choir. There are also a number of extracurricular music activities throughout the schools, including Middle School Show Choir, Middle School Jazz Band, High School Show Choir and three to four musical theatre productions per year.

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