EPS Music Department hitting all the high notes

Earns Prestigous Designation from National Organization

Music Department NAMM
Everett Public Schools music educators celebrate the district’s NAMM designation as one of the Best Communities for Music Education. From left: Charley Poole, Percussion Director; Cassandra McDonald Brass Specialist Chamber Ensemble Advisor; Anna Polska Violin Specialist; Cheri Spencer, Choral Director at the Keverian School; Nicholas Abruzzese, Music Teacher Parlin School; Eugene F. O’Brien Coordinator of Music Everett Public Schools; Maciej Kaczmarek, Orchestra Director; Eric Holmes, Elementary Band Director; Lauren Patriquin-Muise, Music Teacher at the English School and cellist; Jorunn Kaczmarek, Music Teacher at the Lafayette School and Assis- tant Orchestra Director; and string student Aria Kaczmarek.

A national association has named Everett Public Schools (EPS) with the “Best Communities for Music Education”, a prestigious honor that affirms the district’s commitment to music curriculum and extracurricular programming across all grade levels.

Everett is among 583 districts across the nation being recognized by The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation as Best Communities for Music Education (BCME). In cooperation with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, and based on survey results, NAMM compiles the list of deserving school systems. Everett has received the BCME award twice in the last four years.

“I am truly thrilled that we have once again been recognized with this distinct national honor,” said EPS Coordinator of Music Eugene O’Brien. “I would like to thank Superintendent Frederick F. Foresteire, the Everett School Committee, and, of course, our fine music teachers who go above and beyond for our students.”

Hundreds of EPS students are engaged in music in and out of the classroom. Children are introduced to an instrument in elementary school and they have ample opportunities to pursue their musical passions as they advance through the district.

By the time they reach Everett High School (EHS), students can choose from a wide array of musical groups, including The Crimson Tide Marching Band, the orchestra, vocal and choir groups, the show choir “Pop Vox,” and jazz and rock ensembles. Musicians have the chance to perform in competitive settings, as well as during the handful of concerts that are staged at EHS every year — from a gala Christmas show, to vocal night, band night, and string night in the late winter and early spring, to the extravagant Memorial Day performance later this month.

Music Department
Drum Major Mariama Codrington and Assistant Drum Majors Olivia Blauvelt and Andres Jiminez are pictured with Charles Poole and Eugene O’Brien displaying some of the many awards Everett music groups and bands have won in regional and state competitions. 

Also this month, dozens of EHS musicians will take part in the National Memorial Day festivities in Washington D.C. During this once-in-a- lifetime trip, students will get the chance to tour the nation’s capitol on Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26, before taking part in a full array of performances.

On Sunday, May 27, the EHS Orchestra, the A Cappella Choir, and the EHS Concert Band will take part in the National Memorial Day Concert Series at the Air Force Memorial. And on Memorial Day, May 28, the EHS contingent will participate in the National Memorial Day Parade along historic Constitution Avenue.

“Our musicians are performing on the biggest stages and our department is garnering the best possible accolades,” said Superintendent of Schools Frederick F. Foresteire. “I couldn’t be more proud of everyone associated with music in our schools, from the students and teachers to our parents and members of the community who tirelessly support us.”

The NAMM awards program recognizes the outstanding efforts of teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made
music education part of the curriculum. Designations are given to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and consistent access to music education.

“The schools and districts we recognize this year – both new and repeat honorees – represent a diverse group of urban, rural and suburban districts and demographics,” said Mary Luehrsen of The NAMM Foundation. “Along with a strong commitment
to music education, there are two common traits that each program shares: consistent funding that anchors music education as part of the core curriculum and music programs that are located in communities where music education is viewed as a jewel of the school system. Parents, administrators and community members are proud of these local music programs and attend them regularly.”


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