Glendale Unified recognized for music commitment

Access to music programs in Glendale schools recently won the district recognition from a music industry group.

Late last month, the National Assn. of Music Merchants designated Glendale Unified as one of about 375 school districts in the country as one of the year’s “Best Communities for Music Education.”

The NAMM Foundation, in a release, stated it aims to recognize districts that commit to making music a core part of its curriculum.

The foundation surveyed school districts across the country to assess how school districts fund and staff their music programs, as well as evaluate how many classes and programs districts offer.

About 2,000 school districts filled out responses to the survey. From there, researchers with the Institute for Educational Research and Public Service analyzed the results. The independent group is associated with the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Glendale Unified was the only district in Los Angeles County and one of nine in California to earn the recognition from the foundation.

Roosevelt Middle School music teacher Frank Fox filled out the survey on behalf of Glendale Unified.

He said he was pleased that Glendale was recognized for its commitment to music programs. Across the district, he said, students have access to perform in concert bands, string and symphonic orchestras, jazz bands, choral programs and marching bands, among other music classes.

In addition, high school students have access to advanced music theory classes, he said, rare among offerings at that level.

“The school board is very committed to the music program itself,” he said, adding, “There is the axiom that nothing succeeds like success. And we have success so were going to keep succeeding.”

Glendale High Instrumental Music Director Amy Rangel said the district’s commitment to music comes with its overall value of arts programs, including drama, dance, sculpture and other classes.

“We have such a big arts department and I think that’s reflective of the administration and community as what they see as important and what they value,” she said.

In recent years, the Glendale Educational Foundation launched a “Save the Music” campaign. The campaign has raised $250,000 for the district, allowing Glendale Unified to purchase 270 instruments for its elementary students, said foundation Executive Director Susan Hunt.

Hunt said there was a concerted effort to bolster support for the elementary programs.

The foundation aims to raise another $150,000, she said.

The school district has also received donations through the Arturo Sandoval Institute, among other foundations and parent-organized fundraisers.

“We do have a blessing of all these outside entities coming and helping,” Fox said. “They want to make sure it keeps going. It’s really nice.”


Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.


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