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Lancaster Music Education Program Earns National Recognition

Group of teachers stand in front of sign that says "Music"

The Lancaster Central School District has been honored for the seventh consecutive year with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation. The award recognizes schools for having an outstanding commitment to music education.

Daniel DeAngelis, the district’s music department chair, said he felt fortunate to be in a community that has supported music for generations.

“Our administration and board of education appreciate the value of having a strong music education program in our schools by supporting a comprehensive curriculum full of bands, choirs, orchestras and music classes K-12, as well as an award-winning extracurricular program and an Arts Academy at LHS,” he said. “It is with this community support that dedicated Lancaster musicians can benefit and thrive.”

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

Officials with The NAMM Foundation said that research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well.

Learn more about the district’s music programs at

A student music group rehearses.