Published Regsiter Citizen Friday May 15, 2009
TORRINGTON — For the past 10 years the International Music Products Association has honored schools across the nation with the “Best 100” Community for Music Education award.
For the ninth time out of those 10 years, the Torrington Public School District has, yet again, been selected to receive that “Best 100” award. The district is the only one in Connecticut, and one of only two in the entire country, to achieve that distinction.
Between all seven public schools, there are approximately 800 students participating in music performance groups, including band, chorus and orchestra, said Wayne Splettstoeszer, music director for Torrington High School.
NAMM — a former acronym used for the International Music Products Association — selects the “Best 100” recipients based on an in-depth national survey conducted by a partnership of music and educational organizations. The survey includes detailed questions about funding, enrollment, student-teacher rations, music class participation and instruction time among others.
NAMM cited a long list of achievements in the district, some of which included Splettstoeszer’s recognition as National Teacher of the Year, the THS Chamber Choir singing at Carnegie Hall and the TMS Marching Band participating in the 2010 National Independence Day Parade in Washington D.C.
Achieving the victory, for a ninth time, is very exciting and is an example of teamwork within the district, said Joe Campolieta, elementary instrumental music teacher at Forbes and East School.
“I believe it is because this music department works well together and we support each other,” Campolieta said. “In addition, we are very fortunate to have support from our school and central administrators.”
He highlighted also a sense of pride for the district in receiving this award, which not only reflects the schools but also the community at large.
“It gives me a sense of pride to be part of a community — and this is a community award — that supports music education the way Torrington does,” Campolieta said. “It is a pleasure to work in a district that appreciates the value that music education brings to our students helping them to become better students and better citizens.”
Acting Superintendent Barbara Campbell has consistently voiced support for arts and music. The recognition is always delightful and it shows the efforts of the musicians and music teachers alike in the schools, she said.
Echoing comments from Campolieta, Campbell also noted the community aspect to the award.
“I just think it’s a wonderful tribute to a community that is recognized as an arts leader, not only with the schools but with the Warner and the Nutmeg Ballet,” she said. “We really are an arts center in the northwest corner.”
Campbell also praised Splettstoeszer and Campolieta for being leaders in the field. The district is “blessed” to have them on the staff, she said.