HCPS Best Communities for Music Education, Celebrating 25 years of Excellence in Music Education

HENRICO, Va., April 19, 2024 — Out of thousands of school divisions throughout the country, Henrico County Public Schools has regularly claimed its status as one of America’s “Best Communities for Music Education,” awarded annually by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. This year, HCPS has continued this tradition of music education excellence and, in the process, notched a significant milestone as one of just two divisions in the United States to be honored for 25 straight years.

HCPS was joined by Fulton County (Ga.) Schools as the only divisions to be recognized every year since the award’s inception in 1999. The quarter century of demonstrated dedication to music education culminated from several factors that the NAMM Foundation uses to determine its list of honorees: student inclusion, administrative support, scheduling, opportunity, faculty, standards, community, funding and technology.

In 2024, the NAMM Foundation selected 975 school divisions in the country, including 25 from Virginia, as “Best Communities for Music Education.”

“Being awarded ‘Best Communities for Music Education’ for the 25th time is a testament to the unwavering support from HCPS leadership, the Henrico School Board and our community in nurturing artistic talent and enriching students’ lives through the power of music,” said Chris Moseley, the school division’s education specialist for performing arts. “We are honored and inspired to continue fostering a thriving arts culture within our community."

HCPS offers exceptional music programs for 50,000 students across each comprehensive K-12 school, setting a foundation for artistic learning and growth at the elementary level and maximizing the talents and ambitions of students at middle and high schools. Each of these programs put on sensational performances at schools and in the local community — or in the case of many top performers, throughout the state and country.

The school division’s music education efforts are bolstered by the Center for the Arts, which was established in 1990 as HCPS’ first high school specialty center. The center, based at Henrico High School, provides an intensive, specialized curriculum for students pursuing several artistic disciplines, including musical theatre.

The quality programs and staff members at the Center for the Arts and across Henrico schools position music as not only a way to express creativity and talent but also an avenue for life-ready learning that will guide students’ future pursuits and careers.

“Because of HCPS’ commitment to music education, the Center for the Arts continues to thrive and provide opportunities for students who have a deep passion for the arts,” said Stephanie Poxon, the director of the Center for the Arts. “Through the county’s support, the CFA program has increased new student enrollment, expanded unique elective course offerings, funded additional performance opportunities and provided countless additional resources for our students. The CFA program is proud that many of our students have gone to pursue professional careers in music, and we are lucky to serve in a community that values the arts and arts education.”

The NAMM Foundation is funded by music trade association activities and donations. The foundation works to promote music education as an important part of the core educational curriculum.

To learn more about the “Best Communities for Music Education” program and view other recognized school divisions, go to https://www.nammfoundation.org/what-we-do/best-communities-music-education.