March Is ‘Music In Our Schools’ Month

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Jericho High School musicians (Courtesy of Berklee College of Music)

With a glimmer of hope of a better economy and financial assistance for school districts throughout New York State, music educators and administrators are scheduled to visit with their legislators in Albany on Monday, March 6, during the 44th annual Joseph R. Sugar NYSSMA Day in Albany.

As is tradition, the students in the All-State Instrumental and Vocal Jazz Ensembles will be the featured performers at an 11:30 a.m. concert in the South Concourse of the Empire State Plaza.

“NYSSMA looks forward to the ongoing efforts with our state legislators to advocate that all students, pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, deserve a well-rounded education which includes high-quality, comprehensive and sequential music education,” said Michael W. Brownell, NYSSMA president.

Music In Our Schools Month originated in New York State in 1973 as a single day concert at New York City’s Lincoln Center. Created by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), it was one of the first public events held to support music education programs throughout New York State.

It was named after Joseph R. Sugar, who passed away in October, 2009. Sugar served as NYSSMA’s president from 1980 to 1981, and as NYSSMA’s government relations chairperson for many years after. He also served as eastern division president of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

The National Association for Music Education, based in Reston, VA, adopted the month-long event in 1985 and now celebrates Music in Our Schools Month across America each March.
NYSSMA, the New York State School Music Association, is in its 85th year as the largest state affiliate of NAfME.

The mission of the New York State School Music Association is to advocate for and improve music education across New York State by promoting and producing appropriate activities and programs for its membership and students in member school music programs.

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