WEST NEWBURY — The award-winning Pentucket school district instrumental band and choir continues to host concerts for the public in May and June.
Pentucket also is a National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) “Best Communities for Music Education” school district for the second year in a row. School Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Music Director David Schumacher made the announcement this spring.
“To be recognized two years in a row is testament to the strength or our music education, and the dedication of our faculty. Our students thrive as a result,” Bartholomew said in a statement.
To be considered for the award, “the district answered questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. These answers were verifed with school officials and reviewed by the Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas,” per the statement.
Because of its music programs’ strength, starting in Grade 4, many PRHS graduates have studied at prestigious post-secondary programs, including Berklee College of Music. Pentucket students regularly qualify for district, state and national music awards.
“Music and the arts are also about emotional wellness, so our music program has supported our community during the past two years,” Schumacher said. “Applying for this designation was a massive undertaking involving the coordination of K-12 music faculty, our district principals, and our community, so we sincerely thank everyone involved with the process.”
To learn more about the NAMM foundaiton and its approximately 10,300 members worldwide, go to nammfoundation.org.
The concert schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, May 17, 7 p.m. Pentucket Regional High School (PRHS) gym, 24 Main St., West Newbury. District Band Jamboree featuring grades 4-6 band students, Pentucket Regional Middle School (PRMS) Concert Band, PRHS Concert Band, and PRHS Big Band. The show’s grand finale is all students in grades 4-12 playing “Sweet Caroline” together.
Wednesday, May 18, 7 p.m. PRHS auditorium, 24 Main St., West Newbury. District Choral Jamboree featuring elementary, PRMS, and PRHS choirs.
Wednesday, May 25, 7 p.m. PRHS auditorium, 24 Main St., West Newbury. PRMS and PRHS bands and percussion concert, featuring PRMS Concert Band, PRMS Jazz Band, PRMS Percussion Ensemble, PRHS Concert Band, and the PRHS Percussion Ensemble. The PRMS Jazz Band will be premiering a piece commissioned for the Pentucket music program by Pentucket alum Bobby Spellman. Spellman will performing with the schools’ bands as its special guest. This commission was funded by the Trailblazer Award I received from the Pentucket Education Foundation.
Note that this will be the last musical performance in the original PRHS building before it is demolished. Construction of a new PRMS/PRHS is underway.
Friday, June 3, the PRMS Choir, Orchestra, and Concert Band will travel to western Massachusetts to participate in the Great East / Six Flags Music Festival in Springfield. It is an adjudicated performance followed by an afternoon at Six Flags Amusement Park to celebrate the Pentucket district’s musical program year.
Tuesday, June 7, Students in grades 5-6 Strings and Band will embark on a “tour” of the PRSD elementary schools. They will perform at each school, go out to lunch, and hold recess at Action Cove Playground. It is part of the school district’s recruitment effort to expose elementary students to the district’s music program, teach them about the instruments, and perform for them.
Further, the Pentucket Music Boosters are accepting donations to help subsidize the Pentucket district’s 2023 trip to Disney World. This trip will send the PRHS band, orchestra, choir, percussion, and jazz students to Festival Disney for an adjudicated performance and workshop series.