By: Emmanuel Caulk
Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent
With the holidays approaching, it’s not just the parking lots at the mall that are full.
As you drive around Fayette County any night of the week this month, you’ll see school lots brimming with families flocking to concerts featuring the talents of our student musicians.
Fayette County Public Schools is known across the Commonwealth for more than our academic prowess.
Our bands, orchestras, choirs and teachers are also celebrated, and routinely bring home state and national honors in their fields!
In fact, the 2017 state elementary music teacher of the year, 2017 state middle school teacher of the year, 2017 state outstanding music administrator and 2017 state string teacher of the year all work in our district.
And did you know we have Grammy winners? Two FCPS teachers have earned Music Educator Awards from The Recording Academy and the GRAMMY Foundation.
Additionally, Lafayette High School received a Grammy Signature School Gold Award from the GRAMMY Foundation, which recognized the music department as one of the top seven programs in the U.S.
And last month, the Lafayette marching band earned its 19th state championship. Add those to Dunbar High School’s seven state titles, and the state marching band champion has been from FCPS for 26 of the last 29 years!
In the past year, student musicians from Fayette County were accepted to the Honor Band of America and the Kentucky Ambassadors of Music European tour.
We had 118 students selected to All-State Jazz, Strings, Orchestra and Band Ensembles, 90 named to All-State Choruses, and 40 to the Governor’s School for the Arts.
Results like these are possible because in Fayette County we believe in educating the whole child by providing each and every student with a well-rounded education that includes opportunities in music, art and world language.
Our roughly 120 music teachers offer instruction in every school. In addition to general music classes, all interested students can take orchestra beginning in fourth grade and band starting in fifth grade.
These exceptional efforts to ensure that music education is part of our core curriculum led to FCPS being named one of America’s Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation in 2014.
The designation recognizes the commitment of school and community leaders, and teachers and families who believe in music education and are working to ensure that it is part of a complete education for all children.
That commitment is on full display this month when the sweet sounds of student choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles fill the air. And that’s music to my ears!
Music Education Takes Center Stage in Fayette Co. Public Schools
Award Winning Offerings:
• Music in every school
• Orchestra beginning in fourth grade
• Band beginning in fifth grade
• District named among America’s Best Communities for Music Education
Award Winning Students
• Honor Band of America
• Kentucky Ambassadors of Music European tour
• All-State Jazz, Strings, Orchestra and Band Ensembles
• All-State Choruses
• Governor’s School for the Arts.
Award Winning Teachers
• Two Grammy winners
• State elementary and middle school music teachers of the year
• State string teacher of the year
Award Winning Programs
• Grammy Award winning music department
• State marching band champions for 26 of the last 29 years!