Port Clinton has received a Best Communities for Music Education Award from the National Association of Music Merchants, putting the Port Clinton School District in the spotlight as a national leader in music education. According to the NAMM Foundation, “The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.”
In the award application, Port Clinton School District told the selection committee that music education is immersed in Port Clinton School District curriculum from kindergarten through grade 12. Music education is successful in the Port Clinton School District due to sequencing at each level by all of its music faculty, with each faculty member having ownership of their role. The elementary music teachers are the “fire starters” to develop student interest and teach the foundations of music to prepare for middle school.
In middle school, students select instruments and the faculty prepares them for high school music classes. Bell Choir and Show Choir start at the elementary level.
Port Clinton school music programs also provide an opportunity for students to travel and experience life outside of Port Clinton. In the past three years, PCHS music groups have traveled to New York, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Orlando to perform. Port Clinton is the only school district in Ottawa County to offer all three music programs: band, choir and orchestra.
This award could not have been possible without the support of the Port Clinton community, said school officials. PCHS concerts are popular with the community and the annual Band Sousa Concert is often standing room only. The PCHS music faculty combines talent to hold the Holiday Breakfast with the Arts that is attended by hundreds of senior citizens each year.
A Cappella in the Park is held each spring at Lakeview Park with tremendous attendances. The middle and high school orchestra rocks, literally, with concerts featuring Led Zeppelin and Tran Siberian Orchestra selections. Each group hosts prominent guest conductors from all over the country.
The Greater Port Clinton Area Arts Council brings Toledo Opera on Wheels to students in kindergarten through 8th grade. A strong volunteer base provides help chaperoning trips, fundraising and a grade 6 “quick start” program. Quick start allows new musicians to learn in small groups with veteran music teachers paid by music boosters.
With the generous support of our community, Port Clinton is a financially stable district and have new school facilities that support music education. This past summer the high school orchestra and choir rooms were completely renovated. Private donations funded the creation of the high school’s Earl E. Warnke Music Center in 2010. All Port Clinton Schools new or renovated music rooms were designed with input from music faculty.
Port Clinton City School District is very proud of its music educators Kathy Miller, Toby Farrell, Jennifer Barringer, Rod Miller, Brian Stitak, Eric Watts and the Port Clinton community for making this award possible.
“We are very proud of our music programs here in Port Clinton and we have wonderful teachers. The arts are very important to us and we continue to take pride in being able to offer our students all three music programs including; band, orchestra and choir. It’s great to see our instructors recognized for all their hard work,” said Superintendent Pat Adkins.
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,400 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information visit www.nammfoundation.org.
Brian Stitak conducts the Port Clinton High School Orchestra, which has helped the City of Port Clinton earn the Best Communities in the Nation Award for music education.