District earns NAMM Foundation distinction as a 2021 "Best Community for Music Education"
Aristotle once wrote that "Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it."
There is an abundance of research backing up Aristotle's words, and for many years the teachers and administrators of Wahoo Public Schools have been "all in" in supporting/providing, among other things, a top-notch music education program. Our community and students have reaped the benefits of the District's focus on the Arts, and now, a national foundation has taken note.
WPS has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Now in its 22nd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, WPS answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
“This is a great honor recognizing the commitment and efforts of our students, staff, and the community of Wahoo to the continued emphasis on the fine arts in Wahoo Public Schools,” commented WPS Superintendent Brandon Lavaley.
There is no shortage of students who credit the music program as being a undeniable highlight of their high school years.
"Out of all my memories from Wahoo High, my favorites will always be the ones that I made with my music family," said WHS senior Avery Spicka. "My experiences with the Wahoo Music program have shaped who I am, and I'm so grateful that I got to be a part of it."
Since the passage by Congress in 2015 of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and a stated emphasis on a well-rounded education, many school districts have re-committed to music and arts education programs and found that in this time of a national pandemic, these programs provide a valuable way to keep students engaged in school. ESSA provides designated funding for well-rounded educational opportunities through Title IV Part A Student Academic Success and Achievement grants. NAMM Foundation research has revealed that these grants are being widely used by school districts to address instructional gaps in access to music and arts education.
"This recognition is a direct reflection of the history of the music programs at WPS and the investment our community has made in the music department,” stated WPS Director of Learning Dr. Josh Snyder. “This investment has allowed us to maintain a high percentage of student involvement in music at all levels and continue to develop new musical programs.”
Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school, but also to attend college as well. Everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.
“The school community's commitment can be seen providing high quality music materials, access to a variety of musical experiences and top-notch facilities,” Dr. Snyder added. “Historically, there are many people who have helped Wahoo Public Schools reach this point as it is truly a reflection of the community's commitment to music education - thank you all! A special thank you also goes out to Mr. Smith, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Langholdt and Mr. Harris for their commitment to making our K-12 music program one of the best in the state and nation!"
About The NAMM Foundation
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 about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
WHS students chosen via audition to perform among Nebraska's top musicians on Nov. 19 @ the Lied Center
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Mr. Smith honored for his passion & non-stop devotion to music instruction
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Flores, Foxworthy, Nelson, and Polacek honored among students state-wide
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16-day, 7-country Summer 2021 NAM trip now being planned; Contact Mr. Smith for more information
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Royalty takes 1st place (small schools) @ Midwest Cup & Roosevelt competitions; Legacy takes 4th in Sioux Falls
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At least 20 WHS graduates currently play in college/university vocal & band groups
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WHS Concert Choir featured in Oct. 11 performance with UNL All-Collegiate Choir & University Singers
Special event at UNL Newman Center showcases premiere of piece written by local composer David von Kampen
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Wahoo also wins award for 'Best Choreography' and completes best season in school history
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Brabec, Bittleston, and Spicka perform among best in the state
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WHS senior earns All-State honor for 3rd straight year in alto sax
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Redding & Pace to join Cornhusker Marching Band for Sept. 16 halftime performance
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UNL Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts recognizes area students at Nebraska Young Artist Awards Day
WHS junior Sydney Holdsworth honored for her talents in music
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Celesky, Groff, Knowlton, Polacek, Redding x 2, and Reyes identified among best in Nebraska
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Holdsworth selected for All-State Band; Callan, Redding & Redding for Choir (school record!)
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Wahoo crowned Division A Grand Champions!
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Holdsworth, Edmonds, Carstens, Moore & Pace's ratings lead Wahoo to 3rd place team trophy
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WHS sophomore's instrumental talents continue to pay dividends
Last weekend, WHS sophomore Sydney Holdsworth was a participant in the University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Winter Festival for Winds and Percussion . The Winter Festival is a unique concert band and chamber ensemble festival . . .
WHS sophomore's audition earns her 1 of 8 saxophone seats
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WHS jr. chosen from over 18,000 int'l nominations for 2016 High School Honors Performance Series in NYC
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WHS senior selected among state-wide auditions to rehearse with Husker Marching Band & perform at Memorial Stadium halftime show
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Cornhusker Marching Band continues its tradition of excellence
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2015 NAM trip takes 249 Nebraska student musicians/adults to 7 countries
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the . . .
Students join Nebraska's best for Mar. 28 concert @ Norfolk's Johnny Carson Theater
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Groff, Holdsworth & Pfeiffer chosen from over 600 statewide auditions!
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Warrior flutist receives scolarship and soloist opportunity
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Public encouraged to attend Oct. 18 competition at Ashland
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Annual event held Aug. 22 at Memorial Stadium
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Students join Nebraska's best for Mar. 29 performance in Norfolk
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Holdsworth performs in ensemble of 350+ of Nebraska's finest
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Students learning marching band fundamentals at Memorial Stadium
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Rachael Meyer & Mr. Smith travel/perform with NE Ambassadors of Music
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Schwimmer Named "Top Male Soloist"
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WHS Sophomore Earns Flute 1 Part for Nov. 16 Honor Band Performance
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Warriors Bring Home 1st Place Trophy in Class B2
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Alumni Forward Remaining Reunion Funds to WHS Music Program
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Band to Perform in May 30 National Memorial Day Parade
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Video of March 30 Event Posted
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Both Groups Come Out on Top at 2011 NCDA Festival in Elkhorn
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Ceremony Also Includes Open House for New Fitness Center
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WMS 7th grader named Omaha's 90.7 KVNO Classical Kid for April!
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Two-Hour Event Showcased Talents of Students & UNK Show Choir "Nebraskats"
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Kayla Coffey Selected for 3-Day, "Extremely Selective" Event
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The WHS Senior Makes His 2nd All-State Festival Appearance in November!
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16 Boys/18 Girls Make the Cut
2009-2010 Show Choir List BOYS Jake Barry-B Josh Dewberry-T Christian Hohl-B Joe Nabity-T Brandon Gaunt-T Dustin Jaskulski-B Ty Kander-T Justin Lewandowski-B/T Sean Lindgren-B/T Kyle Willis-B Robert Wilson-B/T . . .
Student Production Dedicated to Friends Lost
On April 29, the WHS Music Tech students traveled to BASSLINE RECORDING STUDIO in Omaha to record the original song written by the class first semester. The song was written as a dedication to the class of 2009 and also served as a memorial . . .
Warriors Take 1st at Viking Cup; 2nd at NW Missouri State
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March 13 Event Held at North High School in Omaha
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Marching Warriors Led to Victory by Senior Drum Major Janelle Jansa
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Joe Nabity Performs with U.S. Air Force Band and Accomplished New York Philharmonic Trombonist
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71-Year-Old Alumnus Rides a Bike to Atlantic City to Raise Funds for New Music Scholarship
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All-State Concert Scheduled for March 15 at Johnny Carson Theater
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Marching Band Travels to Norfolk and Grand Island
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Sandip Burman Breaks from Major U.S. City Tour for a Wahoo Stop
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Alison Thomsen and Joy Nelson Selected among State-Wide Tryout
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Havelka Earns "Highest Musical Honor" in Nebraska
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