- Seaford Union Free School District
Music Program in the National Spotlight
A strong school-community connection helped garner national recognition for Seaford School District’s music program, earning a spot on the 2020 list of Best Communities for Music Education. It was the first time the district has earned this distinction from the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation.
Music department chairman Anthony Romeo, a band teacher at Seaford High School, completed the extensive application and explained that he highlighted the numerous ways that student musicians are involved in the community. Seaford music ensembles perform annually at the Wellness Council’s Hot Chocolate Run, fire department holiday tree lighting, Historical Society fall festival, 9/11 memorial service, Little League opening day, Memorial Day ceremony and homecoming. The marching band has participated in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade for more than 30 years, and a community marching band brings together musicians from the high school and the Seaford community.
“We do such much in the community,” he said. “At just about every single event, the Seaford music program is present.”
Mr. Romeo also cited parent involvement with three groups that support the music program including Bravo for the high school chorus, Encore for the high school band and Forte for elementary and middle school music. He also said that parents provide support at concerts, the summer music program and the summer marching band camp. The winter and spring concerts at all levels are strongly attended by families, community members, administrators and board of education trustees.
Another strong aspect of the program, he explained, is that every school has dedicated spaces for music instruction and practices. General music instruction begins in kindergarten, and in fourth grade students can join band and chorus. At the middle school, there is general music, sixth grade band, sixth grade chorus, seventh and eighth grade band, seventh and eighth grade chorus, and jazz band. The high school has a barbershop vocal group, chamber orchestra, jazz band, marching band, pep band and symphonic band. Additionally, there are annual musicals at the middle school and high school.
Seaford’s music students regularly earn accolades including induction into the Tri-M Music Honor Society and selection to regional ensembles. This year, 41 students in grades 5-12 were named to Nassau Music Educators Association’s All-County music festival ensembles and two high school students earn spots at the All-State Music Festival, hosted by the New York State School Music Association.
Seaford can add another achievement to the list, as the Best Communities for Music Education award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders. Designations are made to districts that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
“This is a well-deserved honor that reflects the hard work of our students and music faculty, as well as the longstanding support of the administration, Board of Education and Seaford community. Music is an integral part of a well-rounded education. Our music program thrives because students are able to explore their passions under the tutelage of our dedicated and inspiring teachers.”