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HCPS honored for 25 years of excellence in music education

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) – Henrico County Public Schools have a reason to celebrate after being recognized once again for their outstanding music program.

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation consistently recognizes Henrico County Public Schools as one of America’s “Best Communities for Music Education” out of thousands of school districts nationwide.

This year, HCPS has continued its tradition of excellence in music education and achieved a significant milestone. It is one of only two divisions in the United States to be honored for 25 consecutive years. HCPS and Fulton County (Ga.) Schools are the only divisions to be recognized every year since the award’s inception in 1999.

The NAMM Foundation determines its list of honorees based on several factors, including student inclusion, administrative support, scheduling, opportunity, faculty, standards, community, funding, and technology.

In 2024, the NAMM Foundation recognized 975 school districts in the US for their excellent music education programs, with 25 of them located in Virginia.

“Being awarded ‘Best Communities for Music Education’ for the 25th time is a testament to the unwavering support from HCPS leadership, the Henrico School Board and our community in nurturing artistic talent and enriching students’ lives through the power of music,” said Chris Moseley, the school division’s education specialist for performing arts. “We are honored and inspired to continue fostering a thriving arts culture within our community.”

HCPS offers outstanding music programs for approximately 50,000 students enrolled in each comprehensive K-12 school. The programs were established to provide a strong foundation for artistic learning and growth in elementary school, while maximizing the talents and ambitions of students in middle and high school.

The music program is renowned for its outstanding performances in schools and the local community. Many talented performers have the opportunity to showcase their skills beyond their community, performing throughout the state and country.

The school division’s music education efforts are bolstered by the Center for the Arts, which was established in 1990 as HCPS’ first high school specialty center. The center, based at Henrico High School, provides an intensive, specialized curriculum for students pursuing several artistic disciplines, including musical theatre.

“Because of HCPS’ commitment to music education, the Center for the Arts continues to thrive and provide opportunities for students who have a deep passion for the arts,” said Stephanie Poxon, the director of the Center for the Arts. “Through the county’s support, the CFA program has increased new student enrollment, expanded unique elective course offerings, funded additional performance opportunities and provided countless additional resources for our students. The CFA program is proud that many of our students have gone to pursue professional careers in music, and we are lucky to serve in a community that values the arts and arts education.”

Click to view other recognized school divisions and learn more about the “Best Communities for Music Education” program.