Pentucket Regional School District has been recognized nationally for excellence in music

Wednesday April 27, 2022

WEST NEWBURY — The Pentucket Regional School District has been recognized nationally for excellence in music education for the second year in a row.

For 23 years, The NAMM Foundation has selected public school districts for its Best Communities for Music Education award. The award honors programs that demonstrate outstanding achievement in providing music access and education to all students, and that recognize the importance of music to a well-rounded education.

“It’s exciting to be selected for this award once again,” said Superintendent Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Music Director David Schumacher Bartholomew. “To be recognized two years in a row is testament to the strength of our music education, and the dedication of our faculty. Our students thrive as a result.”

The Pentucket Regional School District has a long tradition of excellence in musical programming. Instructors are specialists in their discipline: choir, jazz, percussion, strings, and woodwinds. They also remain active professionally by performing, publishing, recording, presenting, and guest conducting.

Programming supports students through individual and collaborative instruction. The District offers separate middle and high school percussion and jazz programs for credit. Students from Grade 4 on have numerous opportunities to perform publicly.

Students also receive significant support from sending communities. The Pentucket Music Boosters raise money for programming and trips throughout the year.

As a result, Pentucket students have earned top awards at Berklee College of Music, the University of New Hampshire, and Massachusetts Association for Jazz Education (MAJE) Jazz Festivals, Students regularly qualify for and excel at District, All-State, and All-National ensembles. Pentucket graduates go on to some of the top music schools in the country.

To be considered for the award, the District 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.

“Music and the arts are also about emotional wellness, so our music program has supported our community during the past two years,” Director Schumacher said. “Applying for this designation was a massive undertaking involving the coordination of K-12 music faculty, our district principals, and our community, so we sincerely thank everyone involved with the process.”

The Pentucket Music Department wishes to recognize and thank community groups who have long supported its mission and enabled its work, including the Pentucket Music Boosters, Pentucket Arts Foundation, and the Pentucket Education Foundation. Individual members of the community have also given kind donations to support the program over the years.

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music-making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information, visit

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