Albion district makes it 16 straight years of national recognition for music program

Photos by Tom Rivers: Mike Thaine, director of the Albion High School band program, directs the group during an all-district concert on March 1 in the high school gym.

Posted 26 April 2023 at 8:45 am

Press Release, Albion Central School

ALBION – The school district has once again been named a Best Community for Music Education by the National Foundation of Music Merchants (NAMM), marking the 16th consecutive year to receive the recognition.

The award program honors outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.

There are 830 school districts across the country to receive the distinction this year, but few have sustained Albion’s excellence when it comes to music education. No other school in Orleans County received the recognition while only Pembroke made the list out of Genesee County. (Editor’s Note: Other nearby schools to receive the honor include Roy-Hart and Akron. Among the GLOW counties, Geneseo, Mount Morris, Perry and Pioneer also were honored.)

Albion prides itself on a long tradition of entertaining chorus, band and drama programs. This fall, the high school performed The World According to Snoopy and the middle school brought Dear Edwina to the stage. The concert season began with the annual high school Veteran’s Day event to honor our troops. Senior Tea, a long-standing tradition, showcased an array of musical talents as the class of 2023 showcased their vocal and instrumental skills.

Nick Andrews plays the role of Uncle Fester and sings a love song to the moon – “The Moon and Me” – in Albion’s production of The Addams Family in late March. Albion performs two musicals a year in both the high school and middle school. The high school spring show each year regularly receives many awards from the Stars of Tomorrow in the Rochester Broadway Theatre League.

The holiday season is always a festive time as each school hosts a holiday concert within the month of December. Right before winter break, select high school chorus and band members spent time in downtown businesses and streets caroling for the community. High school musicians also took part in the Hometown Holiday event this school year. Additionally, students and alumni performed for a packed audience at the annual Albion High School Alumni Foundation concert.

During both semesters, Albion was proud to send numerous students of all grades to the two All-County music festivals. Collaboration was key when band directors worked together to put on an all-district instrumental concert in early March in front of a standing room-only crowd in the high school gym.

The drama departments brought beloved characters to the stage this spring. First, the middle school transformed the auditorium into a distant land with The Jungle Book. Then, the high school performed a spectacular showing of The Addams Family. The latter included a live orchestra composed almost completely of current students, staff and Albion alumni.

Lindsey Almeter, elementary music teacher, leads the young musicians during the all-district concert on March 1.

Throughout the school day, all students from kindergarten through 12th grade are taught or given the opportunity to take a variety of music classes. High school students in the music history class enjoyed a tour of the Parsons Pipe Organ Builders during the school year while the high school choir welcomed guest conductors from the Eastman School of Music and Nazareth College. The district is also fortunate to include a musical therapist on staff.

Music remains a constant presence at Albion through the end of the school year with spring concerts scheduled in May and June. The Purple Eagle marching band will be on proud display at community events including the Strawberry Festival and Lilac Festival parades.

All musical events and performances throughout the school year are open to the public and, other than the four stage productions, are free to attend. The continual support and collaboration with alumni and community members helps keep music education alive and thriving.

Founded in 2006, the NAMM Foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. The organization represents the generosity and philanthropy of the music products industry and is funded through trade association activities and donations. For more information, visit