Music Department honored with prestigious award for the fifth straight year

Music Department honored with prestigious award for the fifth straight year


And the streak goes on.

The highly regarded Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Music Department was the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Best Communities for Music Education award.

 This recognition marked the fifth consecutive year that Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District Music Department received this elite honor.

This streak was launched just after Dr. Laura Bassett arrived in 2017 and was named as the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District's Supervisor of Arts Education. 

She has since moved in the district and began her position as the Principal at the Eisenhower Intermediate School  on February 1. She has passed the baton to Matthew McCarthy  who is now the Supervisor of Arts Education.

Dr. Bassett explained the high-profile award.

“You must fill out an application and among the questions are the amount of students who participate and the qualifications of your staff as well as the support from the community,” Dr. Bassett said. “Winning speaks volumes about our support from our parent groups and the school board and how we are involved in fundraising events. They (National Association of Music Merchants) look at the whole picture and how well we receive support.”

The success of this program is expected to continue under the leadership of Mr. McCarthy.

“It comes as no surprise to me that we are being recognized for the fifth straight year,” McCarthy said. “Complacency did not earn us this award. Maintaining this caliber of a program is an active process. We will continue to respond to our student’s needs ensuring that we remain a Best Community for Music Education for years to come.”

The school district's Music Department features the high school’s marching band that has won a huge collection of championships—and the trophies that are showcased up and down the entire band practice room is proof, while the choral program boasts an astounding 1,178 students from Grade 5 through high school.

And another fantastic Festival of the Arts was performed in April with the choral, band and orchestra concerts held before large audiences that jammed into the high school's main gym.

According to the National Association of Music Merchants website, the award of Best Communities for Music Education is in its 24th year. The 2023 award recognized 830 school districts and 78 schools across 43 states for the outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders and their support for music education as part of a well-rounded education for all children.

Bridgewater-Raritan was one of 49 school districts/schools from the entire state of New Jersey to receive the 2023 Best Community for Education award.

“Music education, as part of a well-rounded education, has never been more important to unleash students’ creativity and support emotional health and well-being as they build connections through music activities,” said Mary Luehrsen, Executive Director of The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation. “We applaud the administrators, teachers, and communities who support and sustain music education through a period of intense change and are committed to music education so that all children can explore and express themselves through music.”