ALBERTVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Albertville City Schools is one of only four school districts in the state to be named a “2022 Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). It is the only district in North Alabama to take home the honor.
The other districts on the list for Alabama are Alabaster City Schools, Homewood City Schools, and Vestavia Hills City Schools.
News 19 spoke to Albertville City Schools Superintendent, Boyd English, to learn more about the district’s music curriculum.
“We’re extremely proud of all our programs, our music education programs,” English stated.
“One of the things we strive to do in Albertville City Schools is to expose our students early to music education and the arts,” English continued.
The district starts with music education in Pre-K and has classes through 12th grade.
The district is also expanding it’s music facilities.
“We’re about to break ground on one of the largest band halls in the state of Alabama,” Boyd said.
The $5 million dollar project is set to get started this summer.
The Aggie Band has nearly 400 members across grades 9-12.
News 19 also spoke with Albertville High School’s Director of Bands, Taylor Cash. Cash said the band classes keep himself and his colleagues busy.
“The four of us all jump back and fourth between the schools and team teach our way through nearly 600 kids,” Cash explained.
Cash said the band gives an opportunity to any student.
“Not everybody gets to be the starting quarterback, not everybody gets to be the starting pitcher, but in the band program, and with music in general, everybody gets to be a part of it,” he continued.
“It doesn’t matter, in Albertville, if you are the very best, or if you are doing the best you can we have a place for you and we teach them at their level,” Cash said. “I think it gives every single kid a place to be, no matter their talent level, and to me that’s the beautiful part about it is nobody gets sent home.”
Cash said he and the other teachers work one-on-one with each student to determine what instrument is the best fit for them.
“Do you have big hands or small hands, can you carry a tuba, do you need to play the flute?” asked Cash. Those are all factors they look at when trying to find a fit for each student.
Cash said being recognized by NAMM is “really special, and it shows that no matter where you are or on what scale you’re doing it, as long as you invest into the right things and you are student driven, that you’ll always receive the recognition you deserve.”
Superintendent Boyd echoed that sentiment, saying, “we’re honored. The proof is all around us and it starts with our students who sacrifice so much time and effort to represent us each and every day.”
“All of our directors and teachers sacrifice so much of their time and their efforts to make sure that our program rivals every one in the state of Alabama,” Boyd concluded.