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Fine and Performing Arts

Fine and Performing Arts | 2025 E. Winsett, Tucson, AZ 85719 | (520) 225-4900 |

It's official - TUSD Fine Arts/OMA Received a 2016 Best Communities for Music Education Designation

TUSD's Music Education Program Receives National Recognition
Tucson Unified School District named a Best Community for Music for the 3rd time

Tucson, Arizona. (March 31, 2016) – The Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Acknowledged for the third consecutive year, TUSD is the only school district in Arizona to receive this recognition.

The Best Communities Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Dr. Joan Ashcraft, TUSD Director of Fine Arts/OMA, credits this achievement to the remarkably dedicated and uniquely talented music staff that serves the District’s 49,000 students. "Our 16 year research study, conducted initially by WestEd, Inc., has provided robust evidence to fully support the importance of music in the education of children: academically, artistically, and socially. We are grateful for TUSD Leadership’s unwavering support of our mission and goals."

Community music programs have been drawing increased attention because of a landmark study by Northwestern University brain scientists. These researchers found new links between students in school music programs and academic achievement.



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  • Tucson Unified 5th and 6th Grade Honor Orchestra

    Tucson Unified School District Fine and Performing Arts

    This year's TUSD 5th and 6th Grade Honor Orchestra event was held at Tucson High School on Friday April 28, 2017. Over 70 select students from 12 teachers and 17 schools gathered to perform selections that included "Star Wars" (John Williams, arr. Brown), "Happy Go Lucky Jumping Bean" (Frank M. Rodgers), "Power Rock" (arr. Brian May), "Celebration!" (Art Sheinberg), and "Classic Sinfonia" (Elliot A. Del Borgo). Guest conductor Wesley Hunter provided excellent motivation and showcased the group's skill. This performance gave many of the students their first experience with a large orchestra performing in an auditorium. It was a resounding success with many of these young musicians planning to continue performing; in middle and high school. The following teachers and schools participated:

    5th and 6th Grade  OrchestraLisa Brown and Emily Evans: Elementary Honor Orchestra Coordinators
    Cory Allen: Utterback
    Danielle Applegate: Secrist
    Lisa Brown: McCorkle, Tully, Grijalva, Miller (event co-chair)
    Teresa Christy: Manzo
    Emily Evans: Ford, Fruchthendler, Henry, Sewell (event co-chair)
    Sara Gascho: Sam Hughes
    Kimberly Grosvenor: Kellond, Booth-Fickett, Lineweaver
    Rebecca McKee: Miles
    Amelia Parris: Doolen
    Jenna Reagan: Drachman

    Rachel Schlesinger: Borman
    Alex Shawn: Vail



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