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School honored for music program

The Alexandria School District has been recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation for its commitment to music education.

Alexandria was one of 623 districts nationally, and only 10 in Minnesota, to receive the Best Communities for Music Education designation.

"Our district has a rich tradition of extraordinary music excellence," Superintendent Julie Critz said. "This recognition celebrates the commitment of our dedicated, inspiring music educators in every school, and affirms the school board's commitment to music opportunities at every grade level."

The music department's teaching staff includes: Steve Deitz, high school vocal; Casey Skalbeck, high school band; Brad Lambrecht, high school orchestra; Derek Ziemer, high school and middle school band; Greg DeGier, middle school band; Madeline Long, elementary and middle school orchestra; Lisa Blevins, middle school vocal; Lynn Johnson, Woodland Elementary music; Kayla Noble, Lincoln Elementary music; Rhonda Blaser, Voyager Elementary music; and Ray Noble, Garfield/Miltona/Carlos Elementary music.

According to the foundation, evaluations of school districts were done in cooperation with researchers at The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas, who looked at funding, staffing of highly qualified teachers, commitment to standards and access to music instruction.

The other nine districts in Minnesota to be recognized were: Albert Lea; Anoka-Hennepin; Osseo; Elk River; Minnetonka, Mounds View, Orono; Eastern Carver County; and Duluth Edison Charter Schools.

Spring concerts

The Alexandria district will be celebrating its recognition at the following concerts this spring:

Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m. — Woodland Elementary Special Areas Showcase

Monday, April 8, 7:30 p.m. — Spring Jazz Concert, high school performing arts center

Tuesday, April 16, 6 p.m. — Lincoln Elementary School 5th grade Special Area Showcase

Tuesday, April 16, 6 and 6:30 p.m. — Voyager Elementary School Kindergarten Music & Physical Education Event

Monday, May 6, 7:30 p.m. — Grades 7-12 Orchestra Concert, high school performing arts center

Monday, May 13, 7 p.m. — Grades 7/8 Choirs Concert, middle school gym

Wednesday, May 15, 7:30 p.m. — Pops Concert, high school performing arts center

Monday, May 20, 7 p.m. — Grades 7/8 Bands Concert, middle school gym

Tuesday, May 21, 7 p.m. — Grades 5/6 Orchestras Concert, middle school gym

Wednesday, May 22, 7:30 p.m. — Spring Choir Concert, high school performing arts center

Thursday, May 23, 7 p.m. — Grade 6 Band Concert, middle school gym