HAMMOND | The NAMM Foundation has recognized Morton High School and the Hammond Academy for the Performing Arts for its outstanding commitment to music education with one of 472 Best Communities for Music Education designation and the prestigious 2014 SupportMusic Merit Award, which went to only 96 schools in nationwide.
The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.
“Music education is a vital part of our school's mission and commitment to student achievement," said Daniel Cummins, director of Instrumental Music at Morton High School. "Research shows that music is to the brain as physical exercise is to the body. We are not only teaching music, but training performers and audiences of the future.
“This award not only puts our program in the spotlight, it reinforces all of the hard work that our students have put forth in the last few years, and is a testament to their dedication,” Cummins added.
HAPA, a magnet school within Morton High School, is an audition-based institution offering majors in vocal music, instrumental music (guitar and piano), dance, theater and technical theater.
With a vision committed to academic and artistic excellence, Cummins said, HAPA has been able to provide hundreds of students "a relevant and rigorous education in the arts."
The HAPA Music Department is home to multiple vocal and instrumental ensembles, including multiple concert choirs, show choir, jazz ensemble, symphonic and concert bands, the Marching Governors, percussion ensemble, piano studio and guitar studio, that regularly perform at school and in the community.
HAPA, open to Hammond and non-Hammond students, is tuition-free for residents of neighboring Indiana cities. For audition applications and requirements, visit www.hammondapa.com or call Cummins at (219) 989-7316, ext. 1866.
Upcoming music events at Morton High School, 6915 Grand Ave., include the Spring Vocal Music Concert, 7 p.m. May 2, and a Jazz Under the Stars Band Fundraiser at 7 p.m. May 20.