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GCPS named tops for music

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett's school system was named one of the "Best Communities for Music Education" by the NAMM Foundation.

"I think it's a positive for not only the teachers, administrators and parents but for the community in general," said Robert Andrews, who is the system's fine arts director. "We have so many highly qualified teachers on all levels. ... We have a very strong music technology. That shows we are on the cutting edge."

This year, 300 students participated in middle and high school All-State band, orchestra and chorus, he added, thanking the school board for support of music education despite tremendous budget cuts due to the economy.

"Past designees have benefited by receiving this mark of excellence, but this year's economic environment is challenging for many communities," says Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. "Even having earned this designation, schools are working hard to keep programs strong in the midst of some of the deepest education cuts seen in decades. We hope this award presented at this critical time will compel communities to reconsider cuts that we know are in play in many districts across the U.S. "