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North Hills High School’s Music Program Honored as One of the Nation’s Best by Middle States Association

North Hills High School’s music department has been named a Program of Distinction by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools, one of the nation’s top education accrediting organizations.

The North Hills music department is one of only six music programs in the nation to be honored with this notable accolade. Programs of Distinction are viewed as model programs worthy of emulation by academic programs around the world.

The distinction recognizes schools and school systems that foster within students a deep appreciation for music as an expressive, creative art form and where music education is recognized as an essential component of the social and cultural fiber of society and the school.

“North Hills takes great pride in the academic rigor and opportunities offered to our students,” said North Hills High School Principal Beth Williams. “We have a thriving and rigorous music curriculum with a long tradition of excellence and are pleased our program is recognized as a Middle States Program of Distinction.”

In the high school, students are offered the opportunity to participate in four concert bands, a jazz band, an orchestra, two choirs and an advanced guitar ensemble, which all rehearse daily. Extracurricular ensembles include the marching band, Jazz II, symphonic orchestra, rock orchestra, pit orchestra, high school musical, madrigal choir and the North Hills Singers. Several levels of music theory and technology courses are offered including Advanced Placement (AP) Music Theory. High school music courses are taught by Chris Ballentine, Shaun Cloonan, Heidi Kohne, Len Lavelle and Chris Rodack.

As part of Programs of Distinction process, an outside peer reviewer observed every aspect of the high school’s music program and instruction for multiple days. Students and community members were interviewed about the qualities of the program, and the music program’s depth, breath and achievement were examined. The high school was found to have a deep commitment to music education and a belief that music study is essential and integral to every child’s education.

For more on the North Hills School District music department, click here.

About Middle States Association Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA-CESS):
The Middle States Association is a worldwide leader in accreditation and school improvement. For over 125 years, MSA-CESS has been helping school leaders establish and reach their goals, develop strategic plans, promote staff development and advance student achievement. With more than 2,700 MSA-CESS accredited schools in the United States and nearly 100 countries, the organization is proud of its continuing legacy and its ongoing innovations to meet the challenges of the 21st century and improve educational opportunities for all children.

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North Hills School District
135 Sixth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15229
Phone: 412-318-1000 Fax: 412-318-1084
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