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National Recognition for Roberson Music
National Recognition for Roberson Music
Posted on 06/08/2018
The T.C. Roberson Chamber Choir performed at the June 7, 2018, Board of Education Regular Meeting.By: Benjamin Rickert, Communications Department

The music education programs of T.C. Roberson High School earned national recognition this spring through the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation's SupportMusic Merit Award. According to the press release below, the decision was made with consideration regarding "funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs."

The Buncombe County Schools Board of Education and administrators honored Roberson educators and students at the Regular Meeting on June 7, 2018. During the gathering, administrators, principals, and community members enjoyed a special performance from Roberson's talented Chamber Choir, directed by Ms. Aleisa Baker, the school's Choral Director for over 21 years. Mr. Jim Kirkpatrick, in his third year with Roberson and with over 20 years of teaching experience, represented the school's band program.

Official press release from T.C. Roberson High School:

T.C. Roberson High School Receives National Recognition for Music Education Program

Contact: Jim Kirkpatrick, Director of Bands

SupportMusic Award by NAMMASHEVILLE, NC – May 11, 2018 – Asheville’s T.C. Roberson High School has been honored with the SupportMusic Merit Award from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

The SupportMusic Merit Award recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the SupportMusic Merit Award, T.C. Roberson High School answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

“T.C. Roberson’s music program engages hundreds of students in a superior level of arts education. In addition to enriching our school climate through music, these students consistently excel in their core classes,” said T.C. Roberson High School Principal, Bonnie Johnston, “The SupportMusic Merit Award is national recognition of our music program at T.C. Roberson High School.”

This award recognizes that T.C. Roberson is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides policy implementation in the states and replaces the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) which was often criticized for an overemphasis on testing - while leaving behind subjects such as music. ESSA recommends music and the arts as important elements of a well-rounded education for all children.

Jim Kirkpatrick, Director of Bands says, “The T.C. Roberson band, chorus and orchestra programs are a central part of our school community. Hundreds of TCR students choose to dedicate themselves to gaining a deeper understanding of music literacy, performing in a variety of settings and also learning how music is deeply engrained in the human experience. The T.C. Roberson music faculty, students, parents, administrators and alumni community take great pride in being recognized as among the most supported and comprehensive music programs in the country.”

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music. A series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University found a link between students in community music programs and life- long academic success, including higher high school graduation rates and college attendance.

In another study from the University, it was discovered that the benefits of early exposure to music education improves how the brain processes and assimilates sounds, a trait that lasts well into adulthood.

Beyond the Northwestern research, other studies have indicated that music education lays the foundation for individual excellence in group settings, creative problem solving and flexibility in work situations, as well as learning how to give and receive constructive criticism to excel.

A 2015 study supported by The NAMM Foundation, “Striking A Chord,” also outlines the overwhelming desire by teachers and parents for music education opportunities for all children as part of the school curriculum.

T.C. Roberson High school is one of six Buncombe County High Schools. The school opened its doors to students in 1962. Approximately sixteen hundred students attend T.C.R. from Asheville, Fletcher, Skyland, and Arden. The district is located in an industrial residential area with a diverse population representing a range of social economic backgrounds and varied cultural interests.

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 10,300 members around the world. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs. For more information about the NAMM Foundation, please visit
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