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District 158 wins ‘Best Communities for Music Education’ award for fifth straight year

LANSING, Ill. (April 29, 2024) – For the fifth consecutive year, Lansing School District 158 has won the Best Communities for Music Education award (BCME), presented by the National Association of Music Merchants, for its outstanding commitment to music education. The district was among the 975 districts honored this year.

District 158 Superintendent Dr. Nathan Schilling says the award recognizes school districts with excellent music funding, student participation, instruction, facilities, and community support for the performing arts.

“We are ecstatic to continue showing that District 158 and the Lansing community are among the best in the nation for music education and are very appreciative to our outstanding music teachers,” said Dr. Schilling.

BCME 25th anniversary

The National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) is a nonprofit, founded in 2006, that assists in advancing active participation in music-making by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs.

According to the NAMM website, the BCME award “recognizes and celebrates school districts and individual schools for their support and commitment to music education and their efforts to ensure access to music for all students as part of a well-rounded education.” 

This year, NAMM celebrated the 25th Anniversary of its Best Communities for Music Education program. 

Celebrating five years of musical excellence

“This is such an awesome thing not only for our district but for our community, said Mathew Becker, music instructor and Director of Bands for District 158. 

In a press release, Becker says the district provides a comprehensive, articulated, interdisciplinary music curriculum across five state-of-the-art facilities for 2,700 diverse students in grades Pre-K through 8. 

He credits the music teachers and faculty in the district for building that foundation.

“It is an honor as a result of so much hard work from so many people, it is a community effort to bring the best of music education to our kids,” he said.

Becker said music can be vital in dealing with everyday situations, especially for young minds. 

“We face a lot of adversaries when we approach the struggles and challenges of everyday life one of the things we can always count on is the power of music and how much it can impact everybody here in our community and our students specifically and their developmental years,” he said.

“I think it is fantastic to be recognized for the fifth straight year and that we are able to give kids the best of the best in musical education,” he continued. 

Lansing School District 158 schools include Memorial Jr. High, Oak Glen Elementary, Calvin Coolidge Elementary, W.C. Reavis Elementary, and Lester Crawl Primary Center.


Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan
Kinise Jordan brings local experience and a long list of journalism skills to her work with The Lansing Journal. She understands the need for reliable, factual information in equipping people to build community. An Audio News internship with WBEZ honed her interviewing skills and her sense of timing and deadlines. A native of Calumet City, Kinise is familiar with the interplay of local government, local schools, and local businesses.