Chelmsford named Best Community for Music Education for 12th consecutive year

Chelmsford Public Schools one of 23 Massachusetts districts to receive NAMM Foundation designation

CHELMSFORD, Massachusetts (April 4, 2024) – Chelmsford Public Schools has once again been named one of the Best Communities for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation for the district’s outstanding commitment to music education.

This is Chelmsford’s 12th consecutive year receiving NAMM’s Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation.

“CPS music teachers and students deserve this recognition for their creativity, dedication and effort,” said Dr. Christy Whittlesey, Fine and Performing Arts Coordinator for Chelmsford Public Schools. “We should all take pride in contributing to a community that values music-making in schools and beyond.”

Now in its 25th year, NAMM’s Best Communities for Music Education award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.

Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

The announcement of this year’s BCME designation brings attention to the importance of keeping music education part of school’s core education and music’s vital role in student success in school.

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music.

The BCME survey requires districts to answer detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs.

Responses were reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

The NAMM honor is the latest of many honors and accomplishments earned by Chelmsford student-musicians and performers this academic year:

  • Most recently, Chelmsford High’s two a capella groups, The Crescendos and The Thursdays, placed first and third, respectively, at the Varsity Vocals ICHSA Northeast Region Semifinal, following a second-third finish at the Northeast Region quarterfinal. The Crescendos will be advancing to the ICHSA Final in New York later this month.
  • Twenty-one students from Center Elementary, Harrington Elementary and Parker Middle Schools participated in the MMEA-Northeast District Treble Choir Festival, which will be held Saturday, April 6.
  • Eleven students from Center, Harrington and Parker represented Chelmsford in the MMEA All State Treble Choir Festival in March.
  • Three Chelmsford High School students were selected for this year’s MMEA All State Festival, which was held last month.
  • In January, 36 students from Chelmsford High School and McCarthy Middle School were selected to participate in the MMEA Northeast Junior District Festival.
  • In November, 12 Chelmsford High School student-musicians — representing band, orchestra and chorus — qualified for the MMEA Northeast Senior District Music Ensemble.

Chelmsford was one of 23 Massachusetts school systems to earn the honor, which also included Merrimack Valley neighbors Acton-Boxborough, Andover, Billerica, Dracut, North Andover, and Westford. Other Bay State school districts earning NAMM honors included Bellingham, Easton, Everett, Foxborough, Lexington, Nashoba Regional, Natick, Norwood, Old Rochester Regional, Pembroke, Pentucket Regional, Shrewsbury, Wakefield, Wayland and Weston.

View the full list of schools here

For more information about the Chelmsford music programs, contact Fine and Performing Arts Department Coordinator Dr. Christy Whittlesey at

About Chelmsford Public Schools

The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit