HCISD’s Music Education Program Receives National Recognition


Harlingen CISD has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, HCISD 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.

“At HCISD, we recognize the importance of music education as part of our programming in the three A’s — academics, fine arts, and athletics. Music can greatly enhance learning and creative processes, challenging learners at all levels,” said Dr. Art Cavazos, HCISD superintendent. “We have an outstanding music program at HCISD, and to receive national recognition brings us great pride. This is a testament to the commitment and dedication of our music teachers, the hard work of our students, the commitment of our parents, and the support from our administration.”

This award recognizes that HCISD is leading the way with learning opportunities as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The legislation guides 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.

“To receive the Best Communities for Music Education designation is an incredible honor for our school district,” said Ronnie Rios, director of music programs. “We have been blessed to be able to work with some of the absolute best students any teacher could ever ask for in our community.”


HCISD’s music program has grown and seen much success over the years, continuously increasing opportunities available to students. Points of pride include:


  • The district hosts all Region 28 band, orchestra, and choir UIL events at the HCISD Performing Arts Center.
  • The annual UIL Pigskin Jubilee has been hosted at Boggus Stadium during the last couple of years.
  • The district hosts an All-City Band Night at Boggus Stadium for the entire community to enjoy.
  • HCISD has its very own All-City Fifth Grade Choir, All-City Middle School Band, All-City Middle School Orchestra, and All-City High School Full Orchestra.
  • HCISD hosts its very own Mariachi and Jazz Festival annually.
  • Nearly all of HCISD’s bands, choirs, and orchestras earned a “Sweepstakes” Award at the annual UIL competition.
  • Students at HCISD consistently earn chairs in the All-Region, All-Area, and All-State organizations.
  • Harlingen High School Band has advanced during the State Marching Band Contest at every opportunity since 1998.
  • HCISD is home to the 2005 and 2009 TMEA CC Honor Band Champion of Texas-Coakley Middle School.
  • HCISD is home to the 2016-17 TMEA High School Jazz Champion of Texas — Harlingen High School.


Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational, cognitive, and social skill benefits for children who make music. In a series of landmark studies by scientists and researchers at Northwestern University a link was found 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 improve 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 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.

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 www.nammfoundation.org.