girl playing violin

Rio Rancho District Receives Top Music Award

Posted on 08/07/2019

In any Rio Rancho school on any given day, the sound of music wafts down the halls: students playing musical instruments and singing their hearts out. Rio Rancho Public Schools has long been committed to providing excellent fine arts programs at all grade levels, with the evidence on display in school hallways and trophy cases throughout the district.

This summer, the state’s music educators recognized the excellence of Rio Rancho’s music education programs by honoring Rio Rancho Public Schools with one of its most prestigious awards.  For the second time, the district has been awarded the New Mexico Music Educators’ Award of Distinction, the highest honor the Association affords school districts. RRPS is only the second district in the state to receive this award more than once.

The Award of Distinction recognizes districts who have demonstrated support for and commitment to high-quality music education programs district wide. To be considered for this award, districts must have exemplary music programs at all grade levels, must offer a variety of music programs such as band, orchestra, choir, guitar and other instrumental programs, and must demonstrate a financial commitment to maintaining quality music programs.

All students in RRPS elementary schools attend music classes at least weekly and many regularly perform at school concerts and community events. Elementary students who want to learn a musical instrument can take part in the district’s Elementary Orchestra program. All four middle schools offer band, orchestra, and chorus electives; the Lincoln Middle School chorus recently repeated as state champions.

Students at Rio Rancho High and Cleveland High enjoy outstanding band, orchestra, chorus, dance, and drama course offerings, with opportunities to compete at the regional and state level. Both schools’ high school marching bands regularly reach the top tier in state competitions, and both schools have outstanding choral programs (RRHS has won state twice in the last five years, and Cleveland was fourth in 2019). RRHS’ musical theater program is one of the finest in the state, winning “Best Production” in the state’s premiere music theatre competition in three of the last five years.