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Special Music School Honored with Blackboard Award for Excellence
in Education


Click here to watch principal Katrherine Banucci-Smith's acceptance speech and see SMS students perform at the awards ceremony on December 2..

Kaufman Music Center’s Special Music School has been selected to receive a 2015 Blackboard Award as part of this year’s celebration of schools of excellence in NYC. The school, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2016, is New York City's only K-12 public school for musically gifted children.

Founded by New York Family's parent company, Manhattan Media in 2002, The Blackboard Awards accomplish two worthy goals: They help New York City parents make informed choices about their children's education, and they honor and celebrate schools, principals and teachers of excellence from all education communities—public, private, parochial and charter—and from all grade levels, from nursery school through high school. The honorees have been nominated by parents and educators, as well as by Manhattan Media’s board of educational advisors. The Awards were originally started with the help of famed memoirist, educator and New Yorker Frank McCourt.

Katherine Banucci-Smith, Special Music School Principal, says, ”We are so honored and proud to receive The Blackboard Award, which I believe recognizes the spirit of passion and dedication that inspires the work of our students and teachers each and every day. From performances to rehearsals to lessons, our whole community is an inspired one. We’ve learned that a community of musicians is a special thing.”

The Award Presentation will take place on Wed, Dec 2, at the NYIT Auditorium (1871 Broadway, NYC). Reception at 5:15 pm followed by the Award Presentation at 6 pm.

About Special Music School
Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center (P.S. 859) is a groundbreaking public school for musically gifted children offering musical training, including private instrumental lessons, during the regular school day. The school combines intensive instrumental study with a rigorous academic program, providing a strong foundation for a lifetime of music without compromising academic studies. Modeled on the renowned special music schools of the former Soviet Union, Special Music School at Kaufman Music Center successfully ensures that music is a primary component of each child's education.

Founded in 1996, Special Music School represents a unique public/private partnership between Kaufman Music Center, a nonprofit multi-arts organization, and the New York City Department of Education, which funds the academic portion of the students’ education. The music program is fully funded by Kaufman Music Center through private contributions. As with all public schools, tuition is free to residents of the residents of the five boroughs of New York City.