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Florence 1 earns national recognition for arts education

Florence 1 earns national recognition for arts education

For the ninth year, Florence 1 Schools has earned the Best Communities for Music Education award from the NAMM Foundation. For more than two decades, the Best Communities for Music Education designation has been awarded to districts across the nation that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

Florence 1 is one of just seven school districts in South Carolina to receive this designation in 2024. 

In the award announcement to Florence 1, NAMM wrote, “Your collective efforts-teachers, administrators, parents, students, and community leaders-have been instrumental in making music part of a well-rounded education for every child. We applaud your community's unwavering commitment to creating an environment where each child can learn and grow with music.”

The recognition from NAMM comes on the heels of another year of arts excellence in Florence 1, with a record number of students being selected for All-State and Region Honor ensembles. All three high school marching bands took home numerous first-place trophies in competitions while the Marching Knights were named Lower State Champions for the first time in school and district history. 

Bands, orchestras, and choirs from across the district earned numerous Excellent and Superior ratings from the state's Solo & Ensemble Festival and Concert Performance Assessment (CPA). The bands at West Florence High School and Moore Middle School both earn the highest rating possible: Superior with Distinction. Notably, the orchestra at Williams Middle School also earned a Superior with Distinction at CPA and the Sneed Middle Choir took home its first ensemble Superior in program history. 

"Receiving this award from NAMM is a great honor but not too surprising,” said Erick Figueras, Florence 1’s Director of Arts and Innovative Programs. “Our music teachers are doing impressive work with students all across our district. It is a privilege to work every day with such talented teachers and students." 

This school year, the South Carolina Music Educators Association also recognized the innovation and investment in the arts taking place in Florence 1 and the vision of district superintendent Dr. Richard O’Malley by naming him their Honor Administrator of the Year. 

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