Yet another national music award for Missoula County Public Schools.

They have been honored for the third year in a row with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation.

MCPS Communications Director Hatton Littman said the award is a tribute to both the students and their music teachers.

“We see that as such a testament to the work both of our students and or music education faculty in the schools, as well as our District Fine Arts departments staff, and the teaching artists across the community that are part of our Spark Art Ignites learning program,” said Littman. “You receive this honor as a result of documenting what programs are available, the hours and minutes that students are able to receive music education, as well as the quality of the music educators that are providing that service.”

The award is presented by the nonprofit group called the National Association of Music Merchants.

Hatton said the award comes at an opportune moment in the school year.

“We’re actually in the middle of the State Double A Band, Choir and Orchestra Festival right now, so there are students who are performing right now as part of those events,” she said. “There’s no big ceremony or plaque, so we like to give them a pat on the back all of those students and staff who have been recognized, and we encourage the whole community to honor them, as well.”

Missoula County Public Schools offers music education programming to all students K-12. In elementary schools, general music is offered kindergarten through 5th grade with beginning band and orchestra starting in grade 5. Band, orchestra and choir are offered to 6th through 8th grade students along with classes in music exploration.