The NAMM Foundation Honors Senator Bob Casey with the SupportMusic Champion Award

May 23, 2017

On Monday evening, The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) honored Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) with the organization’s SupportMusic Champion Award. The award was presented in recognition of the Senator’s long history in music education advocacy and comes on the heels of the historic passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015 (ESSA). This new federal law amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), to include music and arts as part of a “well-rounded” education, a term and concept championed by the Senator. He was instrumental in writing ESSA, and in moving the bipartisan bill through the Senate and eventually, to President Obama for his signature. His commitment is further demonstrated in the Senator’s home state, as 78 school districts were recognized earlier this year as Best Communities for Music Education by The NAMM Foundation.

The SupportMusic award was presented at a reception held in concert with NAMM’s annual advocacy fly-in in support of music education and received by the Senator's Education Legislative Assistant, Jared Solomon. The NAMM advocacy group includes professional musicians, representatives from the Country Music Association (CMA), VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and nearly 100 leaders in musical instrument and products industry. The award honors individuals who have made significant contributions to education and access to music and arts programs for all students, particularly those in low-income school districts. Past recipients include Senator Lamar Alexander, Senator Jay Rockefeller, Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Tom Harkin, Congressman John Lewis, Randall Reid-Smith, the Commissioner of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, and former New York Yankee, Turnaround Arts artist

and music education champion, Bernie Williams, who was also in attendance at the event. The SupportMusic Coalition is presented by The NAMM Foundation, which counts over 40,000 members from the music education sector.

The Every Student Succeeds Act was the latest reiteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act –or No Child Left Behind – and the first federal education law to provide a framework to increase access to music and arts education for every student. Specifically, the law provides that music and arts education be included as part of a well-rounded education, an unprecedented step and shift in federal education policy. States and school districts will now have increased access to funds and resources to develop, strengthen and maintain music education in public schools. The law currently awaits implementation at the state-level in 2018.

To view images from the event, please visit:

To view the complete list of school districts honored as Best Communities for Music Education, please visit:

About NAMM

The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.