Union County Choral Program Reboot

Union County Choral Program Reboot

41 have signed. Let’s get to 50!
Petition to
Union County School Board

Why this petition matters

Started by Joel Norman

According to an article published by the Pew Research Center, "U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries." The report also cites a long running testing effort by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) displaying the average scores in science, mathematics, and reading of 15-year-olds in the United States with an international comparison. The results are less than flattering. 

In 2019, the University of British Columbia published a study in the Journal of Educational Psychology that concluded, "high school students who take music courses score significantly better on math, science and English exams than their non-musical peers." Additionally, a guide published by ChorusAmerica.org states there is a significant increase in academic improvement along with social skills and emotional intelligence.

There are plenty of readily available published studies regarding the academic benefits and effects of music to the student within the realm of education. The Union County School System has been fortunate to always have a large musical presence within its educational DNA. The band program has been a staple for a very, very long time. A choral program has not.

This leaves a large number of students who are uninterested in learning a musical instrument with little to no exposure to music education, a sense of community, the academic benefits that can be generated, or an outlet for their creative expression.

From the '80s into the mid-90s, Lake Butler Elementary School had a robust choral program, led by Debbie Bailey. The mid-90s saw Bailey's implementation of multi-faceted comprehensive choral programs at Lake Butler Middle School and Union County High. This high impact choral programming garnered successful results in regards to the morale and academic success of a large number of the student body.

Union County was once among those represented with world renown directors, conductors, and educators. Through the mid-late '90s, Union County was well represented in the highly competitive Florida Vocal Association's All-State programs and events, as well as, the annual involvement in the prestigious Walt Disney World's "Candlelight Processional," which includes a 200-250 voice choir comprised of choirs from all over the country.

Then, it was gone.

In the words of many graduates from the Union County School System, who have grown to see successful careers within the world of music and otherwise, "I would not be where I am, if not for the choral program."

We are asking you to join us in supporting a long overdue revival of a piece of Union County's history (arguably, once a piece of our community's heart) and a powerful tool for the advancement of your children's lives and futures. Help us reestablish a thriving choral program within the Union County Schools system.

Let's hear Union County sing, again!

Will you sign?

41 have signed. Let’s get to 50!