FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
Jan. 20, 2016 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A national accrediting organization for music schools voted to renew Grand Rapids Community College's membership for 10 years – the maximum time period possible.
GRCC has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music since 1977 and is the only community college in Michigan to receive this distinction.
Provost Laurie Chesley said accreditations recognize the high quality of an academic program: "This accreditation from NASM demonstrates that GRCC's music program is exceptional, as well as affordable."
GRCC offers an Associate of Music Degree with an emphasis in music education, music performance and recording technology. For those GRCC music students who plan to transfer, the NASM accreditation is especially important, said professor Kevin Dobreff, music department chair.
"NASM Accreditation informs our students and the community that GRCC students are held to the same high academic and performance standards that students meet at other colleges and universities," he said. "This makes for an easy and seamless transfer to our four-year partners."
Graduates of GRCC's music program have made their mark in music education, composing and performance, among other things.
"So many people asked me, 'Where did you go for your undergrad?'" said renowned soprano Antonina Chehovska, a 2011 graduate who made her New York City recital debut at Opera America’s National Opera Center this past fall. "They are always surprised to hear 'GRCC,' but I'm a living product. I am a professional musician, and my career is taking off not by days, but by hours. I'm indebted to my teachers at GRCC because they saw my future long before I did."
A new chapter for GRCC's music department has started with renovations to the Music Center at Ransom Avenue and Lyon Street. The work will add instrument and music storage, private teaching studios, and new acoustic and sound-reduction measures for teaching and practice areas. The building will be renamed for Albert P. Smith, under whose leadership Grand Rapids Junior College was first granted NASM membership.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.