Peoria High School’s band program recently received the William E. Richardson Program of Distinction Award from the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA).

The William E. Richardson Program of Distinction Award recognizes high school band and orchestra programs in Arizona that have a high level of achievement in all areas during the previous school year.

To qualify for this award, a band program must meet the following criteria:
• Receive a superior rating by at least one ensemble from the school in each area for Area Concert Festival, Area Jazz Festival, State Concert Festival, and State Jazz Festival.
• The program must qualify for participation at the Arizona State Marching Band Semifinals.
• The program must have participation in the Arizona Music Educators Association Solo & Ensemble Competition.
• The program must have participation in the Arizona State All-Band and/or All-State Jazz Band.

This is the first time any band program in Peoria Unified has earned the ABODA Program of Distinction Award. Additionally, Peoria High School’s band was one of only eight music programs in the state of Arizona to earn this prestigious award and one of only four which were in band.

The Peoria High School Band program is under the direction of Jeffrey Malone, who has been at Peoria High School for five years. There are approximately 125 students who participate in Jazz, Marching and Concert Band at Peoria High School.

Malone will be formally presented with the Program of Distinction Award during his winter concert at 7 p.m. on Thurs., Dec. 15 in the Peoria High School Performing Arts Center, 10580 N. 83rd Dr.