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Phoenix Conservatory Of Music Vies For National Award

Two Phoenix Conservatory of Music students are in Washington, D.C., to perform and compete for the nation’s top honor awarded by federal arts and cultural agencies.

PCM’s College Preparatory Program is one of 50 finalists in the running to be honored for their work in the field of out-of-school arts education, according to Regina Nixon, executive director.

“This award is given by the national arts and humanities and the national association for state arts agencies and it is to recognize top youth creative development programs in the country," Nixon said. 

Students Lourde Childs and Michael Rodriguez will be performing the Michael Jackson song, “Man in the Mirror.” Rodriguez is still in shock about being chosen to attend the ceremony.

“It means a lot to me. It’s a very big opportunity that I have never gotten before" Rodriguez said. "Most of the time I’ve performed at recitals and when Regina at PCM told me you’re going to Washington, D.C., I was stunned and excited because it’s a very big opportunity.”

Nixon says creative education helps boost students’ vocational skills and makes them more employable.

“That helps to prepare them to build up their resiliency, helps them to collaborate, gives them those 21st-century work skills that really make them successful in whatever they’re wanting to do with their lives afterwards," Nixon said.

The $10,000 award will be given Thursday night.

Tom Maxedon was the host of KJZZ’s Weekend Edition from 2017 to 2024.