Here’s a round-up of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside. Send yours for possible inclusion to

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Roanoke County schools win music education designation for 18th year in a row

The NAMM Foundation has recognized Roanoke County Public Schools for its outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation for the 18th year (2002-2004, 2006, 2008-2019, 2021-2022). 

Now in its 23rd year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Roanoke County Public Schools answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music programs, Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

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Choir! Choir! Choir! will be at Virginia Tech on April 23

Choir! Choir! Choir! brings “Don’t Stop Believin’: Epic Anthem Singalong” to Blacksburg at 7:30 p.m. April 23.

Free and open to the public, the performance will be held in the center’s Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. Registration is required for the event.

The Toronto-based singing group, led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman, takes a nontraditional approach — there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir. The show is equal parts singing, comedy and community-building. Audience members show up, learn an original arrangement to a popular song, and then sing it.

The Moss audience will learn and perform the wildly popular rock anthem “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey. Released in 1981, the song became a top-10 hit worldwide and has become a staple of popular culture. According to Nielsen Music, “Don’t Stop Believin’” is the most downloaded song of the 20th century, and last year it hit 1 billion streams on the popular music streaming service Spotify.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Jamie Wiggert at least 10 days prior to the event at 540-231-5300 or email during regular business hours.

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Registration open for Virginia Western’s 2nd annual Nurses Run for Education Virtual 5K

The Virginia Western Community College nursing program announces the second annual Nurses Run for Education Virtual 5K race to support the program, students and future front-line workers. Participants in the event can run or walk the 5K distance at the location of their choice from May 6-12 during Nurses Week 2022. T-shirt sales and donations for the event will support the Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s Nursing Program Fund. 

To register for the event and to select your race T-shirt for participating, visit:

Participants can run or walk in the comfort of their own environment (or treadmill or bike) and at their own pace. The purpose of the annual event is to support Virginia Western nursing students and the nursing program, while promoting a sense of community and compassion in the community, said Darla Summers, race organizer and a Virginia Western nursing faculty member.

Summers said the Nursing Program Fund also will support purchase of new interactive learning platforms, enhanced testing software and creative classroom models that will help prepare their students for success in the workplace. 

To donate online directly to the Nursing Program Fund, visit and type “Nursing Program Fund” in the “Other” field. 

Virginia Western’s associate of applied science degree in nursing was established in 1972 to prepare students for licensure as a registered nurse. The nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing and is approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing. 

The two-year nursing program has a competitive admissions process that attracts more than 500 applicants annually. Graduates complete more than 500 hours of clinical experiences providing direct patient care in the Roanoke Region. Nearly 90% of nursing graduates continue to live and work in the Roanoke region after completing their studies, according to the school.