Bryan and College Station music ensembles hosted live performances together throughout the past year, Corbett said, saying the biggest thing for him was to give students the chance to perform.

“To me, as a former professional musician, nothing takes the place of a live audience,” he said.

Even though the majority of the students will not go on to become professional musicians, actors or artists, he said, the skills they learn through the fine arts programs apply to all careers.

“It’s so important for a student to walk into a band class and have to sit and make music with 30 to 60 other people, and everybody has to work together and make music,” he said. “That’s a level of teamwork that doesn’t occur anywhere else. And they’re also doing something that’s incredibly difficult, which is playing a musical instrument, and doing it in sync. … All those things are important life lessons and life skills that they can take throughout their life.”

Throughout the past year, Corbett said, he thinks the students have gotten more joy out of their music classes than ever before.

The distinction as one of the best communities for music education comes after an “extensive” application, Corbett said.

Eaks said College Station sent in the in-depth application in January.