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Award excellence with the National Award for Outstanding Achievement

Arion Award

The Oldest and Most Prestigious National Award for Outstanding Achievement by High School Musicians.

The Arion Award was established in 1948 to give national recognition to junior and senior class members chosen by their schools for outstanding achievement in band, orchestra or chorus.

Students who receive Arion Awards attain both academic and community standing. Because of its prestige, the Arion Award has been a major factor in obtaining scholarship offers.


Selection for this honor should be based on:

  • The individual's contribution to his scholastic standing or her musical organization
  • Demonstration of personal and professional performing ability and musicianship qualities in keeping with the school's standards


The Arion Award for outstanding musical achievement may be provided in the following ways:

  • The school may choose to sponsor this award or it may be sponsored by a business, professional or fraternal organization in the community, and presented by its chief executive.
  • An endowment for this purpose may be established by an individual in the community, the parents of past or present music organization members or by an alumnus of the high school.


Awards must be reordered each year, as automatic annual shipments are unavailable. To receive an e-mail reminder, sign up for our Educator E-Newsletter at

Muse of Music

The custom of bestowing valuable gifts on outstanding musicians goes back more than 2,000 years to the time of Arion. Mythology tells us that this semi-legendary poet and musician lived about 625 B.C. He is said to have given literary form to the ancient dithyramb, a song or poem of a wild and exalted nature.

The most popular musician of his time, Arion was showered with precious gifts wherever he traveled. After a particularly successful tour of Sicily and Magna Graecia, Arion was returning home on a Corinthian vessel when the sight of his treasures aroused the greed of the ship's crew. They decided to put him to death in order to possess his riches. As a last favor, Arion begged permission to sing a parting song. The request from so famous a musician was granted. Standing on the deck in full minstrel attire, he sang a dirge while playing a haunting melody on his lyre. Arion then threw himself into the sea, but instead of drowning he was miraculously carried to safety by a dolphin charmed by his music.

Arriving at Corinth before the ship, Arion told his story to his friend, Periander, ruler of that city. Determined to learn the truth, Periander summoned the sailors before him and demanded to know what had become of Arion. He was told that Arion had remained behind at Tarentum. Suddenly they were confronted by Arion himself. The sailors confessed their guilt and were punished.

Early Greek historians refer to a bronze figure at Tarentum said to represent Arion standing on the back of a friendly dolphin. Today Arion's lyre and the dolphin are still visible in the constellations Lyra and Delphinus.

A - Gift Set
Now students can receive the original medal and pin as well as the new paperweight in this special gift set. Registration card included.
472850 901
Our Price $56.95

B - Medal and Pin Set
The National Arion Award Medal, a work of art with exquisite detail and proportion is 1 1/2" in diameter, bronze-cast with a red, white and blue ribbon. This award is sent in a handsome case and includes a matching 5/8" lapel pin with safety clasp. Registration card included.
472850 907
Our Price $29.95

C - Paperweight and Pin Set
The Arion Award Paperweight proudly displays the original medal on a 2" square polished black onyx base with a bronze finished, aluminum name plate for engraving. a matching 5/8" lapel pin with safety clasp in a separate case is also provided. Consider this award for lasting merit and life-time usefulness. Registration card included.
472850 906
Our Price $39.95

D - Plaque
The Arion Award Plaque, 9 3/4" by 12", shows the original medal on a brass plate with antique gold surface, mounted on a walnut back. Space is provided for the name of the individual donor or group sponsor. Student names can be added each year for a permanent school record of award winners.
472850 909
Our Price $124.95

To order or for More Information Contact Us:

Woodwind and Brasswind
Phone: 800-346-4448

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