Recognize your students with the National Award
for Outstanding Musical Achievement
What is the Arion Award?
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 or her scholastic standing and musical organization.
- Demonstration of exceptional personal and professional performing ability and musicianship.
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.
Please note: Awards must be reordered each year, as automatic annual shipments are unavailable.
Option A - Gift Set
Option B - Medal
and Pin Set
Option C - Paperweight
and Pin Set
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.