Musical achievements often, indeed, come for Dublin City School students in high school at contests and competitions.

Musical achievements often, indeed, come for Dublin City School students in high school at contests and competitions.

But the learning starts in middle school.

Grizzell Middle School has established a new award for two eighth-graders to recognize the learning in middle school and a teacher that has a large part in it.

The eighth-grade Outstanding Musicianship Award was established in honor of Grizzell music teacher Becky Abramczyk and presented to Lexi Gellegani and Maria Moghissi in its inaugural year.

"We're a group of parents who believe music is really important in Dublin schools and everywhere really," said Liz Soppe, a member of the group that established the award.

"There was never a music award at the eighth-grade award assembly in the past," Soppe said.

"We wanted to recognize music and we see in the high school how fabulous Dublin music departments are.

"Jerome (High School) last year won four grand championships in marching band competitions and got 'superior' at state," she said.

"The orchestra got superior. The success at high school, we know that really starts at middle school."

Abramczyk has taught at Grizzell Middle School for 19 years and Soppe said she can help students on every instrument.

"She really inspires them," Soppe said. "She's made a huge difference and taught more than 5,000 kids."

Students often come back from high school and college to visit Abramczyk and tell her how they're using music in their lives, Soppe said.

The love for music she instills in students made her the name behind the new award.

"You see these wonderful things in high school and realize they were born in middle school," Soppe said.

"You realize this particular teacher at Grizzell has been a huge part of that."

Abramczyk was surprised with the honor during the eighth-grade award ceremony before school ended last week.

Two students were also given the award last week and chosen for their commitment, growing mastery and leadership in music.

"The big part were looking for is kids who help other kids," Soppe said. "They may not be the most talented kids, but they help others and show leadership."

Gellegani, according to information from the school, has played violin for nine years and learned the cello when the school orchestra needed another one. She also steps up and conducts the Grizzell orchestra when the director isn't available.

Moghissi has played the cello for eight years and the trombone for three. In addition to participating in honor band, jazz band and OMEA competition, Mohissi also gives younger children cello and trombone lessons.

"The girls are amazing," Soppe said. "They both already give lessons.