Montgomery County's Chevy Chase Elementary School is one of five public schools in the country chosen recently for $10,000 awards in arts education from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York. The awards are based on the quality of teaching and student accomplishments.

Chevy Chase and schools in San Francisco; Denver; Mentor, Ohio, and West Hartford, Conn., were selected from 256 applicants in 44 states.

The awards, presented annually since 1980 to five schools, are given to further existing arts programs.

Nancy Perkins, principal of the 430-student Chevy Chase school, said the money will be invested and drawn on as needed. She said it likely will be used for materials, visits by professional artists and transportation and tickets to concerts, museums and plays in the area.

Her school was chosen because of the diversity of its arts instruction and "the strong commitment on the part of the staff to the arts," Perkins said.

In addition to regular instruction in creative writing, media production, the visual arts and instrumental music, students participate in after-school activities of audio-visual, drama and newspaper clubs.

Chevy Chase band members and film students have received local and national honors and its chorus of 100 fifth and sixth graders has performed at the White House and the Smithsonian Institution and at the Kennedy Center with the Paul Hill Chorale.

The chorus, under the direction of music teacher Joan Gregory, sings the works of Bach, Schubert and Gershwin in several languages including French, German, Latin and Hebrew.

The school is also one of six Montgomery County elementary schools offering advanced instruction in the visual and performing arts for gifted and talented students.