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December's Message from LPIE President Amy Parlett

Holiday Greetings! One of the wonderful things about the month of December is the music in our schools. Whether it is elementary kids performing, one of the Stanley bands playing, or the orchestral or choral students performing at Acalanes, I hope you have had the chance to listen to one of these amazing concerts. We are fortunate to have such a robust music program in Lafayette, and that is in large part to LPIE.

When LPIE was founded (formally LASF: Lafayette Arts and Science Foundation), one of the key components was music support. In 1980, at the time of the foundation’s inception, California schools saw music programs as one of the many things cut out of budgets following the passage of Prop 13. The founders of LASF felt very strongly that music should be included in schools’ curricula, and ever since that it has continued to be a key area of support for the foundation.

Did you know:

  • LPIE has committed for music across all six schools .

  • Elementary students receive the benefit of $198,900 which supports one General Music teacher at each school, two Instrumental instructors that are shared across schools (Liz Brummel and Sonya Lewis), and 6 Music Aides per site.

  • All students TK-5 receive General Music once a week for 30 minutes.

  • All 4th and 5th grade students receive either Instrumental or Choral instruction twice a week, 30 minutes each.

  • At Stanley LPIE is offering $116,900 this year for music which not only pays for the Instrumental, Strings, and Choral classes themselves, but also 10 Music Mentors, a choral accompanist, a music assistant and guest artists. These programs are under the direction of Bob Athayde (instrumental, choral) and Loretta McNulty (strings).

  • Acalanes total music support from LPIE is $50,000 and divided into two parts:

  • Choral Music which includes an accompanist, Master Voice Teacher, and Vocal Teachers is under the direction of Bruce Lengacher and taught through Chorale, Women’s Ensemble, Concert Choir, and Chamber Singers/Bella Voce.

  • Instrumental Music which includes Music Mentors, Master Classes, and instruments is under the direction of Norm Dea.Classes are offered through Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble.

But what these numbers may not convey is the quality of the programs…they are amazing! Because the foundations of music start early, students are granted great opportunities and experiences by the time they get to middle school and high school. Many people are often blown away when they first hear students perform at Stanley and Acalanes. The students are really, really tremendous and I am proud that LPIE has such an impact in this area of the curriculum.

May the music of the season bring a sparkle to your smile and warm your heart! Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Amy Parlett, President

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