Welcome back to school! I hope you enjoyed your long weekend.
One of my favorite things during the winter season is all the student music performances and in this issue of the Slice, we highlight the robust music programs at Lafayette’s six public schools. Your donations to LPIE make this music instruction possible — thank you very much for your contributions and know that if you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, it’s not too late … we still have a ways to go to meet our fundraising goal this year to maintain music and so many other essential programs in our schools.
When LPIE was founded, one of the key components of our mission was supporting music. In 1980, when the foundation was formed, California schools saw music programs as one of the many things cut following the passage of Prop 13. LPIE’s founders felt very strongly that music instruction at every grade level is critical to an excellent education, and it has continued to be in important focus area for the foundation.
Some facts about LPIE and music:
LPIE has committed funding for music instruction across all of Lafayette’s six public schools.
Elementary students receive the benefit of $309,684, which supports four music instructors that are shared across schools (Liz Brummel, Olga Corcoran, Angela Schmidt, and John Speers), and 6 Music Aides.
All students TK-3 receive weekly General Music classes. 4th grade students receive weekly Music classes by trimesters, rotating through Band, Strings, and Vocal instruction. Next year, these students, as 5th graders can make an informed decision about their 5th-grade Music focus.
5th grade students receive either Instrumental or Choral instruction twice a week.
At Stanley LPIE is funding $133,592 this year for not only the Band, Strings, and Choral classes themselves, but also 14 Music Mentors, a choral accompanist, a music assistant and guest artists. These programs are under the direction of Bob Athayde (band, choral) and Loretta McNulty (strings).
Acalanes total music support from LPIE is $47,000 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 Concert Choir and Chamber Singers.
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 tremendous, and I am proud that LPIE has such an impact in this area of the curriculum.
Thank you again for your contributions to LPIE, which enable our schools to offer a truly special student experience, unique opportunities, and exposure to a whole array of subjects.