The Newhall School District will be able to purchase about 90 new student instruments with the $22,690 they raised through donations and a Henry Mayo Foundation matching grant. The district is committed to offering music education for all students.
The Newhall School District will receive more than $22,600 to purchase instruments for its music program, thank to donations by Newhall School District staff, parents and supporters and a Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation matching grant.
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In December, the Henry Mayo Foundation challenged the Newhall District to raise $10,000 for music education, promising to match it with another $10,000.
Initially, the district raised about $8,000 by publicizing the effort to parents at schools’ winter concerts, to vendors and consultants and to staff and board members.
Earlier this month, district staff announced to supporters that they were only $2,000 short of the mark. They ended up bringing in about $4,690 the second time around.
“We had a fantastic response from the beginning, but the last round of donations included the Newhall Teachers Association and the Music Makers PTA, who provided $2,000 a piece,” said Brian Walters, president of the district’s governing board. “Along with our parents, employees, community members and vendors, this put us way over the top.”
In their first effort, multiple people donated between $25 and $100, two local family trusts donated $1,000 a piece, and Lundgren Management provided $2,500. The district’s architect, NAC Architecture, also donated $1,000, and Keygent Advisors, the district’s financial advisors, provided $1,500.
All contributors will be listed and thanked in the district’s Spring Concert program.
Student instrument prices vary: approximately $200 each for violins, $230 for woodwinds and brass and $450 cellos. With $12,690 in donations matched by the $10,000 challenge grant, approximately 90 new instruments can be purchased.
Newhall Elementary School District Music Program
Newhall is one of the few elementary school districts with a classroom, choral and orchestral music program that serves all students in kindergarten through third grade. Students who want to continue their music in the district’s orchestra program can do so in grades 4-6.
While many parents choose to own their instruments or rent an instrument, the district’s goal is to provide an instrument for every student who wants one, so that everyone can play.
“People love this music program and it’s a very important piece of what we do,” said District Superintendent Marc Winger. “People also realize that our goal to put an instrument in every child’s hand is a great goal, so it really was not too hard to raise this money.”
Newhall’s third graders are taught basic note reading and how to play the recorder as part of the district’s classroom music program. Students are then actively encouraged to join the instrumental music program as they move to 4th grade.
A team of three teachers serves all students in grades 4-6, providing small group lessons in string, wind, brass and percussion instruments.
The instrumental music program currently serves about 900 students. Two additional teachers deliver comprehensive general music instruction to all primary grades, upper grade vocal instruction and recorder lessons at third grade.
Two concerts per year, performed for family, friends, students and staff, showcase what the students are learning.
The district currently owns about 500 instruments and at any one time, about 450 are available for student use.
Annually, because of preference for specific instruments, about 400 students participate in the instrument loan program from a district-owned stock of string, wind, brass and percussion instruments. Other students voluntarily rent or own their instruments.
For more information about the Newhall School District, click here.
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Source: Santa Clarita News