The Albany Music Fund completed another year of support for music in the Albany public schools, providing funding for music programs at all grade levels and celebrating the joy and beauty of music performed by our students. Instrument purchases, stipends, concert fees, transportation, sheet music, reeds, music stands and repairs were just some of what AMF provided through your donations. Thank you!
AMF purchased $13,000 worth of new instruments for use at the elementary, middle, and high school levels this year to allow students of all grade levels and from all backgrounds the opportunity to play music. AMF outfitted the elementary schools and the middle school with music stands and piano covers and provided the high school with money for concert fees and transportation as well as a stipend for the Rhythm Bound instructor.
AMF offered to fund a K-3 music program. However, because the Albany Unified School District did not develop a clear plan for how to execute such a program, the money was never released to the district.
With an organizational philosophy that music education should be available to all students and that music enhances cognitive development, AMF has urged the school district to provide instruction from transitional kindergarten through 12th grade. At the moment, it is not clear what the district’s plans are for K-3 music in September. As an organization, AMF strongly endorses the return of music instruction at the TK-3 levels.
This Tuesday June 25, the AUSD Board of Education is expected to vote to finalize its budget for the 2013-14 school year. We urge parents and music enthusiasts to let their thoughts be known to the board as soon as possible.
Thanks to the community’s strong support of music in the schools, Albany student musicians performed to significant acclaim all year. From elementary school choirs to fifth and fourth grade bands to Albany Middle School chamber singers and concert band to Albany High School’s many vocal choir groups, jazz, wind, and string concert ensembles, musical performances abounded. Albany High’s Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Lab and Orchestra as well as Albany Middle School’s Chamber Singers and Concert Choir all received the highest possible recognition of “unanimous superior” ratings at the California Music Educators Association contest in the spring. The Albany High Chamber Singers and Women’s Chamber Choir were also honored with “superior” ratings.
More than 300 Albany High School students – 25% of the student body – participate in the music program in instrumental or choral performance classes and groups. A similarly large percentage of middle school students participate in the Albany Middle School music program. Albany is truly a musical community. We want this tradition of musical excellence to continue.