Every school in the state of California and every student has felt the effects of years of
budget cuts to education. No one area of education felt this more than that of the visual and
performing arts programs in public schools. In Duarte, there had an alarming absence of
formal instrumental music and vocal instruction for our students. This however, did not
diminish the deep desire of our student to learn. We believe we have the responsibility to
offer all students in Duarte Schools a well-rounded education experience that includes
Exposure to formal music instruction can completely transform a child’s mind and open up
endless possibilities to their learning potential that can help them succeed in both their
career and in life. The Duarte Unified School District (DUSD) developed a strategic
multi-year plan to create a comprehensive music education program that included formal
instrumental and choral instruction for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
With that lofty goal, they needed the supplies and equipment necessary to implement
these programs. This is where the Duarte Education Foundation (DEF) jumped in.
The DUSD was able to secure a generous grant from Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation,
instruments were purchased for Northview Intermediate and Duarte High School.
With the support and fundraising efforts of our organization, we are building on that dream.
In 2013, we launched the “Music Matters” campaign. The DEF rolled up their sleeves,
and with the help of many generous donors raised $50,000 in 2013. These funds provided
the start-up money to kick start the elementary Band pilot program at Beardslee Elementary
in the fall of 2013. That first $50,000 made it possible to buy:
• 68 musical instruments that included brand new flutes, clarinets, alto saxophones,
tenor saxophones, trumpets, and trombones
• 50 music stands
• 3 music carts
• 2 nine piece Orff instrument sets
Additionally 500 recorders to all every student at all Duarte elementary schools to participate in music, rhythm and movement classes. These classes are taught on a weekly basis by two certified DUSD music instructors.
In our city, a high percentage of our students have no means to purchase or rent instruments of their own. We wanted to make sure that all our students have the opportunity to play an instrument. Contributions from the 2013 year allowed 96% of our eligible students at Beardslee signed up to participate.
It is our goal to continue this initiative to establish an instrumental band program for all 5th and 6th grade students at Andres Duarte, Beardslee, Maxwell, Royal Oaks, and Valley View elementary schools.
How can you help? The Duarte Education Foundation has pledged $50,000 a year for four years to deliver instruments to Andres Duarte, Maxwell, Royal Oaks, and Valley View. The majority of fundraising for Music Matters will be through our annual dinners, musical “notes” donations, and donations from individuals and organizations.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything. - Plato