The Sycamore Music Boosters received a generous grant of $4,000.00 from the Wurlitzer Foundation Fund through the DeKalb County Community Foundation to help support the 2016-17 Sycamore School District Elementary After-School Orchestra and Band Program. Due to the lack of funding from the state of Illinois and the Sycamore School District budget cuts, this after-school program was in jeopardy. Having a weekly, after-school full rehearsal with combined students from all five elementary schools is the foundation of their musical training. Sycamore Music Boosters President Lisa Smith comments, “When we were made aware of these cuts, the Sycamore Music Boosters had to do anything possible to continue this after-school program for the students. We prepared a grant request and are very thankful to the Wurlitzer Foundation and the DeKalb County Community Foundation for teaming with the Music Boosters to help us continue this very important program for our young music students.”
Fourth and fifth grade orchestra students and fifth grade band students meet once a week to rehearse as an entire group. Currently, there are approximately 230 orchestra and band students in the elementary program. The goal for these beginning musicians is to learn not only the craft of their instrument, but how to play together as an entire group. Sycamore School District Music Department Chair Scott Mertens comments, “We’re very fortunate to be able to offer the full elementary band and orchestra rehearsals for our students. A key part of the band/orchestra experience is students learning to work together within a larger group. They learn that their actions affect the ensemble, and they see and hear the benefits of when everyone cooperates for a common goal. The group band and orchestra rehearsals are also a key for retention, as students meet other students and form friendships with those from other schools. We are very fortunate that the Wurlitzer Foundation and the Sycamore Music Boosters were able to step in and provide funding to continue this program for the 2016-17 school year.”
The Elementary After-School Music Program is funded in part by a by a Wurlitzer Foundation Fund grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation. It is also partially funded by the Sycamore Music Boosters.
The Sycamore Music Department and the Sycamore Music Boosters, a non-profit volunteer organization that supports all students in grades K-12, encourages others to consider making a donation and support the music program. Future opportunities for additional donors are always welcome! Contributions in any amount may be given by individuals, families, local businesses, and even corporations. For more information, please contact Scott Mertens, Sycamore Schools Music Department Chair, at Mertens@syc427.org, or Sycamore Music Boosters President Lisa Smith, at LisaSmith1615@comcast.net. Additional information about the Sycamore Music Boosters may be found at www.sycamoremusicboosters.com.