Musica! students and teachers are heading into a fifth year of string instruction and concertizing, thanks to the support of generous grants and donors, especially from those in our own neck of the woods. The Community Foundation Serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties awarded Musica! a $9,500 capacity-building grant for the 2015-16 year, allowing it to undertake a five-year strategic plan, write and publish staff, student, volunteer and board handbooks, strengthen its board presence, and build an active, parent-and-friend volunteer corps.
Other local organizations surprised Musica! with generous, sustaining gifts. The Art Alliance of Idyllwild and the Hemet Community Concert Association provided funds so that Musica! students could experience for the first time a series of individual and small group lessons. The lessons provided synergy to existing mentoring from Idyllwild Arts students in the Arts in Society program.
Musica!, the only El Sistema-style program in the Inland Empire, was featured in a segment of radio KVCR’s “My Awesome Empire,” where one student interviewed reported, “Musica! BRIDGE [Bringing Real Instruction, Developing Great Experience] is my family.”
Musica! under the nonprofit status of the Diamond Valley Arts Council, gives string- and character-building instruction in a daily afterschool program to more than 75 students in San Jacinto and Hemet. It employs seven professional musicians, also experienced teachers. It does all this at no cost to the participants in the spirit of building community good and the vision. In Maestro Dudamel’s words, of “thousands of children playing music and singing.”