This orchestra is one of the hardest working ensembles in the area. For most of my students, the music program is the first and only extracurricular activity they have ever joined, and they are excited about the opportunities the music program brings them. Since the program's inception in 2013, we have received consistent superior (top) scores from the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association District III Assessment.
I teach at a school in central Virginia where 68% of our students receive free or reduced lunch, and about 50% of strings students speak English as a second language (ESL or ELL).
We are public middle school with a diverse population of 1300 students (48% Hispanic, 42% African American, and 10% of other). Although my students are from a variety of backgrounds, they are a big happy family of student musicians. Our music program gives students the opportunity to learn about diverse cultures through music while making lifelong friendships.
Every year, I ask to borrow the band program's concert gong for a special piece of music, and every year, my band colleague reminds me that our school does not own a gong! This project will solve this recurring problem for both the orchestra and the band when we play multicultural pieces that require gong.
A symphonic gong is an essential percussion instrument for a school music program.
This spring, we are planning to play another piece of music that requires gong again. Last time, the piece that required gong was Chinese, but this year, the piece is Egyptian! The concert gong will continue to be used by our music ensembles for years to come. Please help me to provide this beautiful instrument for our amazing student musicians!
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