Spring for Music / REF Music Fund
Just where do your old musical instruments go?
In Rochester, hundreds of donors have chosen to donate them to city school students through REF's Spring for Music program. The generosity of these donors has created great opportunities for city students. Since the program's launch in 2005, more than 1000 musical instruments have been donated from throughout Monroe County, New York state and beyond.
More information about the program is below.
Music Fund Launched
In November 2013, REF launched a Music Fund to provide additional musical opportunities for city students. The Fund supports providing musical instruments and resources for students; making it possible for city students to attend local and regional music competitions and performances; and matching unique student musical needs with donor resources.
In December 2013, more city students were able to sing in the RPO Holiday Chorale performance thanks to the Music Fund! Prior to this year, the city school student participation had diminished greatly - even though this holiday concert is a showcase for young musicians and takes place in our city center. REF paid for buses to take students home from the practices and performances, dinner for the students and even clothing needed for the performance. Music educator Liz Hannan told us: "Thank you! The opportunity to perform with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is once in a lifetime."
The Fund also has donated 17 digital keyboards for the extended-day program at School 9, and is supporting the launch of a guitar club at School 35.
Finally, the Fund has also provided a new flute to a student auditioning for college music programs, and a digital piano for a student who did not have access to musical instruments due to his academic placement.
REF is working with music teachers to identify and support talented RCSD student musicians, whether they need their own musical instrument to keep pace with their maturing talent or to audition for a college music program or to participate in special music activities over the summer. We hope to do much more in the future.
The needs identified by city music teachers will be listed in our Help Needed List-Musical Opportunities. If you are a Rochester City School District educator with a student who has specific musical challenges REF supporters might be able to address, please contact REF at 271-5790 or email@example.com.
Spring for Music Program
The Spring for Music program is the foundation for REF's work to expand musical opportunities. Since 2008, REF has had a booth for collecting instruments at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, thanks to the generosity of M&T Bank.
Spring for Music was created because many students who wanted to play an instrument were not able to do so due to limited instruments available in city schools. Our initial goal in 2005 was to work with community partners to receive 250 used musical instruments, and the funds to fix them. By the time the campaign ended, we had received more than 400 instruments! By the start of school, the instruments were ready to be lent to Rochester City School students through the school's instrumental music program.
We are pleased that we continue to receive instruments to be donated to the Rochester City School District to be used by students.
To donate an instrument, we encourage you to contact REF at 271-5790 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can receive a tax deduction for a donated instrument. More importantly, you will know that through your generosity a city school student who might not have had the chance to play an instrument will discover the joy of music. We also welcome funds to support general support of the Spring for Music program, and encourage organizations to coordinate special events, such as concerts, to benefit the program.
Many donated instruments have a story. One woman said: "Though it has aged some and the surface is speckled, this flute still shines bright in my memory. Music has sustained my life in so many ways."
That sentiment has also been expressed by students who told us of their love of music, their devotion to practice and their eagerness to succeed in life. As one School 17 elementary school student wrote, "With your help, I will be successful playing the viola in a big concert one day."
Support the Program
Use the button at right to make a donation in support of REF and the Spring for Music program.