Auburn Schools Foundation helps fund new instrumental music program

The Auburn Schools Foundation is providing $5,000 to help start the Music4Life program for Auburn Public Schools, it was announced Tuesday, Oct. 2.

The Auburn Music4Life Booster Club, led by Superintendent Alan Spicciati, will be seeking other funding to sustain the program.

Music4Life is the non-profit that acquires “lovingly used” musical instruments from adults who no longer need them, repairs them (if possible) and then provides them at no charge to participating public school districts for use by students in need. Music4Life also operates programs supporting Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Northshore, Seattle and Shoreline Public Schools. The program acquires used instruments from those who understand that their highest and best use is to put them back into play. Music4Life also accepts donations to help pay for instrument repairs.

“Music4Life is a wonderful program,” Spicciati says. “They have a long history of working with local districts to provide instrumental music opportunities for students. We are fortunate to have this partnership.”

“We are proud to be a part of this program and can’t wait to see the success of Music4Life in Auburn,” says Natasha Daily, Executive Director of the Auburn Schools Foundation. “The Auburn School District has a great music program and Music4Life is helping eliminate any barriers students might have that would keep them from joining.”

“This is a fond return for me to Auburn’s music scene,” says David Endicott, Music4Life Co-Founder and President. “I had the great pleasure of leading the successful fund raising drive to take the Auburn Black Watch Drum & Bugle Corps to march in the Inaugural Parade for President Jimmy Carter on January 20, 1977. Sometimes life comes full circle. We will bring the same dedication to provide instrumental music opportunity for all Auburn students.”

The new Auburn effort will be led by the “Auburn Music4Life Booster Club” recently authorized by the Music4Life Governing Board. The Auburn booster club is comprised of Spicciati; Natasha Daily, Executive Director of the Auburn Public Schools Foundation; Cari Manry, President of the Auburn Citizens for Schools; Kevin Paustian, Mount Baker Middle School band director; Caesar Robinson of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce; Paul Casperson, a member of the Auburn Symphony board; Skip Rowland of the Auburn Chamber and Shannon Spicciati, the superintendent’s wife who is principal oboe with the Auburn Symphony Orchestra. Gary Milligan of ATS Automation serves as Program Coordinator for Music4Life. Other community members interested in kids, instrumental music or education are welcome.

The booster club will develop resources for musical instrument repairs. Music4Life has relationships with several local musical instrument repair shops, including Ted Brown Music in Tacoma, Kennelly Keys Music in Lynnwood and Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah. All vendors provide discounts to Music4Life for instrument repairs, as well as for purchases of new musical instruments.

Music4Life enjoys the support of notable music advocates and other community leaders. Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, has endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program begins with children in elementary school at a time when, if they’re interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of instrumental music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all our children.”

Music4Life™ is supported in part by grants from 4Culture (formerly the Seattle-King County Arts Commission); the Highline Schools Foundation; the Everett Public Schools Foundation; OpenSquare; Knossos Foundation; the Hazel Miller Foundation; the Auburn Schools Foundation; various local Rotary, Lions and Kiwanis clubs; the Community Foundation of Snohomish County; as well as by the law firm of Garvey Schubert Barer; Seattle Symphony Orchestra; the Seattle Folklife Festival; Rafael Carrabba Violins; Lamar Advertising; Encore Media Group; Classical KING-FM; GMA Research; Cascade Symphony Orchestra; Randy Oxford Entertainment; the Stacy Jones Band; the Edmonds Center for the Arts; Kennelly Keys Music stores; Hammond Ashley Violins in Issaquah; Ted Brown Music; and others.

Music4Life™ provides ready-to-play musical instruments at no charge to public school districts for use by students in need. Participating school districts include Auburn, Bremerton, Edmonds, Everett, Highline, Northshore, Seattle and Shoreline Public Schools. A community-wide activity, participants are local leaders who understand the unique role that participation in instrumental music has on the life and education of a child.

For more information or to donate an instrument to Music4Life, contact [email protected], call (206) 409-3275 or go to our Website at www.Music4Life.org. Instrument donation forms are available online, as well as at designated instrument drop-off sites.