Music4Life program started for Kent School District

Initial funding to start the Music4Life program for the Kent School Dsitrict has been received from the Rotary Club of Kent, along with Kent resident John Oliver.

Other funds have been pledged by the Kent Arts Commission and Kent Sunrise Rotary. The Kent Music4Life Booster Club, led by Coldwell Banker Bain broker Linda Mackintosh, is 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 Auburn, 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.

“Partnering with our community to bring the Music4Life program to KSD will open doors for many of our students,” Superintendent Calvin Watts said. “Music4Life has a long history of working with local public school districts to provide instrumental music opportunities for students. This partnership is exciting for the Kent School District.”

“We are proud to be a part of this program and can’t wait to see the success of Music4Life in Kent,” Mackintosh added. “The Kent School District has a free-and-reduced-lunch-rate of more than 48 percent, meaning that the students of many families are likely to need help in acquiring a musical instrument to participate. We can do this. And should.”

The new Kent effort will be led by the “Kent Music4Life Booster Club” recently authorized by the Music4Life Governing Board. The Kent booster club currently is comprised of Mackintosh; Hira Bhullar of the Kent Schools Foundation; Dr. Christine Corbley of the Kent School District; Brenda Farwell of the Kent Community Foundation; Don Gregory, president of Kent (lunch) Rotary; Allyson Johnson, Kent Schools Foundation; Kate Matos, president-elect of Kent (lunch) Rotary; John Oliver, Kent Schools Foundation; Skip Rowland, local business leader of Banner Cross, Inc.; Dr. Christopher White, Kent School District; Harry Williams of Kent (lunch) Rotary; and Marge Williams of the Kent Community Foundation and Kent Sunrise Rotary.

Gary Milligan of ATS Automation serves as Program Coordinator for the Kent Music4Life program. Other community members who are interested in kids, instrumental music or education are welcome to participate.

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.A downloadable Music4Life Donor Form must accompany all donated 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; the Kent Arts Commission; the Rotary Club of Kent (lunch); various other 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; Encore Media Group; Lamar Advertising; 98.1 Classical KING FM; KNKX Radio; 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.