Music classes returned to the Hermosa Beach City School District curriculum beginning in the 2017-18 school year, but the district still needs help in acquiring new instruments for what they expect to be popular classes for future school years.
The nonprofit Hermosa Beach Youth Music hosts the fundraiser “Let the Music Play,” at Tower 12 in Hermosa Beach, Wednesday, May 29, from 6 to 9 p.m., to raise funds for those instruments. Also, the Hermosa Valley Band will be joined by members of the Mira Costa and Redondo Union High School marching bands, Thursday, May 16, beginning at 7 p.m., at Hermosa Valley School, in an another event to benefit the district's music program.
“This is kind of a transition year for us who helped build this program because we know it's starting out with a few kids, but it's going to end up being hundreds of kids who will want to take music,” said HBYM founder and boardmember Regina Hoffman. “We're trying to raise money so that we can provide them with more instruments that they're going need for their growing program.”
The HBYM, supported by the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation and the PTO, was formed in 2012. That was five years after the music program was cut from Hermosa Valley. HBYM ran the school band program for seven years while the district did not have music in its curriculum.
“Our goal was always to get it back into the schools,” Hoffman said.
For the 2017-18 school year, general music was brought back for first through fifth grade students. A fifth grade optional band and a sixth through eighth grade band elective was added for the 2018-19 school year. The district also hired music instructor Ken Harrison at Hermosa View and Hermosa Valley. He had previously been the instructor for HBYM for its after school music program featuring band and chorus. He also oversees a band elective for sixth to eighth graders.
The May 16 concert is a showcase for Hermosa Beach parents and the students that will feed into the award-winning music programs at Redondo Union and Mira Costa.
“We wanted are kids to move on to these amazing music programs,” Hoffman said. “You really can't do that if you haven't had music in middle school.”
Hoffman added they are hoping to also raise funds to clean instruments. There are approximately 45 instruments that are borrowed by students in the program. It costs anywhere between $60 to $100 to clean or make repairs for every instrument.
“It adds up pretty quickly,” Hoffman said.
At the May 29 fundraiser, which is 21 and over and $30 a ticket, the Purple Sugar Band will perform. There will be complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. There will also be $500 in raffle prizes.
For more information, visit hbym.org.