Monday, March 14, 2011

Band Geeks Unite!

"I would teach the children music, physics and philosophy, but the most important is music - for in music is the patterns of the arts and key to all understanding."
                             - Plato
Military organizations have always depended upon music.  "Reveille" is played on the bugle every morning while "Taps" is played every evening.  Marches would lead forces into battle and full bands would help troops celebrate victories or comfort them in defeat.

For many of us, including your mission commander (he played bass clarinet in the junior high school band), music played a huge part in our growing up.  We carried our trumpet or trombone to school (uphill, both ways, in the snow).  We stashed our violins in our lockers before lunch.  We'd practice every afternoon or evening when we'd rather be out with our friends.  Most of all, we learned discipline, working as team, commitment and fractions (you can't play a waltz if you don't understand 3/4 time!)

Why are we telling you this?  Well, budget cuts are forcing the Napa Valley Unified School District to make some hard choices.  The Napa Valley Education Foundation (NVEF) wants to make sure that music survives the chopping block.  They're conducting a campaign to raise funds to ensure that over 1,300 school-aged children can continue to participate in school music programs.

So, why is this important?  Studies have shown that students involved in music programs have a higher level of self-esteem, which is the main predictor of resilience to substance abuse and other negative behaviors.  Music programs teach and engage students so they are more successful in learning other subjects.

Here's how you can help - consider making a donation of any amount to the Napa Valley Education Foundation on behalf of the "Campaign to Sustain Music for our Children".  This money will go directly to plug any holes in music program budgets.

You can make a donation using your credit card or PayPal account by visiting:

The above link will take you to the NVEF's web page for the campaign.  You'll see the "Donate" link in the lower left-hand side of the page.

To make things a little more interesting - for every member of the Napa Guerilla Gay Bar that donates $5.00 or more to sustain music in Napa Valley schools your mission commander will donate $5.00 up to a total of $500.00.  Just drop him a note via this link to tell him that you've made the contribution.  No need to say how much you donated - just donate 5 bucks or more.

The Napa community prides itself on being a world-class destination with world-class wines.  Our kids deserve a musical education as good as that wine!

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