Today now more than ever music education and the arts programs in our public schools need the support of their communities.  Some schools have completely eliminated music programs all together, despite a magnitude of evidence that shows the benefits of music ed.  Students haven't lost their love for the arts, our government on the state, and national level have cut funding to the point that the arts are dying in public schools around the country.  Unfortunately it's going to get worse if the budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump are passed.  Under his plan public school music programs, PBS programming, as well as the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities will all be wiped out.

That would be a shame because school spirit was, and still is, fueled by how good and how big their marching bands are.  Marching band/orchestra performances used to be the highlight of every school assembly, pep rally and football game. People couldn't wait to see what the band was gonna play or do, during halftime.  Football games and school events were better attended, which meant more money for each school.  Marching band uniforms were fabulous, the music and choreography was awesome, the Drum Majors were a sight to see, and the bands had so many members they'd fill entire football fields. There used to be 100+ musicians, 10 to 20 majorettes/dancers and flags twirlers, and another 15+ in the percussion section.

Students have/had a greater sense of pride in their school.  Students wanted to be in the band, because it was cool.  You couldn't just join band, you had to tryout.  Band was taken extremely serious.  Routines were practiced, till they were perfect.  Every single member could read, write and play their part.  Your band shoes had better be polished, and that uniform had to be A-1.  School was fun and exciting, because of the marching band.  I know because I was a music student, and proud marching band member.  Dreams of going to college were realized, for students whose family couldn't afford it otherwise, because of music/band scholarships.

Over the years I see the devastating effect government budget cuts have had on our music programs here at home.  There's no more uniforms, little to no instruments or equipment, and because of lack of funding marching bands are disappearing or have dwindled to a mere 15 to 30 members.  It's sad.

The good news is, we can do something about this.  There's still hope, plenty of things we can do if we work together.  We can vote and demand our local school boards, city and state politicians, do all the can to save music education and the arts in public schools across the state. It's clear that students want music in their schools. The love of music is alive and well.  The band teachers, and parent booster clubs are doing all they can to rally the community to help raise funds for their kids through benefits. This weekend you have an opportunity to make a difference for a local marching band and students.

The Washington Marion High School, Marching Jukebox, is having a benefit car wash tomorrow and they need your help.  Saturday May 20, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. come get your car washed, or give a donation to students who are trying to save their music program.  See the flyer below for more details!

WM Jukebox Fundraiser

Together we can save the music in all public schools across America.