The above link at the top of this page will lead you to one of many videos that show just exactly how dedicated our La Rondalla instructors and students are to teaching and learning (in this case, our students playing "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden!), and just exactly why we need your help to fund this Spring 2014's classes and keep them going.
For more than three years, La Rondalla has offered free after-school music lessons to dozens of students at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center. We need your support to continue this high-quality music program during Spring 2014!
La Rondalla has been featured in different media outlets, such as Al Día, Univision’s “Noticias Cinco en Punto,” Telefutura’s “Vive la Mañana” and WFAA’s “Good Morning Texas.”
Thanks to their outstanding participation in La Rondalla, fifteen advanced students experienced a memorable study tour to Washington, D.C. in June 2012. The tour allowed them to see the prominence of the arts at a national level and helped them understand the potential rewards of developing their artistic skills, including possible scholarships for college
In exchange for their professional music training, our students are committed to practice, attend classes regularly and maintain good grades in school. They learn in a creative environment where discipline, teamwork and self-expression are cultivated.
Under the leadership of director Dennis Gonzalez, 85% of students have stayed in the program and reached an intermediate or advanced level. Parent engagement also is high; and the permanent waiting list shows the program is addressing the great need for quality music and arts education in Dallas.
Why do we need your help?
Big Thought, one of the most respected education nonprofits in the country, has been the primary source of funding through a grant with the Office of Cultural Affairs, and has helped us grow immensely. We were provided start-up funding, financial and programmatic support over the past three-and-a-half years, and in September 2013 we agreed that our music program would have to share in the fundraising. Now that time has come! We have now begun to raise additional funds to support the program.
In order to continue our existing program model, we’re asking for your support to raise $15,000! Your contribution will let us continue providing quality music instruction to our student Tuesday through Friday during the 2014 spring semester!
With the money pledged, we will continue exposing our students to the world of opportunities that arts and education can open for them. They will continue learning and performing in the community as they have done the last three years.
The advanced group has recorded an EP-length CD-R to go along as an incentive for this KickStarter fundraiser. The music includes renditions of: George Harrison, Paul McCartney, the Allman Brothers, Al DiMeola, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Pepe Guizar, The Ventures, and a song written by La Rondalla, "Sam and Jake".
What participants and family think of the program?
“I used to play in a church, but it was so far away that I had to quit. When I started [this program]—after my mom found out it was free— I remembered how much I love playing! When I play I feel relaxed, as if I’m letting go of all my problems. It’s just me and the guitar. I definitely want to continue playing ….”
—La Rondalla participant
“I didn’t play the guitar at all, but now I love it. The teachers here actually teach you. If you have flaws, they are patient and take time to help you get better. I love learning new songs, and I want to get better at improvising. If I were not here, I would probably be at home doing nothing.”
—La Rondalla participant
“This is a great opportunity for my daughter. She loves playing the guitar and has lived new experiences interacting with other kids who are also passionate about music. When she gets home, she continues playing the guitar. I don’t mind driving back and forth from Mesquite to let my daughter be a part of this unique program.”
Risks and challenges
The main risk of this project is the obvious one: not making our goal, and therefore not being able to continue through the spring teaching these wonderful students. Our teaching program is already in place, it's just the funding that is needed to continue. One of the biggest challenges is that we have never done this before!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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