Bend Pops Orchestra announced that it has completed an anonymous gift-matching drive by donating $10,000 to the Crook County School District. The funds will be used to purchase instruments for the Middle and High School music programs.
The initial gift began with $5,000 from an anonymous donor, who desired the funds to be matched up to that amount with donations raised by the orchestra. Over the course of a season, generous private and public donations met the challenge, allowing a full $10,000 to be disbursed.
The initial gift constrained the funds’ use to making music study available to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity. The orchestra board investigated needs around Central Oregon and considered funding private lessons and instrument rental for kids. COVID-19 made that plan unworkable. With the pandemic, face-to-face music has been impossible for musicians and teachers alike.
The orchestra board then considered school districts, and deemed Crook County the best fit for the funds. Board chair Lisa Hakesley says, “We are thrilled to give the students of Crook County schools the opportunity to make music. School instruments are always in short supply. It is a tremendous loss to the community when young musicians don’t have the resources they need to get involved with their school’s music program.”
Crook County band director Brooks Barnett says the money will be split equally between the middle and high school programs and used to buy new instruments. He plans to source the purchases through local music shop Just Joe’s Music in Bend.
Hakesley adds, “The timing for this donation works out well. Music programs are beginning to open back up. It’s important for communities and schools to keep music in children’s lives. Tomorrow’s performers are created in classrooms today.”