West Chester University Students Determined to Save Music Education

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WEST CHESTER, PA — West Chester University music education student and Symphony Orchestra member, Bonnie Calhoun is worried about the future of music education because of its lack of funding. This past semester, with the support of Director of Orchestral Studies at West Chester University Joseph Caminiti, she steered an on-campus effort to raise money for the non-profit, Musicopia. Bonnie and her peers raised $3,000 so that Musicopia can continue providing students with access to high-quality, in-school music education.

“If it wasn’t Musicopia, I don’t think we would have been as successful,” Bonnie explained. She was attracted to the non-profit because of its focus on serving students in underfunded communities, and its instrument donation program. Its mission to make music education accessible to all children, regardless of circumstance, was personal to her. “I grew up in a community that didn’t have a lot of money. My afterschool music program helped me deal with life. It’s a great experience for kids in the same boat,” she stressed.

Other musicians in the WCU Symphony Orchestra also couldn’t imagine their lives without music education. That motivated them to help Bonnie to support the cause. Bonnie received help from students in Tau Beta Sigma Honorary Band Sorority, a co-educational service sorority, and Phi Sigma Pi, a mixed-sex national honor fraternity.

Bonnie came up with multiple ways to raise money for Musicopia. She and her peers motivated each other to make their $3,000 goal achievable. Their fundraising efforts consisted of collecting donations at the West Chester University Symphony Orchestra Concert, hosting a series of on-campus fundraisers such as bake sales and plant sales, donating four months’ worth of profits from WCU Symphony Orchestra merchandise, collecting donations through a Facebook fundraiser, and hosting instrument donation drives. Their instrument drives provided Musicopia with several instruments and instrument accessories that the non-profit will distribute to Philadelphia-area children who cannot afford them.

The efforts of Bonnie Calhoun and her peers enable Musicopia to transform lives through music. As a non-profit, Musicopia relies on the support of its community to make its work possible. Please consider supporting Musicopia’s cause by donating, or by hosting a fundraiser or instrument drive. To learn about more ways to give, please visit Musicopia’s website.

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