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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Lincoln band gets a $25,000 gift

  • Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation to provide 18 new instruments.
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  • The Lincoln music program got a huge boost when the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation notified the Taft City School District that Lincoln would be receiving 18 new musical instruments valued at nearly $25,000.
    The band has been playing for years with decade-old instruments and news from of the grant couldn't have come to soon.
    “Many of the instruments here at Lincoln have seen better days, and from what I understand, quite a few have even been around since the mid-1970's,” said Lincoln Band Director Kathy Mondragon, who took over the program recently when Marlene Mudge retired.
    Mondragon submitted a grant – past applications have been unsuccessful – and received word last week that the band will be getting the sorely-needed instruments.
    The district got the good news on Feb. 28.
    The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, named for a movie about a music teacher played by Richard Dreyfuss, is a nonprofit that takes donations and buys musical instruments to support music in the nation's schools
    Lincoln will be receiving a baritone, 2 sousaphones, 4 clarinets, a tenor saxophone, 4 trumpets, 2 trombones  and 4 flutes.
    The total retail value of this donation is $23,221.
    Taft City School District's financial position is improving, money for new band instruments is hard to come by.
    Mondragon said the Lincoln band is growing, so the instruments will be a huge benefit.
    “With over 100 students currently in the bands at Lincoln, we will always need to find ways to accommodate the increasing numbers, and instruments only last so long,” she said.
    I am very proud to be a part of this music program and what it represents; making music fun and rewarding every day! My students are very talented and have a strong love for all things music, and I believe that the committee at The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation was able to see that and reward that commitment to music. The students are very excited to be a part of this special reward and cannot wait to have the instruments in-hand!”

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