While there is research that shows students involved in performing arts do well academically, arts programs are often times the first programs on the budget cutting board.
That, thankfully, hasn’t been the case at Glendora Unified, said Superintendent Robert Voors.
That isn’t to say the district’s celebrated music and choir programs were never in danger of being cut. For the past four years, the performing arts programs have been one of many programs considered for cuts and reductions due to ongoing budget woes.
But thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollars of annual donations from organizations such as FGUS, Foundation for Glendora Unified Schools, the district’s music programs can not only continue, but thrive. Voors said the $450,000 the district received in donations last year has been instrumental in keeping the district’s music program going strong.
According Voors, there are 1600 students involved in the district’s music program, 25 percent of the district’s student population.
All fourth and fifth grade students participate in elementary vocal or instrumental music. Students will continue their musical training into middle school and high school.
Their talents are often put on display in numerous school concerts, including community and district events, such as the Ross Orchestra Festival at Azusa Pacific University on May 9 and the District Band Concert at Glendora High School on May 14.
In 2014, the Glendora High School marching band beat out other southland high school marching bands for an opportunity to perform in the Tournament of Roses Parade, on the 50th anniversary of the school’s first appearance in the parade in 1964.
"The arts are very important," said Steve Clark, a 30-year veteran of Sandburg Middle School’s music program, told Patch in 2011. "The school district really supports the arts very well."
For Voors, the district’s success in the arts has also carried over in its academic success. The district continues to boast high API scores, scoring 865 as a district.
“Students benefit [from music] in infinite ways – appreciation of music, discipline, connection to school and the arts,” said Voors. “Research shows that students in music often do better in math.”
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