2009 Spring Newsletter

Music Department Offers Lessons to Non-Music Majors!

We have an emergency—the best kind of emergency—and could use your help

Photos of non-music majors performing

It is almost unheard of in the California State University system, but the music ensembles at Cal Poly offer private lessons for non-music majors at a minimal cost. Since the state cannot fund these lessons, the difference is picked up by the musical organizations. The predicament for ensembles like the Cal Poly Symphony, Wind Orchestra and University Jazz Bands is that far more students want lessons than their budgets allow. The Symphony receives private donations by generous friends such as Roy and Jane Gersten, and has an endowment set up by Alice Nelson. Even with this help, however, all ensembles devote a significant portion of their operating budget to lessons and still fall short of demand; the list of students has grown so much during the past year that only one-third of the eligible students can be funded.

Cal Poly is famous for providing a quality musical experience for students from throughout the campus and this is one more example of how the department values non-music majors. They are invaluable to our program.

On the bottom-left of the donation form on the back page, there’s a heading, “subsidize lessons non-majors,” and you may select any or all the ensembles listed. This is an excellent, and tangible, way to benefit directly the musical life of our students. You will know that you have enabled at least one student to have lessons, and you will surely hear the difference in our wonderful hall.