Music In Our Schools Bus Tour

Photo courtesy of Disney Performing Arts/Scott Brinegar.

For this year’s Music in Our Schools Month, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) gained two powerful partners— Disney Performing Arts and Danielle Bradbery, winner of television singing competition “The Voice”—in a bus tour that went coast to coast in a week.

NAfME’s Give a Note Foundation organized the Music in Our Schools Tour, which began in Disneyland on March 2 and ended in Walt Disney World on March 8. The five schools on the route were chosen by the foundation in recognition of each school’s music programs.

“I think we really made a difference at each one of those schools,” says Jane Mell Balek, assistant executive director for NAfME.

At each stop on the tour, Bradbery performed and spoke with the music programs. Each school also put together a performance by one of its ensembles to lead into Bradbery’s show.

The Give a Note Foundation donated $1,000 to each school, which was then matched by Bradbery.

“Danielle was so moved by the whole experience [at the first school] that she said she wanted to match the donation, so from then on the Give a Note Foundation gave $1,000, and Danielle herself gave $1,000,” Balek says.

The tour concluded with a performance by Bradbery at the awards ceremony for the 10th annual Festival Disney, a competitive program featuring top wind and vocal ensembles from schools all over the nation. It was a “great finale and a very ‘Disney’ moment,” Balek says.

As for the future, Balek says that an event of this sort might happen again. “We’re in very early conversations about how to make it bigger,” she says.

About the author

Joel King

Joel J. King is an editorial intern at Halftime Magazine. He is a senior at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa seeking a degree in magazine journalism. He marched trumpet with the Howell L. Watkins Middle School in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., for a year and Palm Beach Gardens High School for four years as the high brass section leader. He has also marched mellophone and trumpet with the USF Herd of Thunder for a year each.

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