Our mission is to provide access to music education and opportunities to any student, regardless of income and socioeconomic background. The services we provide cover students from elementary school up to college!
Because we believe that you are never too young to be exposed to music, each spring we take an instrument petting zoo to local elementary schools. For a whole week, we take over the music teacher's classroom and meet with students in grades 3rd through 5th where they get to see, hear, touch, and play a variety of instruments. Not only are we able to add to what their amazing music teacher has already taught them, we also get to explain how middle school band is an option to them!
When students start middle school, band is an option for a class. Unfortunately, we have found that purchasing or renting an instrument is a huge financial barrier for students in our area. That is where we come in! We accept donated instruments, ensure that they are in proper working condition, and then give them to a student in need, no questions asked. If they tell us they need an instrument, then we do everything we can to get them one.
Additionally, we donate instruments directly to the band director and their music program to make sure they have what they need to be successful as well. Once or twice a year we will go meet with the band directors and take inventory of instruments that may need repairs. If there isn't money in their budget for them to repair their instruments, Catherine's Orchestra will either repair the instruments in house or financially assist the band program with outside repairs.
We believe that middle school band directors are some of the greatest unsung heroes in music education. They take a student with no musical experience and spend 3 years teaching them to become great musicians so they are prepared for a high school band program and beyond.
Students involved in high school band programs are sometimes faced with another financial barrier; band fees. Catherine's Orchestra will assist with band fees for students when there is a gap between fundraising efforts and what is still owed by the student. We ask students to fill out an application indicating their level of need. Once a year, an independent group meets to decide the allocation of funds based on the answers given in the application. Catherine's Orchestra will never ask for income information for any service we provide. We believe in the goodness of people and if someone needs help, we help with no questions asked.
Catherine's Orchestra also assists high school band directors and their band booster programs any way possible.
Catherine's Performance Closet
Band programs and students want to show off their hard work. Throughout the school year there are concerts, recitals, and auditions. In order to look their best, there is often a mandatory dress code. The clothing required is usually only worn once because kids grow fast! Band directors at all levels shared with us the challenges parents and students face in meeting the dress code requirements. It can get quite expensive! So we started Catherine's Performance Closet. We accept donated dress attire for boys and girls and will provide dress code specific attire to any student that may need it.
We often have students come by our office to pick out their outfit for the event and we very much enjoy watching their excitement as they find that perfect outfit. Sometimes we have last minute requests for clothing and you can catch any one of us running through a school with a rack of clothing and bag of shoes, minutes before an event!