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Bach to School: WFMT's School Music Donation Program
Why the Program Exists
WFMT’s Bach to School Music Donation Program brings large sets of classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and many other composers to school libraries and classrooms. This is made possible through the generosity of WFMT Encore Society members during WFMT’s Membership Drives in April and November each year. These members make donations to the station and instead of receiving a thank you gift for themselves, they elect to send the gift of music to a school that has applied to receive a set of music through the Bach to School Music Donation Program. Download application >
How the Program works for WFMT Members during Membership Drives:
98.7WFMT is a listener supported classical and folk radio station.
Through our on-air membership drives listeners who choose to donate at the Encore Society level, can waive their gift and choose to send the gift of music to a school that has applied to the Bach to School Music Donation Program. A school will receive a set designated by the donor which could include either the complete works of Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart.
To be fair, donors do not choose which schools receive their gift of music. We fulfill the gifts in the order that schools apply to the program.
Following the drive, WFMT pairs a school with a donor specified musical collection. WFMT notifies each Encore Society member as to which school received the set and each school will be notified as to which set they receive.
How the Program Works for Schools:
Between membership drives, WFMT sends out a call to action to schools and school districts asking them to spread the word about WFMT’s Bach to School Music Donation Program. Schools are encouraged to apply to receive musical collections after filling out the brief application. All schools are accepted, even those who have already received a collection. Download application >
The success of the program – numbers and statistics:
Since November 2010, more than 250 schools have applied to the Bach to School Music Donation Program and more than 215 Chicago area schools have received substantial musical collections for their music libraries and classrooms exposing thousands of students to the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and many others.
Each school that applies is added to the list and sets are sent out in the order they are received. Many schools have applied more than once enhancing their music library further.
Teacher feedback from appreciative recipient schools:
“I want to thank you for the donation of Mozart CDs to our school. Our music teacher has already started using the music in her classroom. I appreciate your kindness and generosity.”
Mr. J. Long, Principal at Southside Occupational Academy in Chicago
“The Bach Edition gift was received and was so much appreciated as you can see by the enclosed photos. What the photos do not show is the jumping up and down by one of the students upon opening the box. While he reads at the pre-k level, he is able to identify the composer of any classical music selection after hearing the first few notes. Many thanks to you and to the anonymous WFMT Encore Society member who donated the collection. It has been used every day since we received it.”
Ms. A. Zayed, Special Education teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Chicago
“I want to thank you and WFMT for the great musical collection that was sent last week. We received the Complete Works of Mozart this past Monday and started listening to the recordings on Tuesday. As you may have guessed, a great deal of excitement was going on through the halls (and beyond) at the school since we were eagerly awaiting the recording’s arrival. This was a gift of a lifetime for our small school.”
Mr. K. Bruhn, Music teacher at St. John’s Lutheran School in Lombard
“We just received the shipment for the Bach to School set of 50 CDs of Symphonic music. The set is such a welcome addition to our library. We will enjoy the music for many years to come. Thank you so much, and thank you to the anonymous supporter of WFMT who made this donation possible.”
Ms. S. Saldana, Librarian at Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences in Chicago
“I think all of us who love classical music remember really discovering it for ourselves at some point in life, and the magical unfolding of that world before us as we heard more and more wonderful pieces that we wanted to listen to again and again until they truly became a part of us. What a lovely gift, to offer this music to children they will likely never meet, but for whom new worlds may open upon listening. What better way to ensure that the music we cherish will not die out, but will continue to be an important part of our cultural heritage in generations to come. Please accept our thanks, we are most grateful. ”
Ms. J. Lawrence, Orchestra Director at Geneva Community High School in Geneva
“I want to thank you for the Beethoven Complete Works CD set. We are thrilled to have such a wonderful resource to use with our students. Because all of our students have disabilities, music has a very important place in our curriculum. Beethoven is a perfect example of how much can be achieved despite the need to do things differently and we look forward to exploring his world and work with our students. ”
Ms. P. Foerster, Librarian at Vaughn Occupational High School in Chicago
“On behalf of Nightingale School and the music department, thank you for selecting our school and sending the wonderful selection of CDs. I can promise they will be put to good use and enjoyed by all our students. Once again, thank you for your great program, your kindness and a most generous gift. ”
Mr. S. Riglik, Music Director at Nightingale School in Chicago