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In response to Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb’s community-wide appeal earlier this year, the donation from First Student Transportation will be used for uniforms, instruments, staffing and travel for the students to and from local, state, national and international music events.
The donation is the second largest to-date for the DPS Foundation.
“With this support from First Student, we are now able to unpack those All City Band uniforms that have been carefully stored away, but we plan to unpack the musical talent of our students that has been stored away for far too long,” said DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert C. Bobb. “Our students deserve every opportunity to be successful, and we plan to ensure they have those opportunities.”
Bobb celebrated the donation along with the Detroit School of Arts and Cass Technical High School marching bands, the principals of both schools, Detroit Public Schools Foundation COO and General Counsel Taylor Teasdale, First Student Transportation president Linda Burtwistle and interim director of the Office of Fine Arts Education, Willie McAllister.
First Student will allocate the donation in $112,000 annual installments for the next five years. First Student’s first installment also completes a $25,000 match announced earlier this year by The Pickard Family Fund.
“We are delighted to be able to help Detroit Public Schools nurture these young musicians to their fullest potential,” First Student Transportation president Linda Burtwistle said. “There is nothing more important than investing in students who deserve every opportunity to be successful. We trust that this donation to the foundation will go a long way toward funding the needs of the All City High School Band.
Earlier this year, Bobb resuscitated the band, seeking in-kind services and donations to defray the costs of uniforms and new instruments. He called for the donations after learning the band’s gently-used uniforms had been packed away and stored at the district’s CDC Warehouse for several years.
The Detroit Public Schools All City High School Marching Band, which had a successful launch in 2001, ceased to exist in 2004 for lack of funding.
The band will be composed of 200 of the district’s best musicians that meet the criteria for instrumentation. They must audition successfully. Each applicant also must be enrolled in the band program at his/her current DPS school high.
Successful eighth grade applicants must join the band program in their DPS high school. All applicants must establish and maintain a minimal 2.2 grade point average in order to remain an active participant in the All City High School Marching Band. The G.P.A. of each successful applicant will be reviewed after each marking period to ensure compliance with this policy.
Rehearsals are mandatory and will be scheduled four days per week.