Racine, WI – Racine Unified School District located in Southeastern Wisconsin has just over 20,000 students. Through the administration and school board, the District has decided to invest in music education over $1.3 million dollars to ensure that every student who wants to participate in instrumental music has the opportunity to do so through District provided instruments.
Dr. Lolli Haws, Superintendent of RUSD shared her thoughts on the importance of music education in Racine Unified Schools, “I came from a large family and was the oldest of seven. There was a band director that encouraged me to play bassoon because it was an instrument that could be provided to me by the school. It was the highlight of my school years going to band competitions and participating in music. You have to have “your place” in school and I found my place in music.”
In his second year as Fine Arts Coordinator for RUSD, a music educator of thirty-five years, Doug Johnson, discussed his vision of music education for the District. “Our District has not had a major purchase of musical instruments since the 1960’s and this opportunity to reinvigorate our music program is a way for us to ensure that we are not turning students away who want to participate in music. Every year, we lose many kids due to the cost of rentals and the fact that many families in our District cannot afford the financial burden. Through the Conn-Selmer School program, we’ve found a way to not only get the instruments needed for our students, but also benefit from the educational support that Conn-Selmer offers with the program.”
What message does this purchase send to the community? Dr. Haws states, “This initiative shows that we are committed to the arts and it will engage students not only towards music, but also in all areas of academics.”
“Conn-Selmer is excited to be a part of this initiative and looks forward to working with the team in Racine, including local school music dealer Schmitt Music, to help their program build and thrive in arts education,” said Michael Kamphuis, Managing Director of Conn-Selmer’s Division of Education.
The Conn-Selmer Division of Education, led by Vice President of Education, Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, is dedicated to providing resources for music educators worldwide. These goals are accomplished through teacher in-service support, Conn-Selmer Institute, Conn-Selmer VIP Program and the Music Administration Collaborative. In addition the Division of Education provides assistance with instrumental purchase planning via the Conn-Selmer School program. For more information go to www.conn-selmer.com or contact the Division of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-348-7426.