Foundation Provides $25K Grant for Music Ed

Mike Lawson • News • January 30, 2014

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The Board of Directors of the Joseph and Vera Zilber Family Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to the music program at Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Ronald Regan International Baccalaureate (IB) High School to continue helping students perform, compose and study music.

The grant will be distributed to the school’s Vera J. Zilber Music Department over the course of five years and will support its college-level curriculum as well as extracurricular activities, such as drum line, DJ club, solo and ensemble clubs, piano club, pit orchestra club, jazz band, and musical theater.

The grant will also help fund the high school’s community partnerships with the Florentine Opera and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in addition to student performances throughout the region and country. 

Zilber’s recent donation builds on a previous Zilber grant that largely enabled Ronald Regan IB High School to develop its IB vocal and instrumental music programs. In the last five years, Zilber dollars have also provided funding for musical productions, competitions and extracurricular programs as enrollment in the school’s music program has grown from a dozen students to about 500.

As Ronald Regan IB High School advances its own music programs, its music department leaders are now beginning to meet with leaders from North Division High School in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood to discuss strategies for creating an effective music program, particularly for students who have never taken music lessons.

“Our music program unites teens from diverse backgrounds around the universal language of music,” said Erica Breitbarth, music department chair, choir director and IB music teacher at Reagan. “We look forward to sharing out experience with others in the community and providing our students with both academic and hands-on musical opportunities to develop their artistic expression.”

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