Valley Center Band Boosters was created in 1997 by band director Jeff Beck to raise money to purchase instruments for a beginning elementary band class with 20 students. He was inspired by eager young students who wanted to learn a musical instrument, but whose families didn’t have the funds to purchase one. Over the years, the instruments needed to be repaired, and new ones purchased. Some instruments were purchased in duplicates, such as a tuba, so that a student didn’t have to transport it back and forth on the school bus every day. Eventually, the students were ready to show off their skills and they started traveling to festivals and competitions. Boosters raised the funds to pay for transportation.
With each experience, the students gained important skills. They learned to read music and to be part of a team. As they memorized their parts, they gained discipline and a sense of accomplishment. As they competed, they gained confidence, self esteem and a sense of pride.
Over the years, the programs increased as the students grew older. Singing classes were added when Laralee Beck joined the teaching staff. Orchestra was offered for a number of years but was discontinued in 2011. Today’s programs include beginning band, intermediate band, concert band, advanced band, jazz band, marching band, drumline, chorus and choir. Classes are offered in all of Valley Center and Pauma Valley’s elementary schools and continue through middle and high school.
The role of Boosters has grown with the program and now includes field trip coordination and chaperoning, event planning, concert promotion, instrument/sheet music purchases, public relations and most importantly, fundraising. From an initial budget of $2,000 per year in 1997, the Boosters now must raise $60,000 annually just to maintain the programs. In order to expand the programs, Boosters is challenged to raise $100,000 annually. Anyone can join Boosters, and the roster includes parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, community members, businesses and anyone who has a desire to keep music playing in our schools.
The Boosters’ board of directors meets with the teachers monthly to review and prioritize funding requests. Along with routine purchases of instruments, repairs and sheet music, this year Boosters was able to purchase a bigger band trailer, obtain new concert quality instruments and buy additional uniforms.
The name was changed when the school district incorporated an additional K-8 school in Pauma Valley and better reflects that all music programs are supported, not just band. From its humble beginnings, Valley Center/Pauma Music Boosters now serves more than 700 music students in elementary, middle and high school schools throughout Valley Center and Pauma Valley.
For more information, or to sponsor or donate, email us!