UNT receives $10,000 to restore Start Up the Band program

Tuesday, March 4, 2008
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DENTON (UNT), Texas -- Lone Star Attitude Inc. and the Texas Music Project have donated $10,000 to the University of North Texas to bring back the Start Up the Band program, which provides musical instruments and instruction to fifth-grade students with high financial need.

The gift was announced Feb. 29 at the North Texas Battle of the Bands, in which predominantly high school bands competed for a chance to win a professional recording session aboard the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, a nonprofit mobile recording studio.

The Start Up the Band program will begin in early April with 25 fifth-graders from five Denton elementary schools who will learn the basics of music from UNT music education majors. Music and Arts, a retail music center, is providing instruments for the fifth-grade students to use in the program.

"This program will help students who otherwise may not have the opportunity to participate in band because of the expense of renting an instrument," said Dr. Darhyl Ramsey, UNT professor of music and organizer of Start Up the Band. "These students will have the opportunity to gain an appreciation for music and learn problem solving and critical thinking skills developed through playing an instrument."

The Start Up the Band program originally began as a project between UNT and the Owsley Community School in 2000 but closed in 2004 due to a lack of suitable facilities to house the program. The new program will be housed in Calhoun Middle School in Denton.

"We are so grateful to Lone Star Attitude and the Texas Music Project for giving us the opportunity to reignite this program," Ramsey said. "This gives fifth-grade students a head start, so they are ready to play in the band when they enter sixth grade. They will be ahead of the game and build self-esteem in band class. They can demonstrate how the instrument is put together, how it's supposed to sound and how to read music."

Participating students in the program will come from five Denton elementary schools: Evers Park, Newton Rayzor, Borman, Rivera and Lee. The $10,000 donation will help pay for three teachers -- a lead teacher and two additional music education majors.

Lone Star Attitude Inc. is a Denton-based entertainment and ad company focusing on the best in Texas music, food and culture. Lone Star Attitude, which opened its first store at DFW Airport in February, donates a portion of its net profits to the Texas Music Project.

The Texas Music Project (www.texasmusicproject.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to music education.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108