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Backers of School Music Seek Money to Keep Classes Going

December 11, 1986

A music support group on the Palos Verdes Peninsula has launched a new effort to raise funds for instrumental music classes on the Peninsula school district's eight elementary campuses.

In appealing for donations, Brigitte Schuegraf, president of Friends of School Music, said $40,000 will be needed to continue the band classes through the current school year.

Under an agreement with the Board of Education, the group is making monthly payments to help cover salaries of two music teachers and other expenses. The group also plans to revive band festivals and other musical activities.

This is the third year in which the Schuegraf and her nonprofit group have rescued the Peninsula's grade-school band music program. A physicist and longtime promoter of the fine arts, Schuegraf formed the group in 1979 after district planners concluded that the financially strapped schools could no longer afford band programs at the elementary level.

Money raised by the Friends led to reinstatement of the program in that year and again in 1985, when the budget ax fell once more on band music and other courses not mandated by the state.

Schuegraf maintains that the study of music at the elementary level stimulates intellectual abilities that apply to math, science and other areas of learning. She also contends that instrumental music skills at higher grade levels will die out if youngsters are not able to get an early start on mastering their instruments in public schools.

Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to Friends of School Music, Box 2721, Palos Verdes Peninsula 90274.

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