[Dixielandjazz] School Districts as prospects

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Mar 12 09:52:22 PST 2005

Don Kirkman <donkirk at covad.net> (polite snip)
> On Fri, 11 Mar 2005 20:11:56 -0500, Steve barbone wrote:
>> I don't have a gig tonight, so forgive my numerous posts. Following is Step
>> One in how to develop a prospect list for School Districts. The example is
>> for those bands in the Los Angeles Area, but works well anywhere in the US.
> Thanks for noticing, Steve.  However, let me point out that Cerritos,
> one of the larger cities in the ABC district, is relatively rich--not in
> the Beverly Hills class, but well above a typical Los Angeles area city.
> The point is, neither Cerritos nor the ABC district (encompassing
> several cities) can be used to prove that other local districts are
> equally well off.  And I suspect the LA *City* school district is poorer
> than most of the districts spread across the county, though it's
> probably relatively close in size and enrolment.

No question that some districts are poorer than others but you never know
until you try whether or not you can get a program going. And if you can't
succeed in the poorer districts, then concentrate on the rich ones. Try
Beverly Hills, or Orange County, or Woodland Hills, or Simi and San Fernando
Valley or Pasadena etc., etc. Then when the band gets some gigs, donate a
performance in the inner city and deduct it like Wiggins says.
> My kids are long gone from the ABC district, so I don't know what's
> going on nowadays; my gut feeling is that the district, including its
> music, arts, and athletics programs, may have slipped a bit from those
> halcyon days of two or three decades ago.

Ignore your gut feeling until you find out the reality of the situation. The
current "music program" hits in the ABC district "Search" seem to confirm
that there are lots of musical programs there TODAY. If you rely on gut
feelings you are beaten before you start. That is precisely the problem for
most bands and bandleaders on the DJML who ignore this market.

The only reason I chose ABC is because it was the very first District on the
LA County web site. There are 80 or so more and they can't all be too poor
to spend $600 for an hour of America's Music. Indeed, many, in the LA area
are probably quite well funded. L. A. area has to be one of the LARGEST and
most viable markets for school programs in the USA.

Basically, as a positive thinker, I see the thought that all Schools in the
Golden State have no  money as simply a reaction to News media stories that
California is going to hell in a hand basket.

Note also that Phat got a 17 piece BIG band gig at the Linden Canyon Middle
School in Agoura Hills, where ever that is, near LA. (NY Times Article,
March 9, 2005 dateline L.A.) So what prevents a 6 or 7 piece band from doing
the same? Lack of intelligent effort, that's all.

Not only that, but there are several bands in the NYC area that have
successful programs going in poorer inner city school districts. Drummer
Johnny Blowers did it for a decade or so with a group of old fart jazzmen
like us before his stroke.

Even if you have to go outside for funding, to local businesses etc., you
will find that some are willing and able to help. Heck, if all else fails,
try to get those Hollywood Liberals to back your efforts. :-) VBG.

What could be more fulfilling to us as human beings than passing this music
on, in schools, to the kids? Especially given their reaction to it. Man, it
sure beats sitting around in some retirement home bemoaning the good old
days when we were young, kids loved OKOM and jazz was fun.

Steve Barbone

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