Los Alamos Community: Support Middle School Band

LAMS Band Director Ryan Finn works with his students to prepare them for upcoming regional competition. Courtesy photo
By LAPS Foundation Executive Director Joanna Gillespie and
The Band Aid Committee

Many of you are familiar with the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation’s (LAPSF) work to help teachers and students in LAPS with “classroom makeovers.”

This year the LAPSF is leading the charge to refurbish the Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) Band classroom. Working with a committee of band parents, LAMS staff and administration, (including Band Director Ryan Finn, Principal Johnson and Principal Vargas,) community members and students. This “Band Aid” Committee plans to provide the well worn, 40-year-old classroom with new flooring, paint, and refurbished lockers and acoustic panels.

The Band classroom is in constant use, Finn teaches Concert Band, Hawk Band and Music Exploration, serving 175 students this school year. The LAMS band program provides important opportunities for young musicians coming out of elementary school and prepares them for the wider world of collective music ensemble.

In the past several years, this important program has grown tremendously, both in the number of students participating and in the number of opportunities the students have to play music. The students experience everything from jazz to marching band and classical symphonic music. They work in small ensembles and large groups, in concerts and in workshops, at both the community and state level.

Eighty percent of Finn’s students go on to join the high school band program and many of those students become lifelong musicians. LAPSF and this team of community volunteers feel strongly that an investment in the LAMS band classroom will positively impact the students coming into the middle school band program over the next decade.

Please show these young musicians how important music is for our community youth and consider a donation to the Band classroom makeover fund. You can donate through the Foundation’s website at www.lapsfoundation.com  and click DONATE, or send a check to LAPS Foundation, 1900 Diamond Dr. Suite 1, Los Alamos, NM 87544 and note: LAMS Band on the memo line.

Statement From LAMS Band Director Ryan Finn

“The willingness to devote time, energy, and attention to a large group endeavor when the reward is not individual helps to create strong selfless individuals. The practice of performing music in a large group allows students’ brains to develop in many more ways than other studies. The act of creating music is an immediate process and requires students to constantly listen, feel, voice, react, and adjust. The immediacy of these reactions creates strong nerve pathways that enable good decision making. I think students that play in band for 2+ years start to realize the value of the ensemble. The students develop an understanding of how to work in a team and I believe every year that they engage in a band program helps to reinforce that. The nature of higher level performance groups such as; Concert Band, Marching Band, and Jazz Band add to this and help the individual student strive for perfection in every aspect of their own playing and the playing of those around them.”

The Band Aid Committee asks that you join us in supporting the LAPS Foundation in this classroom makeover. The middle school band room needs to support the growing number of band students with a visually and acoustically sound space.

As the kids say, “Band is the bomb, Baby.”