Music4Life program expanding to Everett, Mukilteo schools

Music4Life, which collects, repairs and distributes gently used band and orchestra instruments to students whose families can’t afford them, is expanding to the Everett and Mukilteo school districts.

The program began seven years ago in the Seattle School District. Later, the Highline and Shoreline school districts joined. The first program in Snohomish County was launched about a year ago in the Edmonds School District.

At the time, David Endicott, president of Music4Life, said he would like to have the program available at other Snohomish County school districts, too.

The expansion of the program into the Everett School District was formally announced last week at a lunch meeting of the Everett Rotary Club. Endicott also has met with the Mukilteo Kiwanis Club and the Everett-Port Gardner Rotary.

Part of the reason Music4Life is coming to the Everett and Mukilteo districts is the interest shown by Mukilteo Superintendent Marci Larsen, Everett Superintendent Gary Cohn and local volunteers in both communities, Endicott said.

Also, both districts have fairly high numbers of students in the free or reduced price lunch programs, he said. That’s about 41 percent of Everett’s 18,900 students and about 51 percent of Mukilteo’s 15,000 students.

“It’s a worthy cause, absolutely,” said Andy Muntz, spokesman for the Mukilteo School District. “We’ve got a huge music program here.” Explorer Middle School’s band regularly participates in Seattle’s Thanksgiving parade and in June, the Voyager Middle School band marched in the Portland Rose Festival parade, Muntz said.

Volunteers already are at work in Mukilteo and in Everett to help organize the instrument-sharing program, Endicott said.

Since its founding, there have been donations of 1,000 instruments to Music4Life. One of the most unusual was of a marimba, he said. The program will accept virtually any musical instrument except pianos and organs. The greatest need is for flutes, violins, clarinets and trumpets.

Both cash and instruments can be donated to either a specific school district or to be allocated as needed.

“The need is so great,” Endicott said. “We’re just beginning to scratch the surface. We’re opening up the world of music to students for the rest of their lives.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

How to help

More information about Music4Life, the instrument donation program being launched in the Everett and Mukilteo school districts, is available at www.music4life.org.

To donate an instrument, download a donation form at www.music4life.org/pdf/instrum-donation-form.pdf. Instruments may be donated at any Kennelly Keys Music store, including the one at 7903 Evergreen Way in Everett. Call 425-710-7000 for information.

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