Redford Union schools hoping for help funding beloved music programs

Oftentimes, the school arts and music programs are the first to lose funding, but that doesn't mean the interest isn't there.

Take for example, Redford Union Public Schools. The amount of students joining their music program is growing, but the money to to do that isn't there.

"Ever since I was little it has been a part of my life with my parents and my family and stuff. Music has been all around me since I was a little, little child and without it I don't know because music makes me happy," Madison Jackson said.

Just like many high school students, Madison loves what music brings to her life, but just like many districts, Redford Union Public Schools doesn't have enough funding to fully support their music programs. Marching band director and music teacher Brittany Samojedny says they recently started the band program and the number of students who joined has doubled.

"Every kid has something they like. whether it is sports, whether it's math, your regular general classes or band, so this class is given the students (a way) to bea ble to express themselves in a different way and be creative in a different way," she said.

Knowing that, Brittany has reached in her own pocket to help, but they still need more instruments and money to fix whats broken.

Lucy Shelby is learning to play the baratone.

"I really love playing the music, understanding music does make me really happy," she said. 

That same love of music extends to the choir kids, who light up everytime they sing a tune...Especially together.

"I don't know what I would do without choir. I have been doing it since the 4th grade and it's just always been a part of my life," said Claudia.

Choir director Schianti Jaramillo says every school is trying to fundraise to run their music programs, but donors are spread thin. They need everything from risers to music, and money to compete.

"Funding for purchasing music -- that's ione of our biggest things. It can cost anywhere from $7,000 a year to purchase music," she said. "So it's really expensive there. We need help with uniforms. A lot of our families need assistance and we want to help them but with our district we always do what we can and we know that we're struggling at this point."

"The toughest part is missing out on opportunities, getting to go to other festivals that may cost a little more that's outside of our budget for year, so it's kind of tough for us especially," said student Willie Sawyer.

Samojedny says they are doing their best with what they are fortunate to have, but she knows if the opportunities were there the students would thrive.

"It is awesome to see the kids grow from the beginning of the school year all the way to the end of the school year, and then when they take pride in the little things that they do on a daily basis that they might not notice they're doing but I notice they're doing," she said. 

"Music is that thing that makes life wonderful. It's that voice that gives to the voiceless. It's that emotion that if you can't express yourself, you can express yourself through music culture and our world."

Click here to donate to the Hilbert & Redford Union High School Band & Choir.