The music/color guard program is paid for if full by the school district as part of public education.
Not true. The school district provides only for limited, in-school music education. Additional music, equipment, instruments, coaches, masterclasses, and off-campus and supplemental activities (tournaments, festivals, clinics, and transportation) are NOT funded by SMHS or SMUSD at all.
Music and Color Guard coaches are paid for by SMHS or SMUSD funds.
Not true. Music and Color Guard coaches’ wages/taxes are entirely billed to SMHS Music Boosters. Without family and community donations and fundraising, there would be no music or color guard coaches for the students.
Music/CG off-campus opportunities and supplemental instruction can’t cost that much, right?
Not true. It costs about $600/student beyond what the school district provides for funding the full range of SMHS music and color guard opportunities made possible only by donations and fundraising each year. For some perspective, if you were to hire a private music teacher for your student, the average rate is somewhere around $1-$2 a minute. So a 30 minute lesson can cost anywhere between $30-$60. To get a composer or professional musician from a major orchestra to come in and teach a masterclass, it might cost up to $300/hour. And new music? Depending on the size of the ensemble and the difficulty of the music, single pieces can range anywhere from $60-$400, and each ensemble (class) will usually play between 6-8 pieces a year. Between jazz band, 4 concert ensembles, and numerous percussion ensembles, we’re talking a minimum of 35 pieces… and that’s just for this year! In a normal year with 3 jazz bands, 4 wind ensembles, percussion ensembles, and WW/Brass choir, that number can easily push to 50+ pieces of music. For color guard, the boosters also 100% fund the purchase of floors, silks, flag poles, rifles, and sabers for the students.
If family/community donations & fundraising come up short, the school district will fill in the funding gap.
Not true. Unfortunately, the school district is not required or able to fund additional/supplemental opportunities for the students in the San Marcos Bands Program. If donations are deficient, coaching, music, masterclasses, and clinics must get scaled back accordingly, and students will unfortunately lose those opportunities! Expenses cannot exceed income, making donation requests and fundraising a year-round reality.