Alhambra School District Band marches on

Band members practicing and marching on the high school track.


On Jan. 1, 2020, 270 young musicians and a 30-member color guard of the combined bands of San Gabriel, Mark Keppel, and Alhambra high schools will march and perform in the Rose Parade.

There is a lot to do to prepare for the big day. The three different bands need to combine, learn their music, practice playing that music together while marching, and rehearse at upcoming events, such as the two-mile Sierra Madre Fourth of July parade.

While the band members are doing their part, there is a lot of activity going on behind the scenes. The Alhambra Educational Foundation (AEF) has stepped up to the plate to raise $200,000 to cover the expected expenses leading up to the parade.

AEF was founded in September of 1991 to raise money in the community to support the on-going instructional programs of the Alhambra Unified School District and the implementation of new programs not covered by public funds. For the high school band members, this experience of a lifetime makes everyone grateful the AEF is on the job.

Among the expected costs between now and Jan. 1 are bus transportation to and from events, such as after-school practices at San Gabriel High School, the Sierra Madre parade, and New Year’s Day. In addition, 50 newly fitted band uniforms had to be purchased. They have been ordered and will arrive by Nov. 8. There will also be expenses for food and refreshments at rehearsals and any time the band assembles.

The fundraising has already begun. When Barbara Messina retired after 32 years of public service, she dedicated her retirement dinner as a fundraiser for the band. As a result, the AEF raised $54,000 in one evening. Next, the Alhambra Day Nursery Foundation stepped up with a $30,000 donation.

A second fundraiser put on by the AEF was a Gala dinner on April 6 at the San Gabriel Hilton Hotel. The event raised $52,000 for the band. There is one more fundraiser to go. It will be a raffle for a 2020 Honda Accord, donated by Frank Lin, the owner of New Century Honda in Glendale. For this raffle, at least 700 tickets must be sold at $50 each.

The drawing will be held Oct. 12 at a special event, “Magic in the Music,” featuring popular DJ Richard Blade. The event takes place between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Second Street in Alhambra. For details and to sign up, call the AEF office at 626-943-3080, visit the AEF office at 1603 Chestnut St., or visit their web site at https://aef4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/TICKET-ORDER-FORM-4-1.pdf.

There are other ways to get involved. The AEF is selling T-shirts, water bottles, and tote bags. They are available at the foundation’s website. This is an opportunity for the entire community to come together to give the young musicians an experience they will always remember. Be a part of it.


Rose ParadeAlhambra School District BandfundraisingAEFexpenses

Jan 2022


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