Music Appreciation Day celebrates LBC’s instrument lending library

For the first time since the pandemic began, LBC hosted a vibrant Music for Schools performance for Sonoma County residents last week on the LBC campus. For many people taking baby steps into public places where masks are no longer required, Music Appreciation Day provided the perfect combination of fresh air, Saturday morning sunshine, neighborly vibes, and joyous live music, all while the Santa Rosa Certified Organic Farmers Market bustled nearby.

Four student groups representing music programs that benefit from LBC’s instrument lending library performed with so much enthusiasm, you might have thought school was about to let out for the summer. They included Mariachi Cantares de mi Tierra de LBC, LBC’s Mariachi Ensemble, Mark West Union School District Students (from Mark West, John B. Riebli, and San Miguel elementary schools), Elsie Allen High School Jazz Band, and African Drumming with LBC Teaching Artist Onye Onyemaechi, featuring students from Olivet Elementary, Kid Street, and Hillcrest schools who have participated in his Arts Integration Residency. Each group played a 30-minute set, spotlighting the instruments and music they have been learning and practicing during the academic year.

“It was an intimate, local experience of neighbors, friends, and farmers market shoppers, gathering in our backyard to appreciate the music and the arts that are still accessible to them, thanks in part to our instrument lending library,” said Tracy Sawyer, Community Engagement Supervisor. “We didn’t have a stage or a fancy sound system that day; just the kids playing their hearts out after two years of missing the public performances that reward their hard work. We’ve all missed it!”

Thanks to the generosity of LBC donors, our Music for Schools program loans musical instruments free of charge to any Sonoma County student in need, ensuring all students can participate in their school music programs. For more information or to donate to the arts and education fund, visit

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