Students at Santa Ynez Elementary School are playing on 15 brand-new musical instruments as the result of a grant from the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation, and the community can hear them at the upcoming Winter Program.

Kay Dominguez, music specialist for College School District, worked for three years to get the $5,000 grant from the foundation, said Maurene Donner, district superintendent and school principal.

Donner said there was a sense of awe among the students as they picked up their brand-new cases and opened them to the shiny new instruments that will be theirs this year.

“Students have been sharing instruments for years,” Dominguez explained. “There just was not enough funds to buy new ones even with saving money from performances and events.

“With this grant we were able to purchase seven trumpets, six clarinets, one alto saxophone and one trombone,” Dominguez added.

Donner noted that after Dominguez went over the care instructions and students prepared their instruments to play, it was a touching moment when they started playing one of the pieces they’ll perform in the Winter Program.

Slated for 6 p.m. Dec. 20, in the Santa Ynez Elementary School gymnasium, the Winter Program is open to the public.

Donner said that as part of the emphasis on STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics — College School District has a strong program of art, dance, band and theater arts.

Two major programs are presented each year to showcase the hard work and talent of the students from prekindergarten through eighth grade.

“College School District is very thankful for the Santa Barbara Bowl grant, noting the foundation’s mission is “to ensure that everyone has access to music, whether it is playing or listening.”

She said the foundation’s Instrument Fund ensures that the lack of an instrument won’t prevent a child from learning to play music.

The fund lends, repairs and replaces instruments for youth music programs throughout Santa Barbara County.

This report was compiled by Mike Hodgson, news editor for the Santa Ynez Valley News. He can be reached at


News Editor

Mike Hodgson is news editor at the Santa Ynez Valley News, where he writes about local government, special events and the people who live in the Valley. He has been a photographer, writer, news editor and managing editor at weekly newspapers since 1972

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