Bronx students fight for funding for their school orchestra

Posted at 6:18 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 18:18:18-05

CLASON POINT, the Bronx — Zoe Montes and Antoinette Samms are only 10 years old, but they are on a mission.

They are fighting to restore funding to support their string orchestra at P.S. 182 next year.

"To give us instruments and then to say the next year, no you will not be able to play, it really hurts," Montes said.

"I can't describe how I feel when I play. Just wonderful," Samms said.

Their funding was pulled for next year and parents say they need $20,000 to continue the program.

"It's a shame we have to go to the news to fight for funding. But we will fight," said Daisy Rosario, one angry grandmother.

PIX11 News reached out to the Department of Education for comment. A spokeswoman told us the department is committed to helping schools with extracurricular activities.

“We’re committed to supporting every school in their mission to provide students with a compressive education, and we’re pleased to know that P.S. 182 has retained a full-time music teacher for Pre-K- 1st grade, and has a full-time music instructor through Education Through Music, who provides all students grades 1-5 with weekly music classes," the statement reads.

And the president of the Local 802 Federation of Musicians Union told PIX11 the union feels the Department of Education should fund music education in all public schools.

"Music plays a crucial role in the diverse, unique and creative cultural heritage that makes our City’s communities healthy and vibrant, and the Department of Education should be funding music education in all public schools," said union President Tino Gagliardi. "New York City is home to thousands of the world’s best musicians, and the talent is here to educate our next generation of players and to ensure the well-being of our City’s cultural scene."

If you would like to help the students get their orchestra funding, visit their GoFundMe page.