The world is on pause, but music continues. Community continues.
For 45 years, the Oakland Youth Chorus (OYC) has been guided by our core beliefs that music never stops, that it connects us beyond language, culture and socioeconomic status, and that those personal connections empower youth to create positive change in our world. OYC currently provides pathways for youth to find support, empower their voices, and successfully complete their academic journey from TK all the way through high school through low-and-no cost, yearlong, weekly choral and general music education classes aligned with the California State Board of Education Standards for Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) at 28 school and community sites. Within our school programs, we serve 70% low income, 84% students of color, and 52% English language learners.
Faced with the unprecedented Covid-19 shelter-in-place order, we took rapid, innovative and decisive action to get more than 90% of our classes and rehearsals running online within the first two weeks. While a temporary stoppage of our programs would have had financial advantages, our primary concern was supporting our students by making sure they would continue to have not only a top quality music education, but also a space of refuge, peer connection and joy. During a time when we must all remain physically separated, it is critical that as a music education and youth development organization, that we act in a way that exemplifies that no matter what happens, music has the power to manifest the connections and community that help us heal.
In the coming months, we will be hard at work further refining our program model, to best accommodate the new schooling structures of our partner schools. In order to meet these new challenges, OYC will need to continue to demonstrate the innovation and resilience that has been part of its defining spirit for the last 45 years. But to successfully meet this new moment, we need your support. The Covid-19 shutdown has meant decreases in our income due to the cancellation of our Spring Concert, postponement of three additional spring fundraisers and a loss of a projected 20% of local government and institutional funding. Your donation today helps fill that income gap to maintain and deepen our support for 3000 young singers, using music as a path towards creating harmony, strengthening community, and building the future - support that our youth need now more urgently than ever before.
All donations, up to $6,000, will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling the positive impact of your support. Even more exciting, the first $1,000 in donations is eligible for an additional match! Just as every voice loud and soft enhances the harmony of a choir, every donation, regardless of amount, brings us closer to our goal.
Music continues. Community continues. Make a contribution today to ensure that OYC's education and support for each one of our students and families continues.