In August, seventh grade parent Kenton Lee and new music teacher Mr. Ariel Brown observed that the school’s Clavinova electric piano and acoustic piano had both seen better days. Kenton’s daughter, Caitlin, who plays piano in the jazz band, had also observed that both pianos had poor touch. Mr. Brown joked that the acoustic piano was suitable for a science experiment, and the Clavinova, with its broken keys, was so unwieldy that it was difficult to transport to gigs and concerts outside of school.

Later in August, after conducting extensive research on the topic, Kenton selected a new piano for the school and Mr. Brown purchased it using PTA funds.  The new keyboard was set up just in time to be played on the first day of jazz class.  Kenton expressed, “Had Mr. Brown relied on school district funds alone to provide Claremont with a new piano, it would have been anyone’s guess as to how long this would have taken. We might never have gotten it at all!”

Kenton sat in on Mr. Brown’s first day of jazz class and found the experience absolutely inspiring: he was reminded of his own junior high music teacher who had been influential in his life. Kenton sees Mr. Brown’s jazz class making a similar positive impact on his daughter’s life, too.

Mr. Brown claims to truly love teaching jazz to kids; in fact, it was this experience that got him into teaching in the first place. He wishes to thank the PTA Claremont Fund for its generous support of Claremont’s new keyboard!

It’s not too late to make a gift to the Claremont Fund. Make your tax-deductible contribution online by simply clicking here and selecting your level of giving. Or, make a check payable to the Claremont PTA and drop it off in the PTA box in the office with a note specifying that it’s for the Claremont Fund. You can also mail your check to the Claremont PTA, 5750 College Ave., Oakland, CA 94618. Whatever amount you choose to give, whether it’s a monthly donation of $20 or a one-time donation of $500, every gift matters.

If you have questions about the Claremont Fund or need assistance, please contact one of our Co-VPs of Fundraising, John Ifcher at johnifcher@gmail.com, or Tara McCulloch at tara.mcculloch@gmail.com.