House parties are a great way to bring people from communities together to support a cause. As Cazadero plans our first event, we have identified two goals we hope to achieve. First, we hope to raise money to augment our scholarship funds for the JumpStart in Music Program - a program very dependent on outside support - as well as for our summer camp scholarship fund. Second, we hope to introduce new friends to Caz from among those in the community who already support music education, but might not be aware of our unique programs.
The Jumpstart in Music Program is one of Cazadero's most powerful outreach tools for drawing new children into the world of music making. Most weekends in the spring and fall Caz hosts a group of young musicians from public schools or school districts for a weekend of intensive playing. The weekend culminates in a Sunday afternoon concert performance for their parents. For many of these kids, it is their first time playing together for more than 30 minutes once or twice a week in their school classroom. The results are amazing, for both the kids and their teachers.
This year we are sponsoring two JumpStart retreats from the Oakland Unified School District and two from the Berkeley Unified School District. We therefore decided that our first foray into the house party format should focus on the Oakland/Berkeley community.
Fortunately, we have some great friends right on the Berkeley/Oakland border who have offered their lovely home and beautiful tea garden for just such an event. Jim and Bonnie Bell, founders of Bell Investment Advisors in Oakland and long time Caz supporters, will be hosting our first house party event on May 22nd as an opportunity to introduce some new people to the work we do at Caz.
A committee of Caz board members has worked hard to compile a list of almost 400 supporters and potential supporters of youth music education. Some of these potential guests have been Caz supporters in the past. Others, for example some of the supporters of the Oakland East Bay Symphony, may not know about Caz, but clearly value music. We have invited them all to an afternoon garden party at the Bell's to hear about the great work we are doing at Caz.
Presentations will include testimonials from public school music teachers who have taken their students to Caz for JumpStart weekends for several years. They will talk about what kids gain from a weekend at camp--the skills they develop both musically and socially. We will also have some of our long time campers from our newly formed Youth Leadership Council talk to our guests. Of course, there will be music by small youth ensembles and the Bell's will also speak about why they believe an investment in Cazadero Music Camp is an investment in all our future's.