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Equity In Music Education Inspires Action

Ella Hennessey (l) and Gayle Winney

Gayle Winney is a force of nature! She's the director of music at Howe Avenue Elementary and was just named Teacher of the Year for the entire San Juan Unified School District. This is a school who's demographic needs loving support in our community with many non English speaking families and many being refugees. Sometimes a group of 15 students speaks up to 8 different languages! The common language, however, is music.

To be around Gayle is to create change, specifically in the area of equity in Music Education. Gayle often says, "It's time that all people who have been historically marginalized, have access to quality music education. Let's Do This!" I've had the great privilege to perform with her music students at Howe Avenue Elementary in their spring music concerts for three years.

My daughter Ella created her senior project and developed a joint concert with Howe Avenue Elementary and Performing Fine Arts Academy (Natomas Charter School). Ella's inspiration was to enhance the social circle around these kids, and let them know they are supported in our greater #Sacramento community through music.

See what Gayle has accomplished: Howe Avenue Elementary Music Program

After singing concerts and even karaoke with the music students of Howe Avenue, I am pleased to announce that the Camellia Symphony Orchestra has donated 50 tickets to the

parents and students of Howe Avenue Elementary to this weekends' concerts at the B Street Theater. I went and had dinner with the families after a final concert of theirs and happily dined and invited them to come and see the performance!

This life is about true human connection and collaboration. So in the words of Gayle Winney, "Let's do this!"

Hope to see you all this weekend! Come meet the force of nature herself!

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