Madera Band Program *update*

Hi all – the music program began this morning, and it was great to see our aspiring flautists and clarinetists with their instruments! Tomorrow we’ll start with beginning brass, which promises to be louder, at least for the first session!

As you know, we’ve split our classes into two sessions: the first with sectionals on Monday/Tuesday mornings, and band practice on Thursday after school. The second has sectionals on Thursday/Friday mornings, with band practice Friday afternoon. There are many more sign ups for the first series, so if your schedule will allow I’d encourage you to think about changing to the later series. You can ask about this by visiting the EC Community Center or by calling Nousheen Chaudrey at 510 559-7002.

Many thanks, all- I’ll be there with my daughter and her grandfather’s trumpet tomorrow morning. Thanks again to all of the city staff and instructors for getting this off the ground, and special thanks to YOU- the parent community- for the contributions and budget that make music and the arts a priority for our children!

Days and Times: because we had so few sign ups for the “intermediate” program, we will simply have one program- beginning band, but split on two days, with those who signed up for intermediate band will be placed primarily with the older kids. If you signed up for intermediate band, the instructors will take care to teach to your child’s level. If the level is too far below your student’s playing ability, you may get a refund and start again in the spring when the other kids catch up, but I’d encourage you to stick it out– repetition and practice are key. City of El Cerrito staff will be calling parents/students to confirm the days and times for their classes.

Instruments:It’s been hard to figure out exactly how many instruments are available from the District for the Madera program, but we confirmed the details this morning. We should have enough free district instruments for ALL students except trumpet players, and possibly clarinets. I have called ALL trumpet students who will get a district instrument- if you didn’t hear from me or get a message, you will need to rent an instrument for your child. If I called you about a district trumpet, you will get the instrument at your first sectional meeting next week. If you don’t want to rent a trumpet, you may ask the teacher about trombone- there may be extras available at no charge.

Up to two students may need clarinet as well, depending on whether or not some students have their own instruments already. Please note: if renting an instrument is not possible financially, and if this will keep your child from participating in the program, please let me know. There may be additional PTA support for this, on a limited basis. My email is

Instrument rentals are about $20- $40 per month, depending on the instrument, whether it’s new or used, and where you get it. A good place to start is A&G music at 565 14th St, Oakland. They are open Tues- Sat, from 9:00 to 5:30.   You could also try Music Works on San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito.

You may still be able to sign up at the City of El Cerrito Community Center, or when the program begins next week. Many thanks to the parent community for making this possible- and to the City staff and music teachers who are looking forward to bringing music back to Madera next week!

Best regards,

David Miller

Download Madera Band Registration Packet (PDF file)