Herb Alpert Foundation Awards Major Gift to Los Angeles City College

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$300,000 Donation Seen As Boost for Insitution Vital to Underserved Communities in Los Angeles

The Herb Alpert Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the Los Angeles City College Foundation to benefit the LACC Music Department. The funds will be used to support students and programs for the 2013-2015 academic years.

The grant, from the Foundation created by seven-time, Grammy-winning musician and A&M Records co-founder, Herb Alpert, is the largest gift ever bestowed upon LACC’s Music Department and the first to provide support beyond financial aid. This new funding opportunity will support significant scholarships, as well as enhancing the curriculum and providing critical maintenance of instruments and related computer equipment. Talented, highly motivated students, designated as Herb Alpert Scholars, will have their educational expenses and academic needs supported for two years.

“My goal with the Foundation has always been to help level the playing field and create opportunities for talented young people. My brother David attended LACC and our family has supported the college for over two decades. I’ve seen firsthand how critical LACC is to giving young people the tools they need to succeed. The diversity of the student body is amazing. There is a culture of inclusivity that reaches out beyond the population of local high school graduates to include Veterans, working parents and foster youth,” noted Herb Alpert, the multi-faceted musician, artist and philanthropist.

“The Music Department at Los Angeles City College has a long-standing tradition of excellence," says Rona Sebastian, President of The Herb Alpert Foundation. "For 84 years it has offered music training from outstanding professors through an innovative program that inspires and encourages students, many of whom could not attend college were it not for this invaluable city resource. And those students can choose to pursue a range of careers in music - from music production to performance. The list of LACC alumni is legendary, and includes such artists as Chet Baker and Charlie Mingus, singers Dianne Reeves and Jean Fenn, composers John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith and even R&B star MC Hammer. By strengthening the Music Department’s top priority areas, our funding will insure that more talented and deserving students will have the opportunity to attend LACC with a chance to find their own voice through the study of music.”

Many of the scholarship students will be part of the Applied Music (AA-T) program that guarantees them entry into a four-year California State University or Applied Music (Transfer) program, entering as juniors into any four-year university or music conservatory. Students can qualify for the program by demonstrating talent in instrument, voice, or composition categories.This grant will allow the LACC Music Department to double the size of its Applied Music program that provides individualized music instruction.

The Herb Alpert Foundation has supported scholarships at LACC for the past 22 years. The new grant will stabilize and help to grow a music program that has historically been and will continue to be a dynamic resource for Los Angeles’ diverse, multi-generational communities.

The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non-profit private foundation established in 1988, makes significant annual contributions in two core areas: The Arts - a broad category to include arts education, a focus on jazz, and support to professionals. Within this broad category, programs are often selected that use the arts to meet the needs of underserved and at-risk youth and establish competencies to enable them to become successful adults. The other core area is Compassion and Well-Being - designed to celebrate the positive aspects of human psychology and bring more compassion and compassionate behavior to our society. The funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role.

Founded in 1929, Los Angeles City College is a public, two-year coeducational institution, offering Associate of Arts degrees, non-degree programs, and career training. Los Angeles City College is the flagship institution of the Los Angeles Community College District. Serving residents of Los Angeles' Metro urban cluster, LACC's student population of more than 18,000 is among the most diverse in the nation.

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David Escobar-Cambay
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