November 13, 2018
Bulldozer ballets aren’t the only way the San Francisco Conservatory of Music is celebrating this season. SFCM’s newest outreach program — Bridge to Arts and Music (BAM) — marked its inaugural year this past Thursday, Nov. 8, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco. The new program, funded by a $150,000 grant from the Koret Foundation, is a collaborative project between SFCM and three of the Bay Area’s leading religious institutions.
Announced in May of this year, BAM provides after-school music classes for children, across faiths, living in underserved communities. In partnership with Third Baptist Church, Congregation Emanu-El, and the San Francisco Interfaith Council, SFCM offers regular, multiple-days-a-week instruction in piano and chorus, extending the reach of Third Baptist’s existing program, the Charles A. Tindley Academy of Music. In addition to the Koret Foundation’s support, 16 keyboards, donated by Yamaha, help make the program possible.
On Nov. 8, remarks from SFCM President David Stull and Reverend Amos Brown, among others, opened the evening’s ceremonies. Brief musical performances and a reception for BAM students and their families followed.
“I hope that parents and educators will encourage their children and youth to be a part of this dynamic and excellent learning experience,” Brown has stated of the program. “This endeavor is very needed in a world where we are divided and there is so little appreciation for the diverse cultural gifts in the arts that this nation once celebrated.”