Friends of Watertown Music is a group of volunteer parents and friends established in the summer of 2011, in response to budget cuts, to raise the funds necessary to sustain and enhance the comprehensive nature of the music programs in the Watertown Public Schools.
As a small, local organization within the community, we are able to respond directly to the needs of the music program, including seed funding for additional teaching staff. Since our inception, we have awarded over $39,000 grants to the music program in the Watertown Public Schools. In 2018, we benefited from especially generous donations enabling us to establish an Annual Fund for Visiting Performances to bring professional musical ensembles to the schools, to provide over $6000 in new instruments, and, through the Meehan Memorial Fund, to purchase USB keyboards for the elementary classes and bus transportation so that high school ensembles can perform at the elementary schools.
From our very first grant to restore the Middle School Jazz Band, our grants have added to the music teaching staff allowing more music to be taught at the elementary, middle, and high school level. We are extremely proud that our funds have contributed toward increased teaching for adaptive music and instrument instruction. All of our elementary students – no matter what school they attend – now have equal access and instruction on all of the instruments offered in the Watertown Public Schools!
We have also won grants and earned credit from outside organizations, funding almost $18,000 worth of new instruments and instrument repairs for the student instrument program at all schools. That total includes $1,350 in earned credit through the Music & Arts corporation, which offers instrument rentals to Watertown students, and our most recent 2017-18 grant of $2,050 for percussion instruments from the Watertown Community Foundation collaboration with the Watertown Education Foundation.