Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hurrah!!! Our School Band Rides Again!!!

Calling All Musicians! …and former Musicians!

Do you have a FLUTE, TRUMPET, CLARINET, SAXOPHONE or other Band instrument (in good condition) lying around in your closet?

If so, the Yosemite Marching Band FOUNDATION needs you! Well actually, the students of El Portal Elementary School need you…

Our local Band Program was cancelled 2 year ago due to budget cuts. After much lobbying and discussion, we are thrilled to have Tina Tiner return this year to revive this important part of our children’s music education. As you know, students usually rent their instruments from a shop in Merced, but the monthly fee is quite high… ($25-$55 depending on instrument).

The Yosemite Marching Band Foundation accepts donations of old band instruments, pays for cleaning and/or repair, and then rents them locally to our El Portal students for just $10 per month. These YMBF rental fees pay for repairs, reeds, and re-corking. Currently we have 3 clarinets, 2 flutes and a saxophone in our inventory. We’d love to get some trumpets too!!!

If you can DONATE an INSTRUMENT, please contact Paul Amstutz (founder and CEO of the YMBF). 209-379-2414 or -2741

If you’d like to make a monetary donation to the YMBF to support our students’ band program, that would also be marvelous as well! (If you bought a YMB DVD five years ago, your purchase helped create the YMBF) Check out the Sidebar on your right for more info... ---->

Monday, June 13, 2011

El Portal School Band.... an update

After a wonderful first year making music, the YMBF instruments have fallen silent. Unfortunately, due to budget cuts, the entire band program has been cut from our school's curriculum. Two years worth of students have been without the melodious honking and tooting of Friday afternoon band practice. We are ever hopeful that we can revive some sort of band program at EPS for the 2011-2012 school year! Until then, the YMBF refurbished flutes and clarinets are carefully stored at Yosemite Park High School.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

EP School Band Making Music!

Thanks to the many supporters of music education in our area, our El Portal Elementary School Band program has just kicked off its December to June "season." Under the leadership and tutelage of Tina Tiner, 10 students are now receiving music instruction every Friday afternoon. Seven of these students are playing & practicing using YMBF instruments, provided by generous donors and supporters.

Local families are now being treated to lovely holiday honking in their homes... As they only have band class once-a-week, regular practice is essential. I now know personally how impressive and "large" the saxophone can sound in a small living room!

Our seven donated instruments were nicely repaired and refurbished at Gottschalk's Music Center of Clovis and Merced. Andrea, Mark D., and SunJohn were kind enough to drive down to the shops to make deliveries & purchases. The YMBF also bought accessories, reeds, & cleaning kits so that all students will start with the necessary equipment to play and maintain their instruments properly.

I think we're off to a great start! THANK YOU everyone for supporting our music program!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The YMBF Honor Roll

So many friends and neighbors have provided support for the music students of El Portal & Yosemite. Listed below are just some of these "local heroes!"

Instrument Donations
Raye Santos - Clarinet
Joanna Cooke - Flute
Dan McDevitt - Clarinet
Phil Stock - Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute
Yosemite Marching Band - Saxophone

Supporters, Patrons, and Benefactors

The Sousaphone Circle - $100+
Margaret Eissler
The Yosemite Marching Band
Anonymous Music Lover ($200!)
El Portal Parent Teacher Group
Janet & Joseph Denapoli

Glockenspiel Groupies - $75+
Ardath & Lefty Kroner

Triumphant Trumpeteers - $50+
Carol Saccomano
Joelle & Tom Orrock

Bassoonifactors $25+
Alexey & Douglas Root (Christmas gift in honor of Mara Dale)
Karen & Paul Amstutz

Piccolo Peeps - $10+
Mark Racioppo

Are you interested in donating your time, instruments, creativity or cash? Email the YMBF (, or send checks to the "Yosemite Marching Band Foundation" - PO Box 111, El Portal, CA 95318

Here's a devoted supporter and Grandma, at YMBF headquarters!
Note - the shoebox....

The Shoebox...

The YMBF was born in a shoebox. In fact, it's lived in the shoebox for about 3 years now. When the YMB produced their first film, everyone wanted a DVD. Donations were accepted with the understanding that proceeds would "benefit local schools." So we gathered the funds, and, not wanting to just put them in a sock under the mattress, instead stored them safely in a shoebox... We always thought the cash on hand would be used for a new spectacularly expensive replacement bulb for the El Portal School's fancy LCD projector...

Well, we've been waiting for 3 years for a bulb to blow up, and it hasn't happened yet! Instead of continuing to add to the dust layer on the shoebox, the YMB decided to meet a local need that actually is related to Marching Bands. Now we will fix up donated instruments, and rent them cheaply to local students.

Do you have a good quality horn to donate? Perhaps a lovely bassoon or oboe languishing away in your closet? Actually the School Band is most interested in Clarinets, Saxophones, and Flutes. None of the student instruments will be hauled up El Cap, or bludgeoned on a raft trip down the Merced River... We Promise!!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The YMBF is Born!

Ahhh... what to do with all our free time?

We haven't put out a new Yosemite Marching Band film in a year or two... I've ironed and pressed the YMB uniforms twice, and even preened the blue feathers on our silly hats... Our Tuba Player is heading to China for a month, so we won't be holding practices for awhile... The roof isn't leaking... what to do?

Hey! Why not start up a foundation to provide horns, tooters, and twizzlers for the local kid's school band program!?! That's it! Drive long distances to faraway music stores! Learn how to clean and lube flutes, clarinets and saxophones! Spend late nights on Ebay shopping for real instruments so our children can continue pursuing unusual acoustic challenges!

Yes... the YMBF is born!