Raleigh music school in need of donations could close after 23 years

Posted December 8, 2016

— For 23 years, the Community Music School in downtown Raleigh has brought music into the lives of children, most of whom are from families that could not otherwise afford music lessons.

The school had about 120 students - elementary through high school – enrolled in lessons until the end of October, when the music stopped due to lack of funds.

"I was devastated," said Lanif Azcona, a former student. "I was like, 'Oh, no! The school can't be closed down.' We had just started a theater class, and I was the lead for the musical."

The school and its $1 lessons are funded solely by individual donations or grants. This year, fundraising fell flat, and there was no reserve fund to fall back on.

Erin Zanders, operations manager, said telling students and their families was one of the hardest things she had been forced to do.

"It was the hardest day of my life," she said. "To have to tell my parents and students that they weren't able to come back for classes was absolutely heartbreaking."

Azcona said, if it were not for the school, she would not be able to play music.

"I would not be able to take all these lessons. I would not play saxophone. I would not play the drums the way I do or the guitar the way I do," she said.

The school has launched a fundraising campaign and is working to raise $100,000 by Jan. 31. So far, the school has raised a little less than $27,000.


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  • Mark Cooper Dec 9, 2016
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    Not of Trump can stop it. Like him or not this looks like a good call by him.

  • Jason Galarneau Dec 8, 2016
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    Maybe offering $1 lessons is the problem.

  • Jim Frei Dec 8, 2016
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    And yet, the USA can spend $4 billion on two planes for the president. Priorities out of whack, ya think?

  • Stacie Hagwood Dec 8, 2016
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    Sounds like a sliding scale would be more fiscally feasible.