The Music Education Outreach Fund was established in the fall of 2019 by the Kishwaukee Symphony Associates (KSA) and is now operated by the KSO Board of Directors. This program helps orchestra and band programs in DeKalb provide musical instruments for deserving middle school students with family financial constraints the opportunity to study instrumental music on quality instruments. DeKalb middle school music educators apply for an annual grant to aid in the purchase of orchestra and band instruments to lend to students in need, and to provide monetary support for instrument repairs.
In the spring of 2022, the KSA’s program was transferred to the KSO Board of Directors with the goal to continue and expand the program. This grant program encourages DeKalb middle school students to engage and succeed in middle school orchestra and band programs with the hope students will develop a love and skill for music performance ensembles. Many students in DeKalb are interested in music but are unable to be included in instrumental ensembles because of the financial strains of obtaining a quality instrument. This program provides support to make instruments available at their school, hoping to make a positive impact in the lives of these students who otherwise would be unable to rent or otherwise obtain such instruments. It is our goal to raise enough funds to eventually expand the program to support all DeKalb County middle school orchestra and band programs in the future.