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A Journey of Music: Bandarama! Travels from Elementary To High School Musicians

The 43rd annual event a demonstration of the community's commitment to the arts.

The bleachers were packed on both levels of Belmont High School's Wenner Field House Monday, Dec. 9, filled with parents, siblings, friends and school officials anticipating the night's event.

But those in the stands weren't there to witness the latest sporting victory by Belmont's athletes. For the 42nd year, Belmont residents came to hear the artistic achievements of several hundred musicians from each of Belmont's six schools at the annual extravaganza known as Bandarama! 

Led by Arto Asadoorian, the district's director of Fine & Performing Arts, seven instrumental bands made up of students from the elementary schools, the Chenery Middle and Belmont High schools squeezed into the court for a night of first performances by the youngest musicians to the creative excitement from the High School's Jazz Ensemble.

The night was not only a musical success, it was a demonstration of a community's commitment to preserving the arts during trying economic times.

With school districts across the country discontinuing or cutting their music programs – half of all school districts in California have cut or reduced music programs while in nearby Brookline music education funding at the K-8 level was severely cut for this school year – the continuing efforts of the School Committee, administrators, staff, teachers, parents (and their support group, POMS, Parents of Music Students) and the students have preserved an important artistic outlet that studies show contributes to thinking skills, to detectable gains in certain spatial and mathematical capacities and to early-age measures of intelligence.

The thousands of students who have participated in the five decades of Bandarama continue to benefit from performing in this long-standing Belmont tradition. 

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