The desert’s only “School of Rock” received a Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. The $25,000 grant was awarded to the Academy of Musical Performance (AMP) to purchase instruments and to support tuition assistance for music education.
“The two primary barriers that prevent young people from pursuing a passion in music are access to instruments and access to affordable lessons,” said Humberto Bela, the new Executive Program Director of AMP. “AMP is dedicated to creating unique opportunities to fill this void, and we are grateful to the Berger Foundation and News Channel 3 for helping us continue that mission and launch the instrument loan program.”
AMP was created in 2015 by a committee of volunteers involved with the Coachella Valley Community Trust, with a 3-year commitment of seed funding from Goldenvoice. In 2017, AMP became its own 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to enrich the lives of young musicians living in the Coachella Valley by fostering productivity and social responsibility through creativity, communication and collaboration. The contemporary music education program works to develop and enhance musical performance and concert production skills through participation in a “rock band” style setting.
“It’s clear that kids love this program and the opportunities it offers them,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. “We’re happy to help get instruments into the hands of kids who want them.”
The instrument loan program and private lessons are available year-round, as are opportunities to collaborate with other musicians and perform at various community events. AMP is well-known for its 3-week Summer Camp, for 11-18 year olds, which features the area’s top musicians teaching in small rock band format. The summer intensive includes workshops, rehearsals, individual instruction, and live performances culminating with a “Battle of the Bands” Final Showcase on Saturday, July 31.
Beginning this summer, a day camp, called preAMP, is offered for 3rd-5th grade students of all levels. Morning and afternoon sessions are scheduled for August 4-6. The groups will learning ukulele and sing together preparing for a final concert on August 6.
“‘Cool’ only begins to describe this amazing musical education program,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.
Through the Coachella Valley Spotlight partnership with the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation and News Channel 3, AMP was featured on News Channel 3 programming, in public service announcements and on kesq.com throughout July. For more information about AMP programs, being an instructor or other community partner, visit www.ampcv.org or call 760-537-5267. AMP is located at 82719 Miles Avenue. AMP summer camp is held at Hope Lutheran Church, Palm Desert.