“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
It is so difficult to grow up in a world where hatred and acts of violence based on discrimination occur every day. The only way my friends and I can make a difference is to be the change we want to see around us. We do not see religion, race, sexuality or socio-economic status as defining qualities. The Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts is teaching us to develop our individual artistry, poise, confidence and self-discipline. We are a culturally and economically diverse group of students who are being offered an amazing leadership curriculum, an outstanding arts experience, a technology education and a rigorous academic program.
Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts is the only magnet program in the United States that emphasizes leadership through the arts. Our program receives minimal financial assistance from our local school district, despite the growing poverty level of my peers. Conservatory students are able to participate in life changing experiences and competitions only through contributions from their families and our local community. Our families strive to raise funds annually to support the program through various efforts.Outdoor Music Festival, hosted annually at Tarpon Springs High School, is one fundraiser we rely on to ensure that every student is given an equal opportunity to participate. The festival raises funds to help with our uniform and instrument rental, travel and trip fees. This year the 22nd annual Outdoor Music Festival will be held Saturday, Oct. 14 with performances from more than 25 state and national marching bands. This is a leadership opportunity because we host the guest bands, and students work in various volunteer areas throughout the day. Performances, awards and senior recognition will begin at 1 p.m. and continue throughout the night ending with Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble’s finale around 10 p.m. Local food vendors and businesses sponsor the event, and funds raised through donations will help our band to attend The Bands of America Super Regional Competition in Georgia and perform with the Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
The band directors, teachers and staff dedicate countless hours to prepare us for success in every aspect of our lives and constantly remind us that we can achieve anything in life with hard work and dedication. Our families volunteer tirelessly to make sure every student has a clean, tailored uniform, first aid at every rehearsal, the coolest props, and Saturday night band dinners served as a family. If you would like to support The Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts, please attend the Outdoor Music Festival Oct. 14, advertise in our program, be a sponsor for the event, or mail a donation to TSBB, P.O. Box 642, Tarpon Springs, FL 34688-0642. Thank you for your support of music education in public schools.
“Music Education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them- a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” Gerald Ford
About the Author:
Samantha Kopec is 13 years old and has been playing piano and clarinet for five years. She has played the clarinet with the Florida All State Band for the past two years and performed at the 2016 Clearwater Jazz Holiday on piano. This summer she had the pleasure of performing at the International Clarinet Festival and met various legends including Stanley Drucker. Currently she is a freshman clarinet player in the Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble. She looks forward to performing on the stage at Carnegie Hall in NYC in March.