Students are grouped in music classes open to all children, regardless of economic standing

Photo courtesy Advent Lutheran Church

By Mark Fenichel

I  spoke with Kyle Jones, assistant director of the Beloved Community Art Center, about their latest program to get kids into music lessons at a very affordable price. Since school music programs have been cut back, Advent Lutheran has stepped up with a program offering all families the opportunity to get their children a musical experience which may bring out their talents in music and art.

What is the Beloved Community Arts Center? BCAC helps youth to express their feelings and experiences through music and the arts.

At BCAC, students are grouped in music classes open to all children, regardless of economic standing. Experienced mentors lead the various classes Saturday mornings. Children in grades first through 12 are invited to participate in learning to play guitar, hand drums, trumpet, violin, singing, theatrical movement and creative arts.

“The people of Advent Lutheran Church want to help contribute to growing The Beloved Community Center right here in South County through creating new possibilities for children and youth to create music and other arts together,” Jones said.

They invite participation and support from the South County community in this new venture. Parents and families are encouraged to volunteer and help shape the BCAC.

At present, our local school district is in the process of reinstating music and arts education in our schools.  Until these programs are in place, they recognize the need to share the gifts of their faith community with others so all families benefit from this vital part of their learning.

Private instruction to fulfill this need is available to some families in their community but is often financially out of their reach. So, they created a safe place where all families would have access to affordable arts education.

“Our hope is that the program will create equal access to music and arts for everyone,” Jones said.

Families interested in registering for class may do so in person, by mail, or online. Their website has all the details regarding address, phone numbers, class availability, and tuition. They offer instruction during a 10-week session three times a year.  Tuition ranges from $12 to $20 per class ($120 to $200 per session).

“We realize that even this can be an obstacle for some families, so in keeping with our vision to offer classes to all children, regardless of economic standing, we have financial assistance available,” Jones said.

BCAC teachers are required to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with at least three years’ experience.

“They are experienced in their area of instruction and trained youth support facilitators who use the power of music and the arts to engage, inspire and empower young people to reach their potential through a safe, structured, and positive environment,” Jones said.

Currently, their team is comprised of Lori Franke and Kymber Gillen, violin; Gorden Gibson and Carlos Barba, guitar; Jeff Chambers, Trumpet; Kyle Jones, Voice; Sam Sotelo, World Percussion; Chris Paulsen and Nancy Siverson, Creative Arts; and Carol Romo, Dance and Theatrical Movement.

Students are not required to attend a certain number of classes. They are able to choose any class in which they’re interested. This can range from a single class to as many as four or five.

“We encourage all participants to try different classes,” she said. There’s no commitment to a particular class from session to session and students may choose to explore a different instrument/artistic discipline.”

The Beloved Community Arts Center is not a religious program, but rather a faith-based program that teaches mutual respect, justice, unity, peace, and harmony within the Advent Lutheran Church community. Membership at Advent is not necessary to participate in the program.

“BCAC is our gift to the community that we hope will help deepen an appreciation for our differences and engender awareness of our commonalities,” Jones said.

For more detailed information visit  or email the assistant director, Kyle Jones at [email protected]

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On another note, the 3rd Annual Morgan Hill Blues Festival is gearing up for a day and evening of live music, food and vendors Saturday, Aug. 31. The event will have live music from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and takes place at the Community and Cultural Center Amphitheater stage. It’s free!

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There will be a fundraiser to help pay for materials to renovate a bathroom for Sam Curtis, who is now recovering at home after a car crash last year. It will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 13 at Kelly Brewing Company in Morgan Hill. D.R. Domenichini is donating the labor. Hope to see you there.

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Finally, the last Friday Night Music Series of the year is this Friday and features the Boys of Summer. Hope to see you out there!

Got a music top? Email [email protected]

Mark Fenichel