Fifth Grade Strings Program
The Bellingham Festival of Music in cooperation with the Bellingham School Foundation, the Bellingham Music Coalition, the Bellingham School District, the Bellingham Band Boosters, and the Bellingham Alumni Band has helped fund and re-launch the “Fifth Grade Strings Program.” Initially, the Festival provided $12,000 for the purchase of music instruction books, music stands, and stand racks for each elementary school in the district. This was followed in 2016 with $10,000 in new string instruments allowing every student to participate. The after-school program was so successful that it has now been incorporated into the regular school day.
In 2017, the Festival turned its attention to the Ferndale Schools, which, like Bellingham, had suspended its strings program because of funding shortages. In September, the Festival provided 36 new string instruments to help revive the program.