May 12 2014
More than 3,000 student musicians performed last week at the U.S. Cellular Arena, showing off their skills before a packed house, at the 45th biannual MPS Music Festival.
Students from roughly 80 Milwaukee Public Schools showcased a year's worth of musical study, culminating in an hour-long program of orchestral, brass, and choral music.
“This is a wonderful celebration of music at a time when Milwaukee Public Schools is looking to add music teachers back into our classrooms,” MPS Superintendent Gregory Thornton said in a news release.
Under Dr. Thorton's AMP initiative -- or Art, Music, Phy-Ed -- the school district is rehiring more than 50 teachers whose positions had been eliminated. MPS has already added art and physical education teachers, and next year it will complete third phase or hiring.
“A love of music can encourage students to come to school every day. Music is a critical part of a well-rounded education and can help students excel in other subjects,” Thorton said.
Looking at the school district as a whole, the announcement means each MPS campus will have at least one part-time music instructor, according to MPS Music Curriculum Specialist Nancy Bonesho.
Click the podcast player above to hear our interview with Bonesho and to listen in on the concert.