New York, NY
From the Teacher
Supporting the East Side Community High School music education program.
The East Side Band Project provides instrumental music education to Title 1 Public School students. It is rooted in the post-punk / DIY traditions of the surrounding Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. It is a safe place for students, members, and alumni. For events and announcements, follow on Facebook.
Despite national trends against arts education, the East Side Band Project has nurtured several generations of student bands. In 2009, Tom Mullen and James Joughin started ESBP (then a modest afterschool program known simply as "rock band" under the resident University Settlement Beacon program. A stable of "workhorse" gear, consisting of Squiers, Epiphones, a Pearl student model drum kit, Peavey amps, a Yamaha keyboard, and a small stereo PA system was put together on a shoestring budget of $5,000. East Side student musicians formed a set of bands that rehearsed in our storage room. The rehearsals culminated in performances at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe. With James' departure in 2012, the project entered a second generation. A new band, consisting entirely of middle school students, was brought together under the guidance of Peter da Cruz, history teacher, and Tom Mullen, assistant principal, and the program continues today.
From the Students
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