Photo courtesy of Maryellen Deckard from Help the Westinghouse Bulldogs! Facebook group

Pittsburgh Westinghouse is one of 10 high schools in the Pittsburgh Public School district. Located in Homewood and established in 1917, it has an especially rich musical heritage. It’s alumni includes Billy Strayhorn (jazz composer, known for “Lush Life” and “Take the “A” Train”), Erroll Garner (jazz pianist and composer), Ahmad Jamal (jazz pianist), and Frank Cunimondo (jazz pianist).


WestinghouseHighSchoolFront.jpg , a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Lee Paxton

But right now, budget cuts have hit their music program hard–they have lost their instrumental program and their chorus teacher and one teacher is handling it all. The students are currently working hard to save their band: The Westinghouse Bulldogs High Stepping Marching Band. The marching band hasn’t had new uniforms in over 12 years. They’re wearing different parts of old uniforms. They need basic supplies like drumsticks and reeds. And they need music lessons.

Research has demonstrated that music education provides a myriad of benefits to children. It improves language development and spatial-temporal skills. Being a musician actually makes your brain work harder. Children engaged in music education have seen increased test scores and even slightly higher IQs! And then there’s morale. These students love their band and our struggling to keep their spirits high because they are are the keepers of their school spirit.

We all have our own neighborhoods that we grew up in and our own alma maters, but wouldn’t it be great if Pittsburgh could come together as a community to help one of our city schools that is in dire need of support right now?

You can make a real difference in the lives of these students and help them to keep being role models in their school by making a donation here. Best of all, there is a foundation that will match each donation dollar for dollar.

The video below is from Labor Day 2012. Help them keep that enthusiasm and spirit alive!