Inner City band to march in Vail |

Inner City band to march in Vail

Vail Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyInner City Educational Foundation Jazz and Marching Band will perform in Vail, Colorado's patriotic celebrations for the eighth-straight year

VAIL, Colorado – Continuing an eight-year Fourth of July tradition, the Inner City Educational Foundation Jazz and Marching Band will perform in Vail, Colorado’s patriotic celebrations.

The award-winning band is comprised of 100 musicians from Inner City Educational Foundation schools and Washington Preparatory School, and is conducted by Fernando Pullum. Pullum founded the jazz program at the school where he also teaches music.

How did this band embark on their first annual trip from South Central L.A. to Vail? The common thread is a man named Howard Stone, founder of the Vail Jazz Foundation. Stone is a real estate attorney, investor and music lover from Los Angeles.

The Vail Jazz Foundation’s mission is to spread the jazz art form through education and live performances, with a focus on young musicians and young audiences. Stone also chairs the Los Angeles based Success through the Arts Foundation.

The arts foundation funds arts programs for children living in one of the most economically depressed communities in the United States: South Central Los Angeles. In an area of the Los Angeles Unified School District where the average graduation rate is approximately 30 percent, the arts foundation has made a profound impact on the lives of thousands of kids.

More than 90 percent of the students regularly participating in performing arts at the Inner City Educational Foundation schools, and 99 percent of all students participating in arts foundation programs have graduated high school and gone on to attend college.

The trip to Vail is a powerful motivator for children in the program. By working hard and living up to the goals they set for themselves, by practicing and performing with their instrument and becoming a model for other students, 100 lucky students are rewarded with the privilege of traveling to Vail to participate and perform in the July 4 celebrations.

The 20-hour, one way trip on a chartered coach includes a stop in Las Vegas for a buffet meal. Costs for the trip are covered through individual and corporate donations, and range from chartered transportation (the biggest cost), to meals and beverages, uniforms and bottled water.

A number of local businesses also contribute, and the children are housed in the gymnasium at a local private school.

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