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The Philharmonic Society's Instrument Grant Program

STRIKE UP THE BAND is a grant program by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County that aims to foster the appreciation of music within our community’s youth and create meaningful impact on school music programs through the granting of musical instruments and teaching materials. The purpose of the grant is to enhance and grow existing music programs and to provide for the creation of new music programs. Applications for the Strike Up The Band grant are open to music programs of any genre and size in Orange County schools, and schools may apply for grants valued at up to $10,000.

Examples of proposals can range from the request of new instruments to replace aging instruments, an infusion of additional instruments to serve a growing music program, or even instruments and teaching materials to create a new music program for a school. Applicants are encouraged to show the compelling need and impact the grant would have on their school community.

Since 2013, the Strike Up The Band grant program has been made possible by funds raised at the Philharmonic Society’s spring gala, as well as additional community funding. Strike Up The Band has historically provided $35,000 to $65,000 worth of musical instruments and materials annually to school music programs in Orange County.

Established in 1954, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County is a non-profit music presenting organization, dedicated to world-class music for Orange County. Philharmonic Society concerts features some of the world's greatest symphony orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and New York Philharmonic; chamber groups like the Grammy-winning Kronos Quartet; and soloists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, and Renée Fleming. The Society also presents world music and interdisciplinary performances through its Eclectic Orange Series, with artists such as Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain, Japanese taiko drumming troupe Kodo, and American contemporary dance troupe Mark Morris Dance Group.

The Philharmonic Society's nationally recognized Youth Music Education Programs, one of the most extensive music education programs of its kind in the country, are supported and implemented by the Philharmonic Society's volunteer Committees. Offered free of charge to schools, students and parents, these programs reach more than 160,000 students from elementary through high school each year.

The STRIKE UP THE BAND grant supports public and private schools in Orange County at the elementary, middle and high school level. Any person or organization may apply for the grant on behalf of an Orange County school with the express consent of the school’s principal.

  • Applicants may request a maximum of $10,000 worth of instruments/materials
  • All grants are awarded in the form of goods (musical instruments and teaching materials). No cash grants are awarded.
  • Grants must be submitted through the Philharmonic Society’s online grant portal –
  • Next application cycle opens: TBA
  • Grant submission deadline: TBA
  • Grant decisions are typically announced in August with distribution of grants in September

  • Proposal of program enhancement or new program if awarded grant
  • Overview of current musical program(s) including number of students served
  • Grant amount requested (up to $10,000 in value)
  • Prioritized “wish list” of instruments and/or materials


    We at the Philharmonic Society of Orange County would like to express our thanks to all the schools that applied for the 2019 cycle of our Strike Up The Band Grant. We received an overwhelming response with incredibly worthy applications, and it is clearer now than ever how great the need is in our community's music programs. For the 2019 grant cycle, we will be donating a total of $50,000 worth of goods to awardees.

    The challenging task of making award decisions was made by a grant committee formed from representatives from all parts of the Philharmonic Society. Decisions were made based on multiple factors including the programs main mission of creating meaningful impact in music programs within Orange County.

    2019 STRIKE UP THE BAND AWARDEES (in no particular order)
  • Louis Lake Intermediate
  • Elementary Division: Santa Ana Unified School District
  • Santiago High School
  • Powell Elementary
  • Leroy Doig Intermediate
  • Masuda Middle School
  • C.E. UTT Middle School
  • Santa Ana High School

  • Awardees will be contacted by the Philharmonic Society next week with the specific dollar amount of their request that will be funded, further instructions on how to receive their donated goods, and general post-funding requirements.

    For those applications that were not funded in this cycle, we encourage you to apply again next year. Applications for our 2020 Strike Up The Band grant cycle will open in the Fall of 2020.

    Thank you again, and we look forward to continuing the Strike Up The Band grant and the good it does in our community.
    Sarah Little
    Philharmonic Society of Orange County