The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG) is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the Ithaca (New York) City School District to support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. FABG is an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative.

Latest News

Ithaca High Students Make Art Garden

Ithaca High School visual art students and Garden Club members are collaborating on an Artful Garden, a community garden space to grow produce, display art and provide a natural refuge for students. “Students are investigating issues around planning and gardening, creating an outdoor art space, seasonal planting, and designing a pocket park within our school community,” explains Ithaca High Art Department Chair Carol Spence.

“With the Cooperative Extension’s Gardens 4 Humanity as our community resource, the students are planning, building, planting and decorating the atrium garden space, adjacent to the school’s cafeteria....(read more)

Student Service for the Arts

Dorothy Braun, a Boynton eighth grader, recently celebrated her bat mitzvah, a Jewish ceremony where young people are welcomed as an adult into the community. Preparation for the bat mitzvah service includes year-long study of Hebrew and the Torah in order to read a part of the Torah in Hebrew during the service.

The Hebrew word tzedaka is loosely translated as “charity” and a bat mitzvah often performs acts of charity during their year of training. Dorothy Braun chose the Fine Arts Booster Group as one of the groups for her charitable giving. Dorothy contributed her savings set aside from her weekly allowance, babysitting earnings and bat mitzvah gifts to support the arts. One of Dorothy’s passions is visual art....(read more)

Cohn Scholarships Announced for Summer 2013

IPEI and the Fine Arts Booster Group, an affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), awarded six scholarships through the Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarship Fund, established by Abby Cohn in memory of her parents and in honor of the excellent music education available in the Ithaca City School District (ICSD). The fund provides music scholarships for summer study through the Ithaca Youth Bureau (IYB) Summer Band and Orchestra Program.

Michael W. Allen, Director of the IYB Summer Music Program, announced that six students will be the beneficiaries of Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarships this summer. “The Rella and Barney Cohn Music Scholarships are a gift from their daughter, Abby Cohn, to the youth in our community....(read more)

DeWitt Trip Report

The DeWitt Middle School Orchestra seventh and eighth graders travelled to the Heritage National Orchestra Competition and Festival in Boston, MA in April and learned about musicianship and team building. As part of the trip that included performance for judges and master classes, DeWitt students learned the benefit of long term planning and practice.

DeWitt Orchestra Director and music teacher Aaron Buck stated, “Going to festivals and competitions is a great way for seventh and eighth grade students to see what other orchestras are doing and helps them as a team to achieve something great. It gave our students a goal.”

Orchestra students learned the necessity of working together and the importance of each member. The DeWitt Orchestra repertoire for the trip was St....(read more)

Emily Scarpulla Announced as Strebel Memorial Award Winner

Emily Scarpulla was named the 2013 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts recipient. Emily accepted the award at the Ithaca High School’s Underclassman Award Night June 3rd in Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center Kulp Auditorium. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an Ithaca student who has not only participated in the performing arts at the high school level, but has shown extraordinary spirit in that pursuit. The award is given in loving memory of Lee Strebel, an Ithaca High School student who died suddenly during his freshman year in February of 2006. In his short time at the high school, Lee became a standout in the drama department after playing the leading role of George Gibbs in Our Town....(read more)

Thank you to all who helped with NYSSMA Hosting!

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG) would like to take this opportunity to give a big THANK YOU to everyone for all your support in helping with the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo and Ensemble Festival! The amount of time that our teachers, staff, parents/caregivers, students and community friends gave to the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) to help host this event showed how much our community values music education!

This past Friday & Saturday, May 10 - 11, 1,426 student musicians in grades 4 - 12 from 8 counties descended on Boynton Middle School to participate in NYSSMA....(read more)

DeWitt Middle School Orchestra Achieves Silver!

DeWitt Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra students achieved a Silver Level Award at the national competition in Boston in April. Congratulations! These middle school students competed against high schoolers and were one point away from Gold.

Orchestra students also enjoyed a clinic with a professor from the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Community Supports DeWitt Middle School Orchestra Trip to Nationals

The DeWitt Middle School Orchestra was selected, by audition, to perform at the Heritage National Orchestra Competition and Festival in Boston, MA, April 27-28, 2013. DeWitt Middle School seventh and eighth grade orchestra students will participate in master classes with professional musicians and perform in a concert with other selected schools.

DeWitt Orchestra Director Aaron Buck states, “Going to festivals and competitions is a great way for these seventh and eighth grade students to see what other orchestras are doing and helps them as a team to achieve something great. It gives our students a goal to shoot for.”

Fundraising was necessary to make this trip possible and the community rallied to support every student’s participation....(read more)

Visiting Musician in Our Schools

Carol Jantsch, Principal Tuba Player in the Philadelphia Orchestra (Visiting Artist)

Michael W. Allen, Director of Bands at Boynton Middle School, is proud to announce that Carol Jantsch, the Principal Tuba Player in the Philadelphia Orchestra, will visit Ithaca on April 15-18, 2013. The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the top 5 professional orchestras in the world.

During her visit, Carol will work one-on-one, conduct master classes, and perform for students in the Boynton Middle School and Ithaca High School Bands....(read more)

Booster Meeting April 23, All Welcome

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, will hold a general meeting April 23, 2013, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Ithaca High School Performing Arts Center lobby. The public is invited to hear about the state of the arts from Fine Arts Director David Brown. Updates on new dance curriculum, current arts activities and other issues will be presented. The boosters serve all the elementary, middle and high schools in the Ithaca District. Pizza will be provided.

For more information about the booster group, contact Co-Presidents Janine Eng and Alice Wu at president@fabgithaca.org or 277-4631....(read more)

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