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 Choir and Orchestra Collaborate with Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers

’Glory’ is a musical description of the struggle for social justice from the past to the present,” Dr. Baruch Whitehead, Director of the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers (DCJS), said.

The collaboration between the DCJS, a group of college and community singers whose namesake, Dorothy Cotton, was a civil rights icon, has provided an opportunity for IHS students to deepen their understanding of solidarity and allyship.

“The students of Ithaca High School Choir are thoughtful young artists who are not blind to the injustice they see in the world,” IHS Choir Director Kristin Zaryski said. “Particularly this school year, they’ve felt an urgency to learn and do more....(read more)

Ithaca College Students Offer Free Virtual Lessons

Hello! Our names are Raelene, Kaitlyn, Jen and Emma and we are music majors at Ithaca College! As members of Mu Phi Epsilon, a professional music fraternity, we are committed to serving our community through music. So, we are offering to give free virtual private lessons on a variety of woodwind and brass instruments. If interested, please email

Raelene Ford

Ithaca Composers Project

The Boynton Middle School Band Program, Michael Allen, Director, has partnered with Ithaca College Composition Majors, Professor Sally Lamb McCune, Project Manager, to create and perform original compositions for solo instruments. Starting in September 2020, the Boynton Band Members worked one-on-one with their college mentors to develop musical themes into completed original works. The project will culminate on March 3, 2021, 7:00pm, with a virtual performance of the new compositions.

The Ithaca College Student Composers are Jeffrey Taylor, Nathaniel Finke, Aspen Earls, Rebecca Torro, Jack Edwards and Caleb Bates....(read more)

DeWitt Middle School Virtual Drama Feb 11 and 12 at 7:00 p.m.

The DeWitt Drama Production is coming soon to a Virtual World near you! Links will be sent out in the days to come!!! Thank you all for your support during this really hard time.

February 11th and 12th, at 7:00pm is our DeWitt Virtual Drama Production (Title yet to be determined by the students) . You will see and hear about 71 different students in the appr. 90 minute show. All of the monologues, skits, PSAs and Scenes were written by students!...(read more)

Black Lives Matter Mural project for the ICSD

Greetings Colleagues, Call for Submissions - for the district wide Black Lives Matter at School mural.

Special thanks to community, staff and building leaders who shared their thinking and wisdom during the development phase of this project!

Please consider how the students you work with can participate in this mural project and thank you also for sharing this information with your colleagues.

Everything folks need to can be found on the district website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you!

Peace, Daphne Shululu ICSD Fine and Performing Arts Director

2021 Saltonstall Teacher Residency - Announced

Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Partners with Fine Arts Boosters to Host Teacher Retreat: Teachers Announced

The Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, in partnership with the Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, is offering a creative retreat for teachers of the Ithaca City School District (ICSD) and other districts in Tompkins County during the February and April school breaks. The program is designed to provide residency-type retreats for local teachers in creative writing, photography/film/video, and painting/sculpture/visual art. It is totally free for teachers selected through a lottery system....(read more)

Ithaca High Announces Musical 2021

IHS Student Show Selection Committee selects A Killer Party by Kait Kerrigan for the spring 2021 musical.

A Killer Party is a murder mystery musical created by Broadway artists during quarantine 2020. This catchy pop-rock score was described by the New York Times as “a goofy lark featuring jaunting tunes” reminiscent of Agatha Christie. The musical was written exclusively for a virtual performance and includes inclusive language pronouns and interchangeable gender identities for flexible casting.

In the spring 2020, IHS students were surveyed to find out what stories they wanted to produce for the IHS play and musical. From this data, the production team vetted shows to match student interest and presented the ideas to the IHS Student Show Selection Committee before voting....(read more)

Ithaca College Collaborates with ICSD Music Teachers to Design Virtual Music Projects

Eleven ICSD music teachers are partnering with 22 Ithaca College preservice music teachers to design virtual music projects using an online collaborative sound recording program, Soundtrap.

The music teachers participated in professional development workshops this fall, after the district procured subscriptions for students to access the online recording software. Beginning in February, ICSD music students will participate in songwriting activities, chamber music projects, and large virtual ensembles in cloud-based musical collaborations with their peers. Ithaca College students have been using Soundtrap since moving to fully-remote instruction in March 2020, producing both large-scale productions and smaller projects....(read more)

Ithaca High School Choir Collaboration with Dr. Baruch Whitehead and Dorothy Cotton Jubilee SIngers

Ithaca HS Choirs will engage in a 4-month community collaboration with the Dr. Baruch Whitehead and the Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers.

This will include 2 Virtual Choir Project “singles”, including Glory by John Legend and Common, plus 2 virtual choir projects for the March 12 IHS Virtual Theme Concert “Lost and Found”: Great Day by Moses Hogan and Amazing Grace, arrangement by Michael Stern, ‘14.

In addition, there will be monthly in-class community development sessions with lessons about the African American Spiritual, Gospel Music and discussions surrounding representation, anti-racism, bias and allyship.

From Daphne Shululu, ICSD Fine and Performing Arts Director

Dewitt and Boynton Middle School Band members selected for Statewide Honor Band

Press Release

The Ithaca City School District is proud to announce that sixteen (16) middle school band members, from DeWitt Middle School and Boynton Middle School, have been selected to participate in the 2021 New York State Band Directors Association Statewide Middle School Honor Band. Congratulations to all of the participants for this outstanding and noteworthy accomplishment....(read more)

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