Our Programs

Marimba Ensemble (San Gabriel)

San Gabriel Mission, San Gabriel, CA

Donation Gal: $3,000

In 2013, Claretians and local community leaders started an after-school Marimba Ensemble at San Gabriel Mission in San Gabriel, California.

The marimba is a xylophone-like percussion instrument consisting of wooden keys that produce sounds when struck with mallets to create rhythms and songs. The instrument is quite large and requires the musicians to work together as a team to play it. Thus, being in this Marimba Ensemble is not just about music education and expression; participating in the group teaches the young players valuable life skills, such as leadership, collaboration, and a sense of purpose. The Marimba Ensemble provides a safe and engaging out-of-school community for these young people to spend their time with.

The San Gabriel Marimba Ensemble plays gigs all around the area, including large cultural celebrations, city and parish events, quinceañeras, private parties, retirements, and birthdays. Playing these events helps the group raise funds to continue and expand the ensemble while also allowing the young musicians to form connections with their larger community, meet new people, and learn about history and different cultures.

Students enrolled in this after-school program have shown improved high school graduation rates and increased enrollment in college programs. An adult leader of the ensemble shared:

“It’s a family. They come together, they work together, they teach one another. And they are growing as leaders. It instills confidence in them. They mentor the younger players by being good examples, as well as showing them how to play.”

Your donation to the St. Jude League Community Development will help fund vital programs in our communities, like the Marimba Ensemble. Learn more about issues related to youth and how the St. Jude League Community Development aids communities experiencing need on our Issues pages.