Byron High School Band receives foundation grant


BYRON – With the money the Byron High School Band received from the Byron Foundation, high school students in the Symphonic Band were able to learn about classical music from non-western cultures, and hear a performance by a professional musician from India on the Sitar and the Tabla drums.  

The performer, Sandip Burman, tours with the World Music Foundation, whose primary purpose is to open minds through music, and encourage students to listen to and respect music from countries and cultures all over the world.  During the performance, the students were required to sit on the floor in absolute silence, as a way of showing respect to the music and the performer. The performance on the Sitar, which is a 20-string instrument made from a pumpkin, was very complex and impressive. 

After learning that the professional performer feels like he is still learning how to play the instrument and learning about how much he practiced, students then heard him perform on the Tabla drums. While the Sitar performance was amazing, the Tabla performance was even more impressive. The speed with which the performer played and the variety of sounds that he was able to make on just two small drums was riveting. His hands were a blur and the complex sounds and rhythms were difficult for everyone to even comprehend. Students left the presentation intrigued and curious about these two instruments and wanting to hear and learn more. 

The Byron High School Band would like to thank the Byron Foundation for awarding this grant.  

The Byron Foundation, 501c3 non-profit, established in 1993, is an independent organization, founded to provide the Byron School educators access and opportunity to impact learning that empowers students and provides an enriched education beyond the district tax dollars. This volunteer team of parents, educators, and community members are committed to supporting children with unique experiences to help broaden their education, expose them to enriched opportunities and to cultivate leaders. We are a cohesive group of people with a mix of background and talent, with a shared vision.

The Board of Directors meets every 4-6 weeks, hosts two annual fund-raisers, accepts and processes grants that average $5,000 a year, and manages scholarship funds for other individuals and organizations. Over the past 25 years, over 40 community members have served as board members, raising funds and granting approximately $155,000 to the Byron School staff for use in their classrooms. 

We recognize and celebrate the history and value of the Foundation’s work.  The focus on long-term planning and sustainability has led to a recent partnership with Community Foundation of Northern Illinois and the creation of a new Byron Foundation Endowment Fund. The Byron Foundation Endowment Fund establishes a financial reserve, provides a reliable source of income in perpetuity, and shows the solidity and permanence of The Byron Foundation in our community and our commitment to continued educational excellence in the Byron School District. 

If you are inspired to give of your time and talents or a tax-deductible gift to the Byron Foundation Endowment Fund, please contact Byron Foundation President, Michelle Albert: or 815-985-5102.