"Let's build something that can really be special..."
Before the organization officially became a 501 (c) (3) public charity, Mr. Gaylen Rust (founder and chair of Legacy Music Alliance) became interested in music education and the needs of junior high and high school music students.
Mr. Rust had a rare, up-close experience at a music festival in Harlem. While at this choral competition, Gaylen started to question how Utah students were experiencing music studies at their schools in Utah. Upon returning to Utah, Mr. Rust conducted informal surveys with junior high and high school music teachers about their classroom needs, their available resources, their teaching experience and more. He held meetings with several district arts coordinators and began to dig into what music study meant in Utah.
In a vast majority of the districts, there was as little as $500 per music program (for band and orchestra) to repair or refurbish, on average, 50 instruments per class that were aging – 25 years or older. That also meant that in high poverty districts (those schools with students receiving a high percentage of free or reduced lunches), many students would not be able to be in a music program at all because:
There were not enough instruments in good working condition to accommodate the demand
There was not a budget in place to purchase additional instruments
The push for STEM education used funding to enhance science, technology, engineering, and math studies
In 2012, Legacy Music Alliance (LMA) received its nonprofit status with a mission to fortify our community by assuring that MUSIC EDUCATION is a top priority in every Utah school.