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8 GPS Elementary Schools Inspired and Supported by East Valley Pops Orchestra

8 GPS Elementary Schools Inspired and Supported by East Valley Pops Orchestra
Tristan Chavez

On March 1, 2024, The East Valley Pops Orchestra performed for eight Gilbert Public Schools Title I elementary students in an effort to inspire and support young musicians in Gilbert. The 75-member orchestra performed at Gilbert High school and presented each school with $1,500 to benefit music programs.

“Students don't always have the opportunity to experience a live professional orchestra performance,” said Karen Coleman, Ed.D., K-12 Special Area Coordinator at Gilbert Public Schools. “This event provided them with a valuable learning experience and a chance to be inspired by talented musicians. We are incredibly grateful to the East Valley Pops Orchestra for their generosity and dedication to music education.”

The East Valley Pops Orchestra’s performance featured a selection of popular and classical pieces, including the Star Wars theme, featuring a special appearance from Darth Vader, and Camilla Cabello's "Havana." Woven within the performance, student representatives from each school had the opportunity to answer a question about orchestra and music before receiving their $1,500 check throughout the performance, showcasing students’ growing musical knowledge and enthusiasm.

“Music is for life, it’s not just something you do in middle school or high school,” stated Julie Mahoney, Maestra for the East Valley Pops Orchestra. “Our orchestra is composed of people passionate about music, and we hope by sharing our passion and donating money, we can inspire young musicians in our local schools.”

The Title I schools that benefited from this event include Boulder Creek Elementary, Burk Elementary, Gilbert Elementary, Harris Elementary, Islands Elementary, Oak Tree Elementary, Pioneer Elementary, and Playa del Rey Elementary. 

Gilbert Public Schools has received a “Best Communities for Music” award for the last 4 years, from the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). The award recognizes the outstanding efforts of schools and districts that have made music education part of a well-rounded educational experience for students. From kindergarten through 12th grade, GPS students across the district have the opportunity to engage in musical education through general music, band, strings, and more. Many GPS schools have award-winning performing arts programs, and students regularly perform for their local communities.

To learn more about the music programs at Gilbert Public Schools, please visit For additional information about the East Valley Pops Orchestra, visit their website at