Banners for the San Diego Opera on the Civic Theatre in downtown San Diego. Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The San Diego Opera announced Tuesday that it received $35,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts to fund a program that provides music education at schools in low-income neighborhoods.

The Words and Music program provides professional instruction in composing, producing and performing original dramatic works set to music. The instruction culminates in school and community performances that are open to the public.

According to the opera company, the program is taking place this year at Harborside Elementary School in Chula Vista and Hoover High School and Memorial Preparatory School in San Diego.

“San Diego Opera’s Words and Music program had a big impact on my students this year,” said Serafin Parades, Memorial’s music director.

“The students are completely focused on their production about a day in the life in Logan Heights,” Parades said. “The students are thriving as ensemble singers and are successfully collaborating on this project. For most, it is their first experience with ensemble singing and theater.”

The opera partners with the comedy troupe Teatro Izcalli in the program.

–City News Service

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